Haryana State Electricity Board Vs. Surasti Devi  INSC 780 (4
K.Ramaswamy, K.Paripoornan, K.S.(J)
1996 SCC (1) 713 JT 1995 (9) 631 1995 SCALE (7)334
O R D
appeal by special leave arises from the judgment and decree dated March 23, 1995 made in RSA No.618/95 by the High
Court of Punjab and Haryana.
only question is whether the mother of the deceased employee is entitled to the
family pension. The High Court in its judgment had applied rule 8.35 of the
Punjab Civil Services Rules and held that the mother is also a dependent.
she is entitled to the family pension. The only question, therefore, is whether
Rule 8.35 is applicable to the family pension and whether the mother is
Family Pension Scheme was brought into force by statutory rules which was
amended w.e.f. May 15,
1977. It would
indicate that the provisions of these rules shall apply to a regular employee
of the Punjab Government in a pensionable establishment on or after 1st July, 1964 to a Punjab Government employee who
was in service on June
30, 1964 and came to
be governed by the provisions of the Family Pension Scheme for the Government
employees. Rule 6.17  defines "family" for the purpose of this
Scheme to include the relatives of the Government employee - [a] wife, in the
case of a male Government employee and husband, in the case of a female
Government employee; [b] a judicially separated wife or husband; [c] minor
sons; and [d] unmarried daughters below the age of 21 years. Note 1 includes
children adopted legally before retirement. Note 2 states that a marriage after
retirement will not be recognised for purpose of this Scheme. A reading thereof
would clearly indicate that the Family Pension Scheme is covered by Chapter VI
of the Punjab Civil Services Rules, Vol. II. The enumerated persons are
eligible to get family pension according to the family pension scheme. It is
true that Rule 8.35 defines 'mother' also as one of the persons eligible for
family pension. But it will be in relation to the death due to wounds or other
extraordinary pensions. The extent of the applicability of these rules in
Chapter VIII has been enumerated to different persons and Rule 8.35 
enumerates that a family pension will take effect from the day following the
death of the Government employee or from such other date as the competent
authority may decide and a family pension will ordinarily be tenable. In the
case of a widow or mother until death or re- marriage, whichever occurs earlier.
In other respects, we are not concerned with clauses (ii), (iii) and (iv), as
the case may be. In view of the fact that the death of the respondent is not
covered by Chapter VIII, coming under "special" circumstances, the
normal enumeration in Chapter VI gets attracted. In consequence, the mother
having been excluded from the persons eligible for family pension according to
Chapter VI, she becomes ineligible for family pension.
counsel for the respondent sought to rely on the judgment of this Court in Smt.
Bhagwanti v. Union of India [(1989) 4 SCC 397. In that case, the retired
employee had married after retirement and he had also minor children from such
wed-lock. Since the rules had excluded the wife who contracted the marriage
after retirement and begetting the children, this Court declared such a
restriction being ultra vires as the Government employee would be entitled to
the pension in his own right which he had earned during his service with the
Government. The ratio therein has no application to the facts of this case
where the Rules made under Article 309 of the Constitution specify as to are
the dependents under the Family Pension Scheme. The impugned decision of Punjab
& Haryana High Court following the above ratio is not correct.
stated across the Bar that the deceased is entitled to other benefits, viz.,
G.P.F., leave encashment etc., which were granted by the trial Court. In that
behalf, the mother is certainly entitled to whatever claims the deceased would
have been entitled. Therefore, the decree of the courts below in that behalf is
confirmed. The State is directed to pay the entire amounts in that behalf
within six months from the date of the receipt of this order.
appeal is accordingly allowed only to the above extent. No costs.