Continuous Cause Of Action: Claim For Pension Cannot Be Denied On The Ground Of Delay: Supreme Court
A Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna has quashed a Judgment of the Bombay High Court to the extent the High Court refused arrears of pension to the Petitioner on the ground of delay in approaching the Court.
The Appellant had approached the Bombay High Court claiming that he ought to have been superannuated at the age of 60 instead of 58. Though the High Court accepted that the Appellant was entitled to continue in service till the age of 60, the Court held that he is not entitled to arrears of salary or pension since there was a delay in approaching the Court.
Advocate Rahul Gupta appeared for the Appellant while Advocate Ravindra Lokhande appeared for the Respondent State of Goa.
The Supreme Court held that the High Court erred in holding that the Appellant is not entitled to arrears of pension and that the pension at the revised rates will become payable only from January 1, 2020.
The Court held that "As such, the High Court may be right and/or justified in denying any salary for the period of two extra years to the writ petitioners if they would have continued in service, on the ground of delay. However, as far as the pension is concerned, it is a continuous cause of action. There is no justification at all for denying the arrears of pension as if they would have been retired/superannuated at the age of 60 years. There is no justification at all by the High Court to deny the pension at the revised rates and payable only from 1st January, 2020."
Accordingly, the Court set aside the impugned judgement of the High Court to the extent of denying any arrears of pension and to the extent of holding that the Appellant is entitled to the pension at the revised rates only from January 1, 2020, and held that the Appellant is entitled to a pension at the revised rates from the date he attains the age of 60 years.