Published on: September 22, 2022 at 21:14 IST
When Pension Rules are capable of more interpretations than one, the courts should lean towards that interpretation which goes in favor of the employees, the Supreme Court observed in a recent judgment.
In this case, the issue raised in the writ petition filed before the Rajasthan High Court was whether service rendered by the writ petitioner prior to resignation from the Rajasthan State Agro Industry Corporation, should be counted for the purpose of pension.
The writ petition was disposed of with a direction to count the earlier period of service rendered by the writ petitioner with the Rajasthan Agriculture Engineering Board and the Rajasthan State Agro Industry Corporation to compute has total pensionable service and release his pension and retiral benefits including arrears of pension with interest @ 9% p.a. within a period of three months.
The writ petition filed by the State was dismissed by the division bench of the high court.
The state, through Senior Advocate Dr. Manish Singhvi, contended in the appeal that the high court had misconducted Rule 25(2) of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1996. It was contended that resignation entails forfeiture of past services with the Rajasthan State Agro Industry Corporation, for the purpose of pension.
Advocate Archana Pathak Dave, who appeared for the respondent, supported the impugned judgment.
While dismissing the SLP, the bench observed:
“Pension, is a lifelong benefit. Denial of pension is a continuing wrong. This court cannot also be oblivious to the difficulties of a retired employee in approaching the court, which could include financial constraints-financial rules framed by the government such as pension rules are capable of more interpretations than one, the courts should lean towards that interpretation ethic goes in favor of the employees.”