No Error In Impugned Order: SC Upholds Fixation Of Pension In Revised Scale Of Pay Of A Selection Grade Lecturer
The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Indira Banerjee and J. K. Maheshwari recently upheld the judgment delivered by the Single Judge of the Kerala High Court regarding the computation of pension of a selection grade lecturer on availing voluntary retirement.
The facts that gave rise to the issue were that the Respondent had retired as a selection grade Lecturer on availing voluntary retirement from 31st July 2006 and the pension was fixed at the scale of Rs. 8907 per month. In the verification report, the basic pension was erroneously shown as Rs. 7138 per month. After that, on revision, it was enhanced to Rs. 11,127 and was made effective from 1st January 2006. This fixation was challenged in the High Court and a judgment in 2013 held that the fixation of pension at Rs. 7138 was erroneous and his pension of Rs. 8907 ought to have been taken into account at the time of revision of pay and pension. This judgment of the High Court was not challenged and it attained finality.
A prayer was made in 2016 to the High Court to fix the pension at Rs. 8907 in pre-revised and Rs. 19333 as per revision of pay and pension of the Appellant. The single judge of the High Court has taken note of the fact that the last pay drawn was Rs. 46400 and according to the same, his pension in the revised scale had been rightly fixed at Rs. 19333 on account of completing the qualifying service by her. The High Court found that the fixation made at Rs. 7138 in pre-revised scale and Rs. 11127 in revised scale was found erroneous by the High Court. However, as per the direction of the High Court, fixation had rightly been proposed by the office of the Accountant General on completion of the qualifying service by her.
The State filed a Writ Appeal before the Division Bench but the Bench declined to interfere with the order of the Single Judge.
The Counsel for the State of Kerala contended that as per the circular it was clarified that for computing the 10 months emoluments for the purpose of average emoluments in respect of employees who retired from service on or after 1st January 2006, the average emoluments were required to be counted.
The Counsel for the Respondent argued that the Accountant General has rightly made the fixation of the pension in the pre-revised and revised scales of pay, relying upon the circulars and the order of the High Court passed earlier. Therefore, the order impugned has rightly been passed by the High Court, which does not warrant interference.
The Bench while dismissing the petition observed that, for computing 10 months emoluments for the purpose of average emoluments in respect of an employee, who retired from service on or after 1.1.2006 and who during part 10 months draws pay in the pre-revised scale, their pay in the prerevised scale may be enhanced notionally to the initial pay drawn in the revised scale, which came into force w.e.f. 1.1.2006."
The Court also observed, "..part of 10 months would not mean the past 10 months and if the employee had remained on leave without allowances, even their calculation as per the last pay drawn had rightly been made by the office of Accountant General as referred by learned Single Judge as well as the Division Bench in the orders impugned."