The Himachal Pradesh High Court ruled that the State Government cannot withhold the pensionary and allied benefits for an indefinite period on the pretext of financial constraints.

The Court held thus when an employee approached the Court against the State Government for partial payments of pensionary and allied benefits after the same became due when the rules were revised.

The bench of Justice Satyen Vaidya considered whether the pensionary benefits can be withheld by the State Government for an indeterminate period on the pretext of lack of resources and observed, that “once legal vested right accrues to a serving or retired government employee, the same cannot be denied or withheld for an indefinite period.”

Advocate Anita appeared for the Appellant and AAG Y.P.S. Dhaulta appeared for the Respondent.

Brief Facts-

The Petitioner, Suneet Singh Jaryal, retired as Superintendent Grade-II from Government Senior Secondary School Barour, Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh. Government, H.P. notified Himachal Pradesh Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2022 revising pay along with a memorandum whereby Rules regulating pension, retirements/death/Service Gratuity and Family Pension under the C.C.S.(Pension) Rules 1972 and the Commutation of Pension under the CCS (Commutation of Pension) Rules, 1981, were revised/modified.

Admittedly, the Petitioner became entitled to the benefit of revision of pay and for revised gratuity, leave encashment and commutation on pensionary benefit as per the said rules and memorandum.

However, he was paid only a partial amount of the amount due to him.

Hence, he approached the Court with this Writ Petition for direction to the concerned authorities.

The Court noted that respondents did not deny the claim of the petitioner. However, financial constraints and lack of resources were put up as defence for non payment of the amount due to the petitioner.

The Court further observed, “Once, the government has announced the grant of aforesaid benefits to its employees, the same can neither be subsequently denied nor delayed for indeterminate period more particularly on the pretext of financial constraints. The State Government is under legal obligation to fulfil its promise.”

The Court relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank Limited vs. Registrar Cooperative Societies and others, (2022)4 SCC 363 and quoted, “…non availability of financial resources would not be a defence available to the appellant Bank in taking away the vested rights accrued to the employees that too when it is for their socio economic security.”

The Court directed the Government to pay the balance due to the Petitioner.

Accordingly, the petition was dispose of.

Cause Title: Suneet Singh Jaryal v. State of H.P.


Appellant: Adv. Anita, Adv. Aashima Premy

Respondent: AAG Y. P. S. Dhaulta, AAG Mohinder Zharaick, AAG Aman Deep Sharma and AAG L.N. Sharma

Click here to read/download Judgment