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Service rendered by a daily wage employee does not qualify for pension: Patna High Court

A daily wage worker who works for the state government in any capacity rendering any service is not eligible for pension since such a service id deemed as a non-pensionable service. Moreover, the pension scheme,2005 governs all matters related to pension for appointments made after 1.09.2005. This was decreed by Honourable Mr. Justice Mohit Kumar Shah in the case of Ram Ekbal Mahto Vs. The state of Bihar through its secretary, Water resources department and Ors. [Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No. 86 of 2019] on the 09th of July 2021 before the Hon’ble High Court at Patna.

The brief facts of the case are, petitioner was a daily wage pump operator from 02.04.1981 to 30.09.1996. He was terminated from his services and was reinstated by an order dated 12.09.2009 issued by the Chief Engineer, Water Resources Department, whereupon the petitioner had joined his services on 15.09.2009 and ultimately, he superannuated from his services on 31.12.2017. On account of his non-completion of 10 years of service, the state had denied him his pension. The present writ petition has been filed for considering the case of the petitioner as a special case for grant of pensionary benefits taking into account his long tenure as a daily wage worker from 02.04.1981 to 30.09.1996.

The counsel for the petitioner submits that the court must consider the time period from 1981 to 1996 where he worked for the same body as a daily wage worker and allot him his pension on sympathy grounds. However, the counsel for the respondent state argued that, that the petitioner had joined the regular establishment on 15.09.2009 and as per the letter of the Finance Department dated 31.08.2005, an employee, who has joined the services of the Government of Bihar on or after 01.09.2005, shall be governed by the new pension scheme, 2005 and would not be covered by the Bihar Pension Rules, 1950. It was also submitted that asper the new pension scheme, the petitioner has been paid of his benefits. The learned counsel for the respondent-State has also referred to the letter of appointment of the petitioner dated 12.09.2009, which stipulates that firstly, the period pertaining to the petitioner having worked as a daily wager in the past shall not be considered as service rendered under the State Government for any purposes and secondly, the petitioner would be amenable to the new pension scheme, notified by the State Government on 01.09.2005.

The learned judge heard the contentions of both the parties and  observed that the service rendered by a daily wage employee is not a pensionable service and relied on the judgement decreed in The State of Bihar & Another vs. Bhagwan Singh (since dead), reported in 2014 (4) PLJR 229, wherein, “Keeping in view the above provisions, we are of the opinion that the service rendered by the petitioner as daily wage Choukidar under the Executive Engineer, Tubewell Division, Gaya cannot be said to be a service for which the petitioner was paid from the general revenue of the State Government or the service rendered on a substantive post in a permanent establishment. Such service, although was followed by absorption on regular establishment, will not qualify for pension. Therefore, the service rendered by the petitioner, as daily wage employee from April 1973 to December 1978, was not a pensionable service or did not qualify for pension. On his retirement from service or his superannuation from service, he would be entitled to pension for the service rendered on a substantive post from 1st January 1979 till the date he retired from service.”

Applying this rationale to the present case in accordance with the appointment letter, the court ruled that the petitioner is not entitled to any benefits and dismissed the petition.

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