PARAMJEET SINGH Vs. STATE OF H. P.
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
STATE OF H. P.
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Ajay Mohan Goel,J. -
(1.) As common issues of law and fact are involved in all these petitions, the same are being disposed by a common judgment.
(2.) Petitioner(S) before this Court are employees of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, who superannuated from service on or after 15.05.2003. The Finance Pension Department of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, vide Office Memorandum dated 18.09.2017, on the subject "Extension of benefits of 'Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity' to the Himachal Pradesh Government employees covered by New Defined Contributory Pension Scheme (known as NPS), issued instructions to the effect that employees of Government of Himachal Pradesh, who joined service in government departments on regular basis on or after 15.03.2003, are covered by the non-defined Contributory Pension Scheme, notified by the State Government, vide Notification No. Fin (Pen) A (3)-1/96, dated 17.08.2006 readwith Notification No.Fin (Pen) A (3) 1/96 dated 15.5.2003. However, this Office Memorandum was to take effect from the date of publication in the 'Rajpatra'. The grievance of the petitioners is that as they stood retired before the publication of the said Office Memorandum in the 'Rajpatra', the benefit of this Office Memorandum has not been granted to them. It is in this background that they approached this Court inter alia praying for the reliefs that the respondents be directed to pay gratuity to the petitioners also.
(3.) During the pendency of these petitions, the Finance Pension Department of the Government of Himachal Pradesh has issued another Office Memorandum dated 08.01.2021, which reads as under:-
"Subject:- Extension of benefits of 'Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity' to the Himachal Pradesh Government employees covered by New Defined Contributory Pension Scheme (known as NPS).
1. The undersigned is directed to say that the benefit of Retiral Gratuity and Death Gratuity was extended to regular Government employees appointed on or after 15.05.2003 and governed by the New Defined Contributory Pension Scheme vide Office Memorandum No. Fin (Pen) A(3)-1/96 dated 18th September, 2017 from prospective effect i.e. from the date of publication of said instructions in the Rajpatra. The instructions dated 18th September, 2017 above, were published in the Govt. Rajpatra on 22.9.2017, therefore, these instructions were applicable w.e.f. 22.9.2017.
2. The matter for grant of benefit of Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity to regular Govt. employees who were/are covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS) and who have retired/died in harness between the period w.e.f. 15.05.2003 to 21.09.2017 was under active consideration of the Government for some time past.
3. Now, after careful consideration of the matter, the State Government, in partial modification of Para-5 of Office Memorandum No.Fin (Pen) A(3)- 1/96, dated 18th September, 2017 has decided that these instructions shall be applicable retrospectively w.e.f. 15.05.2003 to regular employees governed by New Defined Contributory Pension Scheme (i.e. New Pension Scheme).
4. The clarification, earlier, issued on the subject matter vide this department letter No. Fin (Pen) A (3)-1/2019 dated 15th October, 2019 shall stand withdrawn from the date of its issuance".
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