Decided on April 08,2003

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.) The two petitioners herein retired from service of the Hindustan News Print at a time when they were working as Senior Managers in the Civil and ENNT departments respectively. It was the Employees' Family Pension Scheme 1971 that was applicable to the petitioners until the new Pension Scheme of 1995 came into vogue with effect from 16/11/1995. The two petitioners had put in only less than 17 and 18 years service respectively at the time retirement in 1999 and 2002 respectively. They are aggrieved that their pensionable service was taken as only 4 years and 5 years respectively and that the pension sanctioned to them are too inadequate.
(2.) Mr. B.Gopakumar who appeared for the petitioners, submitted that the orders sanctioning pension served on the petitioners do not disclose the manner in which the pension amounts were arrived at and that there is obvious error committed by the authority in calculating the pension due to the petitioners. Reference was also made during arguments to the definitions given in the Pension Scheme with regard to 'Pensionalble service' and also to the manner in which pension should be calculated as envisaged in paras-11 and 12 of the Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995. The sum and substance of his arguments is that instead of para 12(5), Para 12(1) and 12(2) should be applied for fixing pension. Note XI, IXV and grounds F J, K etc of the O.P. refers to a third petitioner. The original petition actually is filed by only two petitioners and there is no plea in the Original Petition with regard to the exact amount of pension allowed to petitioners 1 and 2. As regards the 1st petitioner reliance is placed on Ext.P1. That is an incomplete document and it contains no mention of the pension allowed to that petitioner. Thus the pleadings and Exhibits available keeps the court in the dark as to the exact pension amount allowed to the first petitioner. As regards the 2nd petitioner also there is no plea regarding the pension allowed, but Ext.P2 shows that the monthly pension allowed is Rs. 1,698/- and the reduced monthly pension itself is Rs. 1,528/-. Thus the original petition does not contain in any plea with regard to the precise amount claimed as admissible to either of the petitioners. The available pleadings only show that the petitioners are dissatisfied with amounts arrived at based on para 12(5) and they want para 12(1) and 12(2) to be applied instead.
(3.) The learned Standing Counsel for the respondents Mr.Gopakumaran Nair submitted that since the Scheme of 1995 substituted the earlier Scheme of 1971 separate provisions are available in the new Scheme with regard to the persons who have joined service after 16/11/1995 and with regard to the person who were already serving as on the said date. According to him para 12(5) alone applies to the petitioners herein and the pension allowed to them is based on correct calculation. What arises for consideration, in the circumstances, is whether the petitioners are entitled to have a reclaculation of pension applying paras 12(1) and 12(2). Paras 12(1), 12(2) and 12(4) of the scheme reads as follows 12. Monthly Member's Pension :- (1) A member shall be entitled to (a) superannuation pension, if he has rendered eligible service of 20 years or more and retires on attaining the age of 58 years; (b) retirement pension, if he has rendered eligible service of 20 years or more and retires or otherwise ceases to be in the employment before attaining the age of 58 years; (c) short service pension, If he has rendered eligible service of 10 years or more but less than 20 years. (2) In the case of a new entrant the amount of monthly superannuation pension or retiring pension, as the case may be, shall be computed in accordance with the following factors, namely; Monthly member's pension Pensionable salary x Pensionable service (4) In the case of employee (who was a member of the ceased Family Pension Scheme, 1971) and has attained the age of 48 years but less than 53 years on the 16th November, 1995, the superannuation/retirement pension shall be equal to the aggregate of: (a) pension as determined under sub-paragraph (2) for the period of service rendered from the 16th November, 1995 or Rs. 438 per month whichever is more. (b) past service benefit as provided in sub-paragraph (3) subject to a minimum of Rs. 600 per month provided the past service is 24 years. Provided further that if it is less than 24 years the pension payable and the past service benefits taken together shall be proportionately less subject to the minimum of Rs. 325 per month.;

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