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If service of an employee at his superannuation is less than ten years, then previous temporary or officiating service needed to be counted for qualifying service for pension: Bombay High Court

A decision that for condoning the interruption in service, the total service pensionary benefit in respect of which will lost should not be less than five years duration, excluding one or two interruptions was pronounced by the Bombay High Court through the bench of Justices  R.D. Dhanuka and S.G. Mehare in the case of Muktabai v. State of Maharashtra (WRIT PETITION NO.12629 OF 2018).

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The petitioners were permanent instructors in the Municipal Corporation. However, prior to a permanent appointment, there were gaps in their service beginning with their initial temporary assignments.

The Maharashtra Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1982 were made applicable to Aurangabad Municipal Corporation employees. It was highlighted that 10 years of qualifying service is required for pension eligibility under Rule 30 of the Pension Rules. When an employee retires on superannuation, is adjudged permanently disabled for further duty, or voluntarily retires after twenty years of employment, his or her service is regarded as a qualifying service for pension purposes. At the time of retirement, the employee must be in a substantively permanent position.

The appointing authority has the discretionary authority to excuse the interruption in service provided that the interruptions were caused by circumstances beyond the Government servant’s control.

According to the pension system, if an employee in substantive service has fewer than ten years of service, his preceding temporary or officiating duty is credited toward fulfilling the necessary ten years of service, subject to other restrictions and his personal service record.

JUDGEMENT:

The High Court ruled that if an employee’s service at his superannuation is less than ten years, the prior temporary or officiating duty must be considered toward the qualifying service for pension.

The purpose of condoning interruptions in service, according to the Bench, is to make an employee eligible for the pension by adding the days of his service, not to increase the pension, because the pension is to be calculated and paid on the basis of the last salary drawn on the substantive permanent post.

As a result, the petitioners were qualified for pension under the Pension Rules and were not allowed to seek condonation for the interruption in their services in order to increase their pension.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

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