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A minimum of 20 years of qualifying service is required for retiring pension : Delhi High Court

A government servant is not entitled to retiring pension on completion of less than 20 years of service. This was held in the judgment passed by a single judge bench comprising HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V. KAMESWAR RAO, in the matter DR. MUHAMMAD ABULAISH v. JAMIA MILIA ISLAMIA UNIVERSITY [W.P.(C) 10222/2021 & CM No. 31509/2021], dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed a petition challenging the rejection of his application / notice for voluntary retirement, with a consequential prayer that he be granted the retiral benefits.

Counsel on behalf of the petitioner is that the petitioner joined the respondent University on January 06, 2004 pursuant to an appointment letter issued on December 26, 2003. At the time of joining, the age of the petitioner was 32 years, 5 months and 2 days as his date of birth is August 04, 1971.

The petitioner served a notice of three months seeking voluntary retirement on the respondent University. According to Mr. Chandra Shekhar, on the said date, the petitioner had, in all, put in 17 years, 7 months and 26 days of service. The said request of the petitioner was turned down by the respondent University vide the impugned communication dated June 21, 2021 on the ground that the request of the petitioner was examined under Rule 48(A) of CCS Pension Rules 1972.

The petitioner did not fulfil the criteria of having qualifying service. It is stated by Mr. Chandra Shekhar that on June 28, 2021, the petitioner gave a representation adverting to the fact that the petitioner did not seek voluntary retirement under Rule 48(A) of the Pension Rules, as, the contents of the petitioner’s letter dated June clearly discloses that he sought voluntary retirement under Rule 56(k) of the Fundamental Rules and on that basis, he sought reconsideration of the respondent’s decision.

Counsel for the respondent that the proviso appended to Rule 56(k) of the FR that the petitioner having served South Asian University, New Delhi, his request could not have been considered till such time, he does not serve for a period of one year, is also unsustainable as the South Asian University is not a Foreign Government for this stipulation to be made applicable.

It is not the case of the University that the petitioner was under suspension or departmental proceedings are pending against the petitioner for refusal to accept the request of the petitioner for voluntary retirement. Rather the case of the respondent University is that, he has not completed 15 years of qualifying service for being granted the voluntary retirement. Suffice to state there is no requirement in FR 56(k) for a government servant to have 15 years of qualifying service for getting voluntary retirement.

After hearing both the parties The Hon’ble Delhi High Court dismissed the petition even if the petitioner has 15 years of service, that would only enable him to apply for voluntary retirement but he shall not be entitled to retiring pension for which he must have 20 years of qualifying service, which he does not have, as it is the own case of the petitioner that he has only put in 17 years, 7 months and 26 days.

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Judgement reviewed by – Vaishnavi Raman

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