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Haryana

Posted at: Mar 14, 2019, 7:55 AM; last updated: Mar 14, 2019, 7:55 AM (IST)

HC quashes order rejecting employees’ pension claim

HC quashes order rejecting employees’ pension claim
The High Court has quashed a decade-old order rejecting the claim of Haryana Board of School Education employees for pension.

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13

The High Court has quashed a decade-old order rejecting the claim of Haryana Board of School Education employees for pension in lieu of contributory provident fund.

Rapping the board, Justice Arun Monga ruled that the denial was violative of the principles of law, equity and justice, lacked merit and did not stand judicial scrutiny.

The ruling by Justice Monga came on a bunch of petitions filed by Vijay Laxmi and other employees against the Haryana Board of School Education and another respondent for quashing the rejection order dated July 7, 2009.

Justice Monga asserted that the Haryana Government’s notification dated June 26, 1992, introducing the pension scheme, was adopted by the board in May 1993. Though it envisaged a three-month cut-off period for furnishing option, the respondents kept granting extension from time to time.

Justice Monga ruled that the respondents’ contention that the petitioners were not entitled to opt for the pension scheme as they did not respond within the time period, to say the least, was completely absurd.

Justice Monga observed that the board’s mandate for seeking the option within three months “clearly stood vitiated and completely diluted, if not washed out, in view of it having entertained the request of its employees even after a lapse of 13 years”.

Justice Monga noted that 18 other employees were granted the benefit in the proceedings dated March 2, 2006, but 19 petitioner-employees were denied the same benefit vide the impugned proceedings.

Elaborating, Justice Monga observed that the employees were given the option to seek the pension scheme in March 2006 proceedings.

Justice Monga noted that the petitioner-employees were denied the benefit in the impugned proceedings on the same very ground that pension rules, under which the notification was issued, were yet to be approved and it was not permissible to grant the benefit to them.

Justice Monga added that opportunities were granted by the board notwithstanding the cut-off period and as such, the applicability of the rule had no significance.

Referring to one of the rules of the Pension Rules, 1994, Justice Monga observed that the board had the final authority in respect of the pension scheme.

“To reject the claim of the petitioners on the ground of the same being not permissible under the government notification, issued under the Pension Rules, 1994, is discriminatory, unfair and also contrary to the earlier conduct of the board,” asserted Justice Monga.

Before parting with the order, Justice Monga directed the respondents to process the petitioners’ case by giving them the pension scheme benefit in lieu of the Contributory Provident Fund Scheme.

Case details

  • Govt notification dated June 26, 1992, introducing pension scheme, adopted in May 1993
  • Three-month cut-off period envisaged for furnishing option, but respondents keep granting extension
  • Benefit granted to 18, 19 petitioner-employees denied  the same benefit vide impugned proceedings
  • High Court says rejection of claim of petitioners is discriminatory, unfair and contrary to earlier conduct

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