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Smt. Bodari Shukla v. State Of U.P. & Others - WRIT - A No. 7492 of 2003  RD-AH 29 (3 March 2003)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 7492 of 2003
Smt. Bodari Shukla Vs. State of U.P. and others
Hon'ble Vineet Saran, J
Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing Counsel on behalf of the respondents. With the consent of the learned counsel for the parties, this writ petition is being disposed of at this stage.
The short question in this writ petition is as whether the petitioner would be entitled to the grant of family pension under the Government Order dated 24.2.1989. In the present case the husband of the petitioner retired from service on 31.3.1983 and had been getting the pension till the date of his death i.e. 23.8.2000 but thereafter the family members are being denied the benefit of family pension merely on the ground that the scheme of family pension would be applicable only to those employees who were in service on 1.1.1989.
By the Government Order dated 24.2.1989 the benefit of family pension was extended to the non teaching staff of educational institutions which scheme came into operation with effect from 1.1.1989. By a subsequent Government Order dated 26.11.1999, it was clarified that the aforesaid Government Order dated 24.2.1989 would be applicable only to those employees who were in service as on 1.1.1989.
By means of this writ petition the petitioner has challenged the aforesaid Government Order and prayed that the petitioner be held entitled for the benefit of family pension scheme under the Government Order even though her husband may have retired on 31.3.1983, and the condition imposed therein that the employees should be in service as on 1.1.1989 is unreasonable and arbitrary, inasmuch as it amounts to carving out a class from amongst the homogeneous class of persons entitled for the family pension. Learned counsel for the petitioner has also submitted that such a classification cannot be permissible under law; as such the same being arbitrary and discriminatory, is liable to be quashed. In support of this contention learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon four decisions of this Court rendered in Mst. Sajida Begum Vs. Secretary, Basic Education, U.P. and others 2002(1) A.W.C. 548; Smt. Rajmuni Devi Vs. District Inspector of Schools Ghazipur and others 2002(1) A.W.C. 208; Smt. Shanti Devi Vs. State of U.P. and others (2001 LBESR 872 Allahabad) and Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 39944 of 2001 Smt. Shanti Srivastava Vs. State of U.P. and others decided on 19.2.2003.
Learned Standing Counsel has submitted that the classification made by the Government Order dated 26.11.1999 is wholly justified and is a reasonable classification and it is for the Government to decide as to which of its employees would be entitled to grant of family pension.
Having heard learned counsel for the parties, I am of the view that for the purpose of grant of family pension, the artificial classification made in the Government Order by creating a cut off date and thus making two sets/classes of employees merely on the basis of the date of retirement is discriminatory and cannot be justified, being violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India. The Government Order dated 26.11.1999 is thus quashed. It is held that the petitioner shall not be denied the benefit of family pension merely because the husband of the petitioner had retired prior to 1.1.1989.
In the result, the writ petition succeeds and is allowed.
It is thus directed that if the petitioner files a representation with regard to her claim for grant of family pension along with a certified copy of this order before the respondent no.3, Joint Director of Educatyion, Jhansi Region, Jhansi, the same shall be considered and decided in the light of the observations made above, within two months from the date of filing of the representation.
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