BRAHMA SINGH Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(SC)-2020-2-8
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 05,2020

BRAHMA SINGH Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

RAJKUMAR ADLAKHA VS. CANTONMENT BOARD LANDOUR [LAWS(UTN)-2022-6-20] [REFERRED TO]
ASSOCIATION OF MD PHYSICIANS VS. NATIONAL BOARD OF EXAMINATION [LAWS(DLH)-2022-5-132] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

DEEPAK GUPTA,J. - (1.)The short issue involved in this case is whether the service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and Supreme Court Legal Services Committee prior to the promulgation of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules, 2000 is to be counted while calculating their qualifying service for determination of pension.
(2.)The petitioners are serving and retired employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee in various capacities. They claim that the entire service rendered by them should be treated as qualifying service for the purpose of fixing the retiral benefits. The respondent no.1Union of India has rejected their claim on 11.09.2017 and 08.12.2017, leading to the filing of this petition. The case of the petitioners is that their claim is squarely covered by the judgment already rendered in their favour in Writ Petition (Civil) No.267 of 2008 wherein considering the effect of the Rules which are now under consideration, their entire service was taken into consideration for fixing the pay and allowances and they were given complete benefit of Rule 6 of The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules,2000. According to the Union of India, the benefit can be given only from the date of promulgation of the Rules and not prior to that. Some of the petitioners joined in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee as far back as in 1981 and the service not taken into consideration is more than 18 years and 8 months.
(3.)The Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee was constituted by the Ministry of Law & Justice under executive instructions on 10.07.1981. Para 7 of the said instructions provides that the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee shall be entitled to make necessary arrangements for staff and other facilities necessary for the discharge of its functions. These instructions were issued with the concurrence of the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure. Therefore, the posts were sanctioned posts though no rules were framed for filling up the same. Pursuant to these instructions, the petitioners were appointed in different capacities in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee. In 1987, the Parliament enacted the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. The National Legal Services Authority was constituted under Section 3. Subsection (5) and (6) of Section 3 provide that the Central Authority can appoint officers and other employees. The appointment of such employees and their pay and allowances are to be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. Section 3A of the Legal Services Authorities Act provides for the constitution of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and subsection (5) and (6) are identical to subsection (5) and (6) of Section 3. Rule 9 of The National Legal Services Authority Rules, 1995 provides that the conditions of service and salary and allowances of officers and other employees of the Central Authority shall be at par with the Central Government employees holding equivalent posts and it further provides that in all matters like age of retirement, pay and allowances, the rules applicable to the employees of the Central Government shall also apply to the employees of the Central Authority. The Central Authority framed the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Regulations, 1996 and Regulations 3(1) and 3(2) thereof read as follows;
"3. General effect of vesting. ­ On and from the date of commencement of these regulations, (1)All the assets, liabilities, rights, title and interest of the erstwhile Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee stand transferred to, and vest in, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee;

3(2) The staff, who have been serving under the erstwhile Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee shall be deemed to be working for the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee;

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