Old Pension Scheme Cannot Be Applied To Grant Family Pension When Deceased Was Covered Under New Pension Policy - SC
A two-judge Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna has held, "...the husband of respondent 1 was governed by the New Contributory Pension under which there is no provision for the pension/family pension. Therefore, the High Court has committed a grave error in directing the appellant to pay the family pension to respondent No. 1 applying the Old Pension Rules, which were appliable prior to 31.08.2005."
The Court also noted that no government employee who was appointed after 31st August 2005 shall be entitled to any benefit except under the Bihar Government Servant Contributory Pension Scheme, 2002.
In this case, the husband of the Respondent joined the Bihar Research Society which was later on taken over by the Government of Bihar. The old Bihar pension rules, 1950 were abolished and replaced by the new Bihar Government Servant Contributory Pension Scheme,2005; According to which all the employees appointed after 31st August 2005 shall be governed by the new contributory pension scheme and shall not be entitled to pension/Family Pension.
After the death of the husband, the respondent filed a writ petition before the Patna High Court praying for a family pension and retiral benefits. The Single Judge allowed the petition and directed the state to be the family pension. Following this, an appeal was made by the State in the High Court which was subsequently dismissed by the Court.
This case was an appeal by the State against the order of the High Court.
The Supreme Court opined that the husband of the Respondent came to be absorbed in the Government Service in the year 2014, By which time the new Contributory Pension Scheme was in existence, which has no provisions for family pension for Government Employees appointed after 31.08.2005.
It stated that " As per the corrigendum issued in the appointment order and as per clause 6, the prior service rendered by the concerned employee prior to his absorption should not be treated as government service. Therefore the husband of the respondent number one can be said to be government servant and government service from 02.03.2009 only. Therefore, the husband of the respondent was governed by the New Contributor Pension Scheme under which there is no provision for the pension/ family pension."
The Supreme Court thus allowed the appeal and quashed and set aside the order by the High Court.