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No pension benefits for part-time lecturers

mumbai Updated: Mar 03, 2011 01:44 IST
Urvi Mahajani

A part-time lecturer cannot be given a pension because they have the option of taking up another assignment while continuing to give lectures.

This was the judgement held by the Bombay high court while rejecting a petition filed by a retired part-time lecturer with ILA Law College in Pune. A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Amjad Sayed observed: “A part-time lecturer is not prohibited from taking other assignment.”

Advocate Laxmi Paranjpe, after serving as a part-time lecturer for 27 years, filed a petition challenging the government’s decision of not extending pensionary benefits to part-time lecturers saying that the same was arbitrary, illegal and violated Articles 14 [equality before law] and 16 [equality of opportunity in matters of public employment] of the Constitution of India.

Paranjpe was appointed as a part-time lecturer on June 20, 1983, with the IL Law College, which is affiliated with the University of Pune.

Paranjpe’s advocate, Girish Godbole, argued that when permanent part-time teachers have a schedule similar to full-time lecturers and when the part-time lecturers are entitled to the benefit of the career advancement scheme from lecturer to senior scale lecturer, selection grade lecturer, reader and professor, there is no reason why they should not be given proportionate pension on retirement.

Godbole argued that a government resolution dated September 7, 2001, extended all other benefits available to full-time employees to part-time employees.

Government pleader, VS Gokhale said Paranjpe was entitled to practise as an advocate also while a regular full-time lecturer in not.

If an advocate enrolled with the bar council of Maharashtra and Goa is appointed as a full-time lecturer then he/she has to surrender the licence.

The court said there is reasonable classification in the matter of pension between regular and part-time lecturers. “Simply because some additional benefits are given to part-time lecturers such as benefits of career advancement scheme and selection grade, that ipso facto cannot be a ground for coming to the conclusion that denying the pension is violative of Article 16 of the Constitution of India,” observed the court.