Pension Is Property Of Government Employee
Pension is a periodic payment of an amount to the employee, after his retirement from service by his employer till his death. In some cases, it is also payable to the dependents of the deceased employee as a family pension. The pension is in a nature of right which employee has earned by rendering long service to the employer. It is a deferred payment of compensation for past service. It is dependable on the condition of rendering of service by the employee for a certain fixed period of time with decent behavior. Like Contributory Provident Fund the object of providing pensionary benefit under the Pension Scheme is to provide social security to the employee and his family after his retirement from service. The employer’s obligation under the Pension Scheme begins only when the employee retires and it continues till the death of the employee.
The concept of pension is now well known. This has been clarified by Supreme Court of India time and again. It is not a charity or bounty nor is it gratuitous payment sole dependent on the whim or sweet will of the employer. It is earned for rendering lo service and is often described as deferred portion of compensation for past service. It is in fact in the nature of a social security plan to provide for the “December” of life of a superannuated employee. Such social security plans are consistent with the socio-economic requirements of the Constitution when the employer is State within meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution.
Principles of relating to pension.-
The claim to pension is property and is not a mere bounty. This right is covered and protected by Article 31(I) of the Constitution of India and the Government cannot with hold it by mere executive order.
The principles of relating to pension are well settled these are:
(i) Pensioners forming a class, computation of pension cannot be by different.-
In regard to pensioners forming a class, computation of pension cannot be by different formula thereby applying an unequal treatment solely on the ground that some retired earlier and some retired later.
(ii) Enhanced pension as per the new formula.-
If the retiree is eligible for pension at the time of his retirement and the relevant pension scheme is subsequently amended, he would become eligible to get enhanced pension as per the new formula of computation of pension from the date when the amendment takes effect. In such a situation the additional benefit under the amendment, made available to the same class of pensioners cannot be denied to him on the aforesaid additional benefit was conferred.
(a) All retirees with a particular do not form single class- All retirees retiring with a particular rank do not form single class for all purposes.
(b) Where the reckonable emoluments as on the date of retirement (for the purpose of computation of pension) are different in respect of two groups o pensioners, who retired with the same rank, the group getting lesser pension cannot contend that their pension should be identical with or equal to the pension received by the group whose reckonable emolument was higher.
(c) The pensioner who retired with the same rank need not be given identical pension, where their average reckonable emoluments at the time different pay scales being in force of their retirements were different, in view of the difference in pay, or in view of different pay scales being in force.
(d) When two sets of employees of the same rank retire at different points of time, it is not discrimination if:
(i) When one set retired there was no pension scheme and when the other set retired, a pension scheme was in force.
(ii) When one set retired, a voluntary retirement scheme was in force and when the other set retired, such a scheme was not in force; or with the salary pay
(iii) When one set retied a provident fund scheme was applicable and when the other set retired, a pension scheme was in force.
(iv) One set can claim the benefit extended to the other set on the ground that they are similarly situated. Though they retired with the same rank,, they do not form the “ same class” or “ homogeneous group.”
(e) Employer can validly fix a cut-off-date. The employer can validly fix a cut-off-date by introducing any new pension or retirement scheme or for discontinuance of any existing scheme.
(f) What is discriminatory is introduction of a benefit retrospectively (or prospectively fixing a cut-off-date arbitrarily thereby dividing a single homogeneous class of pensioners into two groups and subjecting them to different treatment.
Government Employee cannot claim pension –
In the following cases no claim to pension is admitted
(a) When a Government employee is appointed for a limited time only, or for When a Government specified duty, on the completion of which he is to be discharged
(b) When a person is employed temporarily on monthly wages without specified limit of time of duty , but a month notice of discharge should be given to such a person and his wages must be paid for any period by which such notice falls short month .
(c) When a person’s whole-time is not retained for the public services, out he is merely paid for work done, such as Government Pleader and Law Officers not debarred from private practice.
(d) When a public employee holds some other pensionable office, he earns no pension in respect of an office of the kind mentioned in clause (c) or respect of duties paid for by a compensatory allowance
(e)When a Government employee serves under an agreement which contain no stipulation regarding pension, unless the competent authority specially authorized him to count such service towards pension.
Pension and gratuity are separate and distinct concepts.-
A Rule which places an absolute discretion to grant or refuse pension or gratuity or any other retiral benefit, at its sweet will, is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The Supreme Court of India said that the payment of the gratuity or provident fund should not occasion any deduction from the pension as a “set-off”, otherwise, the solemn statutory provisions ensuring provident fund and gratuity would become illusory. Pensions are paid out of regard for past meritorious services. The root of gratuity and the foundation of provident fund are different. Each one is a salutary benefaction statutorily guaranteed independently of the other. Even assuming that by private treaty parties had otherwise agreed to deductions before the coming into force of these beneficial enactments these cannot now be deprivatory.
Pension is payable periodically, as long as the pensioner is alive whereas gratuity is ordinarily paid only once on retirement.” Merely because Rule 3(1)(0) of Central Civil Service Pension Rules, 1972 or Article 366(17) of the Constitution of India define pension to include gratuity, the two concepts are not assimilated nor do they become conceptually the same.