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Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, August 16, 2013
In a relief to thousands of Punjab government employees retired between January 1, 2006 and November 30, 2011, the Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that if they had rendered a minimum qualifying service of 25 years, they are eligible for full pension equal to 50% of emoluments or average emoluments received during the last 10 months.

The order came from the court headed by justice Augustine George Masih on Friday while pronouncing the judgment allowing a bunch of 65 petitions filed by hundreds of employees retired from various state government departments. However, the court is yet to release a detailed judgment.

The petitioners had challenged the Punjab government's circular issued on December 5, 2011. According to the circular, once a government employee has completed 25 years of service, he will be entitled to pension equal to 50% of emoluments or average emoluments received during the last 10 months, whichever is beneficial to him/her. But the circular had come into force from December 1, 2011.

The petitioners had contended that once the state government had implemented recommendations of the 5th Pay Commission from January 1, 2006, there was no reason or justification in implementing the recommendations relating to grant of pension with effect from December 1, 2011, instead of January 1, 2006.

The court was informed that on January 1, 2006, petitioners were in service and were provided the revised pay scale in pursuance to the notification issued on May 27, 2009.
5th Pay Commission
The state government had constituted the 5th Pay Commission for revision of pay scales and pensionary benefits of government employees. Its recommendations were accepted by the state government with effect from January 1, 2006, and thus Punjab Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2009, were notified on May 27, 2009.

It was recommended by the 5th Pay Commission that the linkage of full pension with qualifying service of 33 years, as per the 4th Pay Commission, be dispensed with and the state government employees would be eligible for full pension after 25 years' service.