Vinod Kanjibhai Bhagora vs State of Gujarat 2024 INSC 100 :: [2024] 2 S.C.R. 155 – Gujarat Civil Services (Pension) Rules

Pension – Pension is earned by a government servant in lieu of tireless service rendered by him / her (as the case may be) during the course of their employment; and often is an important consideration for person(s) seeking government employment -Raison d’etre qua the grant of pension by the State Government would inextricably be linked to a concentrated effort by the State Government to enable its former employee(s) to tide over the vagaries and vicissitudes associated with old age vide a pension scheme. Pension scheme(s) floated by the State Government form a part of delegated beneficial legislation; and ought to be interpreted widely subject to such interpretation not running contrary to the express provisions of the Pension Rules1 . Furthermore, it would be relevant to underscore that the State Government is a model employer; and ought to uphold principles of fairness and clarity. (Para 10, 17)

Gujarat Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 2022 ; Rule 25(ix)- Qualifying service for the purpose of calculating terminal benefits / pensionary benefits under the Pension Rules would include prior services rendered by such an person under inter alia the Central Government provided that (i) the employment of such person under the Central Government encompassed an underlying pension scheme; and (ii) such person came to be absorbed by the State Government – whether the Appellants’ subsequent employment with the State Government could be construed to mean that the Appellant had been ‘absorbed’ by the State Government, such that the Appellants’ prior service with the Central Government would be considered as a part of ‘qualifying service’in terms of Rule 25(ix) of the Pension Rules -the interpretation sought to be advanced by respondent is narrow and restrictive so as to limit the benefit of Rule 25(ix) of the Pension Rules only to such person(s) who may have explicitly been absorbed by the State Government as against persons such as the Appellant herein who has most certainly, implicitly been absorbed by the State Government i.e., the Appellants’ participation in the selection process was prefaced by an NOC from the Central Government; and subsequently was followed by the tender of a technical resignation to the Central Government upon securing employment with the State Government. Pertinently, neither can the aforementioned interpretation sought to be advance on behalf of Respondent No. 1 be said to be echoed by any express provision of the Pension Rules nor has any convincing rationale to adopt such an interpretation, been placed before us. (Para 12-20)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *