Court directs to give twelve weeks in order to prove the claims for pro-rata pension eligibility: Delhi High Court

Pro-rata pension system has to be subjected to 15 years of services in the Air Force. If otherwise, exceptions are proven, then a lower set of time period can be considered only upon proving of such exception. The above has been observed in a recent matter in Delhi High Court. The matter was heard in Nemai Chand Ghose v. Union of India Ministry Defence Through its Secretary 7 Anr. [W.P. (C) 4976/2021]. The Proceedings for the same were held on September 13th, 2021, which was presided by a division bench, consisting of Justice Manmohan and Justice Naveen Chawla.

The facts of the case are that the petitioners have filed the suit in lieu of availing pro-rata pension, as per Pension Regulations of the Air Force, 1961. As per Regulation 11 of Pension Regulations of the Air Force, 1961, minimum regular qualifying service to earn Service Pension is 15 years.

It was contended by the respondents that taking into consideration the regulation 121, the petitioners haven’t duly met the guidelines and requirements to the same. It was alleged that the petitioners only had the rendered qualifying services for 11 years and 133 days.

It was further stated by the respondents that the said petitioners were, however, eligible for Service Gratuity and Death cum Retirement Gratuity (DCRG) in terms of Pension Regulations 127 that has already been paid as a result of discharge of the petitioner’s services.

However, the petitioners still based its claim by citing precedents in n Brijlal Kumar and ors. v. Union of India [2020 SCC OnLine Del 1477] and Govind Kumar Srivastava v. Union of India [2019 SCC OnLine Del 6425 (DB)].

 The court, after due consideration of the arguments, facts and evidences, held that if within the twelve weeks of the order, if the petitioner reliable claims made by the virtue of above precedents could be proven, then the respondents have to be adhered to the payment of pro-rata pension. Further, it was also opined that if there arises any such situation wherein Respondents are in need of certain documents to corroborate the claim, then such documents shall be subjected to be furnished by the petitioner within a week. In its last remarks, the court held that in case, “if the arrears of pro rata pension are not paid within twelve weeks, the same shall also incur interest thereon @ 7% per annum from the expiry of twelve weeks till the date of payment.

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Judgment Reviewed by Lakshya Sharma

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