The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ordered the release of pensionary benefits for an employee, terming the recovery of pension/gratuity illegal since the competent authority had not taken any steps to abolish the post the employee held upon attaining the age of superannuation.

Pointing out the ‘unblemished career’ of two decades, the Bench held that the petitioner was entitled to receive a pension for the post that he held last at the time of attaining his superannuation.

A Single Bench of Justice M. A. Chowdhary observed, “The Respondents seem to have slept over the matter for a period of more than two decades and had taken services of the Petitioner as Sanitary Inspector and, now, they cannot be permitted to take a U-turn by saying that the post held by the Petitioner was not sanctioned by the competent authority, as such, the Petitioner was not entitled to receive pension for the post of Sanitary Inspector, lastly held by him for over 20 years.

Advocate Areeb Javed Kawoosa represented the petitioner, while DSGI Tahir Majid Shamsi appeared for the respondents.

A Sanitary Inspector (petitioner) in the army was denied pension after having served in the post for the last twenty years with the further direction of review of his DPC and recovery from the pension/gratuity.

The competent authority had argued that the post held by the petitioner was not sanctioned by them and therefore, he was not entitled to receive a pension for the said post.

However, the High Court explained that the post at which the petitioner had superannuated was not abolished by the competent authority at any point. “The Respondents, though claim that the post of Sanitary Inspector had not been sanctioned by the competent authority, however, they had not taken any steps for abolition of the said post at any stage before the Petitioner attained the age of superannuation while holding that post, the Court remarked.

The Court also took note of a parallel case of another retired Sanitary Inspector who received pensionary benefits without hindrance and stated, “The Petitioner, on this ground and with a view to maintain parity in terms of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, also deserves to be given the same treatment that had been given to the other similarly situated employee.

Consequently, the court held that “the impugned communications made by the Respondents against the interests of the Petitioner for conducting of review of the DPC, so as to revert his position and also to recover the payment of pension/ gratuity, are not sustainable in the eyes of law, being wrong, illegal and arbitrary in nature.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Mohammad Shafi v. Union of India & Ors.


Petitioner: Advocate Areeb Javed Kawoosa

Respondents: DSGI Tahir Majid Shamsi

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