Pension is a continuous cause of action: Supreme Court

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The Supreme court stated that the pension is a continuous cause of action. 

Background 

The appellant – original writ petitioner of writ petition and others filed the writ petitions before the High Court challenging the action of the respondents in superannuating/retiring them at the age of 58 years. According to them, the retirement age was 60 years. By the impugned judgment and order, the High Court has held that the retirement age of the respective original writ petitioners was 60 years and they were wrongly superannuated/retired at the age of 58 years. However, as the respective writ petitioners approached the High Court belatedly, the High Court has held that none of the writ petitioners shall be entitled to any salary/back wages for the period of two extra years they would have got in service. The High Court has also observed that though the writ petitioners would be entitled to the pension on the basis that they continued in service until they attain the age of 60 years, they would not be entitled to any arrears of pension and the pension at the revised rates will become payable only from 1st January, 2020

Court observation 

The division bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna observed that even by the impugned judgment and order, the High Court has held that action of the State Government in requiring the original petitioners to retire at the age of 58 years or not permitting them to continue in their service upto the age of 60 years is illegal and null and void. 

The court viewed that the High Court has erred in observing that the appellant will not be entitled to any arrears of pension and the pension at the revised rates will become payable only from 1 st January, 2020. 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. 

The court said that 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. Under the circumstances, the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is required to be modified to the aforesaid extent. 

The court quashed and set aside the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court to the extent of denying any arrears of pension and holding that the appellant shall be entitled to the pension at the revised rates only from 1st January, 2020.   

The court held and ordered that the appellant original writ petitioner shall be entitled to pension at the revised rates from the date he attains the age of 60 years. 

Case title: Shri M.L. Patil (Dead) Through LRs v/s The State of Goa and Anr.

Citation: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4100 OF 2022

Click here to read the Order/Judgment

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