In a major ruling, the Central Administrative Tribunal has said that the government cannot deny pension to an employee who resigned from one job just short of the service period required to qualify for benefits and did not join another government service.
“The object of pension scheme is to provide social security to those who serve the government by way of pension, but not to deny the same even to a dismissed, removed or compulsorily retired government servant,” Central Administrative Tribunal member Ajay Kumar said.
The tribunal said this while deciding in favour of one Amar Singh, a retired army personnel who had challenged the Delhi government’s order rejecting his requests for pension.
After serving in the Army Medical Corps as Naik, Singh retired on March 24, 1986. On March 22, 1988 he joined as a laboratory technician in government-run Aruna Asaf Ali hospital against a vacancy reserved for ex-serviceman.
After serving there for eighteen years, four months and nine days, he resigned on July 1, 2006, stating that he intends to dedicate himself fully to the spiritual service of society.
He submitted that his repeated requests for pension and gratuity were denied by the hospital which said he had not completed required service of 20 years to qualify for the benefits.
Later, the authorities concerned told him that his case was referred to the Finance (Accounts) Department of Delhi government which had clarified that he is not entitled to any post-retirement benefit as he had resigned from his post unconditionally and not to take up employment in another government entity.
To deny him pension, the government quoted a pension rule to say there was provision only to provide benefit of past service to those who take up another employment under the government after resigning the earlier service.
The tribunal, however, rejected the contention of the Delhi government and said, “a comprehensive reading of the entire pension scheme clearly establishes that it is a beneficial legislation”.
It directed the secretary, health ministry of Delhi government to give all monetary benefits with arrears to Amar Singh within 60 days.