High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Gurnam Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors - CWP-6616-2006  RD-P&H 2433 (20 April 2006)
In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh.
CWP No. 6616 of 2004
Date of Decision: 18.4.2006
State of Punjab and others
Coram:- Hon'ble Mr.Justice J.S. Khehar.
Hon'ble Mr. Justice P.S. Patwalia
Present: Mr. Govind Goel, Advocate
for the petitioner.
Mr. Ashok Aggarwal, Addl. A.G., Punjab
for the respondents.
J.S. Khehar, J. (Oral).
The petitioner was appointed as a Labour Welfare Inspector, in the first instance, in the Labour Welfare Board in 1982. He was thereafter appointed as a Labour Inspector Grade-I in the Labour Department On 29.11.2001, the petitioner tendered his resignation from employment so as to enable him to contest elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Amloh constituency, scheduled to be held in February, 2002. By an order dated 31.12.2001, the resignation of the petitioner was accepted, and he was relieved from his duties.
Since the Returning Officer rejected the nomination papers filed by the petitioner, and since the petitioner could not contest elections to CWP No. 6616 of 2004 Page numbers
the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, he submitted a representation dated 4.2.2002, seeking permission to withdraw his resignation so as to enable him to rejoin his duties as Labour Inspector Grade-I. The aforesaid request of the petitioner was declined by an order dated 18.6.2002. Dissatisfied with the aforesaid order, the petitioner approached this Court by filing Civil Writ Petition No.2528 of 2003. Suffice it to state, that while disposing of the aforesaid writ petition, this Court did not accept the prayer of the petitioner for reinduction into service. The aforesaid writ petition was, however, disposed of by requiring the respondents to pay the petitioner such dues as he was entitled to. In considering the claim of the petitioner on the issue of dues payable to him, the Labour Commissioner, Punjab, passed an order dated 2.5.2003 (Annexure P-3), inter-alia, denying the petitioner's claim for pension and gratuity. It is this aspect of the matter, which is subject matter of challenge at the hands of the petitioner through the instant writ petition.
In sum and substance, the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is, that since the petitioner has rendered more than ten years of qualifying service, he is entitled to pension under Rule 6.16(2) of the Punjab Civil Services Rules, Volume-II. Rule 6.16(2) of the Punjab Civil Services Rules, Volume-II is being extracted hereunder:- "6.16(2). In the case of a Government employee retiring on or after the 1st
April, 1979, in accordance with the provisions of these rules after completing qualifying service of not less than thirty-three years or more, the amount of supperannuation, retiring, invalid and compassionate pensions shall be 50% of average emoluments as defined in rule 6.19-C of these rules subject to a maximum of (Rs.3,000/-) (Substituted vide CWP No. 6616 of 2004 Page numbers
No.1/2/1/CSR Vol.II/91-Sr.AO(FD) dated 31.1.1992) per mensem. However, in the case of a Government employee who at the time of retirement has rendered qualifying service of then years or more but less than thirty-three years, the amount of pension shall be such proportion of the maximum admissible pension as such the qualifying service of thirty-three years, subject to a minimum of (Rs.375/-) (Substituted vide No.1/2/1/CSR Vol.II/91-Sr.AO(FD) dated 31.1.1992) per mensem..."
A perusal of the aforesaid rule reveals, that entitlement to pension under Rule 6.16(2), extracted above, is only to employees, who on retirement, had rendered qualifying service of ten years. It is apparent, that the aforesaid rule is not applicable to the petitioner, as the petitioner had not retired from the employment of the respondents. In fact, the instant issue came up for consideration before a Division Bench of this Court in Dr. Lalit Kumar Sharma Vs. State of Haryana and others, 1997(3) Service Law Reporter, 438, wherein this Court arrived at the conclusion, that since the petitioner therein had resigned from service, he could not claim the benefits which were otherwise admissible to a person who seeks retirement from service.
The Apex Court has also declared the legal position, affirming the order passed by the Division Bench in Dr. Lalit Kumar Sharma's case (supra) in its decision rendered in Union of India and others Vs. Rakesh Kumar, AIR 2001 SC , 1877, wherein it has been held as under:- ".....Reading the aforesaid G.O. As a whole, it nowhere reveals Government's intention to confer any additional pensionary benefits to the members of the BSF who retired before CWP No. 6616 of 2004 Page numbers
completing the requisite qualifying service as provided under the CCS (Pension) Rules. It neither supplements nor substitutes the statutory rules. The G.O. read with Rule 19 of the BSF Rules would only mean that in case of resignation and its acceptance by the competent authorities, the member of the BSF would be entitled to get pensionary benefits if he is otherwise eligible for getting the same under the CCS (Pension) Rules and to that extent Rule 26 which provides for forfeiture of service on resignation would not be applicable. Hence, there is no substance in the contention of the learned counsel for the respondents that in view of the G.O. Or specific orders passed by the competent authority granting pension, appellants are estopped from contending that such officers are not entitled to get pensionary benefits. As stated above, the G.O. does not confer any additional benefit. Even the specific order which is quoted above in favour of Naik Rakesh Kumar, the authority has stated that he would get pensionary benefits as admissible under the Rules. Under the Rules, he is not entitled to get such benefits."
".....If rules are not providing for grant of pensionary benefits it is for the authority to decide and frame appropriate rules but Court cannot direct payment of pension on the ground of so- called hardship likely to be caused to a person who has resigned without completing qualifying service for getting pensionary benefits. As a normal rule, pensionary benefits are granted to a Government servant who is required to retire on CWP No. 6616 of 2004 Page numbers
his attaining the age of compulsory retirement except in those cases where there are special provisions." In view of the legal position recorded in the foregoing paragraph, we are satisfied, that the petitioner is not entitled to any pensionary benefits, since the petitioner has not been able to invite our attention to any statutory rules or governmental instructions, wherein such entitlement flows to an employee who has resigned from service.
Likewise, learned counsel for the petitioner has not been able to invite our attention to any statutory rules or administrative instructions to the effect, that gratuity is available to an employee who has resigned from employment.
It needs to be noticed, that learned counsel for the petitioner invited our attention to a decision rendered by a Single Bench of this Court in State of Haryana and others Vs. Madan Lal Ahlawat, 2002(5) Services Law Reporter 591. We have perused the order passed in Madan Lal Ahlawat's case (supra). We are, however, of the view, that the claim of the petitioner based on the aforesaid judgement is clearly misconceived on account of the fact, that this Court while passing its order in Madan Lal Ahlawat's case (supra), did not interpret the statutory rule under which an employee, resigning from service, could have claimed the benefits presently sought by the petitioner through the instant writ petition,. although, reference was made to Rule 6.16(2), extracted above, the rights flowing therefrom were not interpreted from the same. Since the aforesaid rule, extracted above, clearly makes an employee eligible for pension only after retirement, it is not possible for us to extend the benefit of the said rule to an employee, who has resigned from service, specially in view of the decision CWP No. 6616 of 2004 Page numbers
rendered by the Apex Court, extracted above.
In view of the above, we find no merit in this petition. The same is, accordingly, dismissed.
( J.S. Khehar )
( P.S. Patwalia )
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