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The State of Punjab & Ors Vs. Manohar Lal Mirchea [1997] INSC 462 (25 April 1997)

K. RAMASWAMY, G.T. NANAVATI, K.VENKATASWAMI

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

Present:

Hon'ble Mr. Justice K. Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr. Justice G.T. Nanavati Hon'ble Mr. Justice K. Venkataswami Manoj Swarup, Adv. (N/P) for the appellants K.C. Dua, Adv. for the Respondent The following Judgment of the Court was delivered:

JU D G ME N T NANAVATI, J.

Leave granted. Hard learned counsel for the appellants.

The respondent, through served, has not appeared either in person or though a lawyer.

The respondent, who had by 2.4.567 years' standing at the Bar, joined Punjab Civil Service(Judicial) onthat date. He was subsequently promoted and became a member of the Punjab Civil Service (judicial) on that date. He was subsequently promoted and became a member of the Punjab Superior Judicial Service. Heretiredas a District and Sessions Judge on 31.12.84. As he retired as a member of the Punjab Superior Judicial Service. He retired as a District and Sessions Judge on 31.12.84. As he retired as a Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules,1958 applied tohim.

Accordingly his pension was fixed. On 22.02.90the State of Punjab amendedRule 16 of the Punjab Superior Judicial ServiceRules and made two changes. In respect of death-cum- retirement benefits ofthe members of thatService the Punjab Civil serv Rules were made applicable instead of the all India Service Rules whichwere applicable till then.

anotherchangewas inrespectof direct recruits to the Service. In their case,the actual period of practice at the Bar not exceeding 10 years will have to be added now to his servicequalifying for superannuation pension and other retirement benefits. Rule 4.2of thePunjab Civil Service Rules Volume II provides that"an officer appointedto a service of post may add his service qualifying for superannuation pension(but not for any other class of pension) theactualpension ) the actual period not exceeding one fourth or the length of his service of the actual period by which his age at the recruitment one exceedstwentyfive years or a period offive years, whichever is least, if the service or post is one:- (a) for which thepost graduate research or specialist qualification, or experience inscientific. technological or professional fields is essential, and (b) .... .............." The said Rule has been made applicable to those who are recruited after 26.10.60. validity of that Rule was challenged before the Punjab and Haryana HighCourt in Raj Kumar Gupta vs. Stateof Haryana (C.W.P.No. 11756 of 1989) and 17.9.91 the High court declared it as invalid being violative of Article 14of the Constitution.

The appellant, therefore, made a representation sometime thereafter for refixation of his pension by giving him benefit ofRule 4.2. It was rejected by the State Government on 9.7.92 on the ground that the respondent at the time of his retirement was governed by the all India Services (Death-cum-RetirementBenefits) Rules and not by the Punjab Civil Service RulesVolume II and, therefore, he was not entitled to claim the benefit of Rule 4.2. It was also rejected on the ground that theamendment of 22.2.90 made in Rules 16 of the Punjab Superior Judicial Service Rules was onlyprospective and the benefit ofthe judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court inS.S. Dewan vs. State of Punjab cannot be given asthe said decision was under challenge before this Court and operation of the order passed in thatcase was stayed. The respondent, therefore, filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

It wasallowed, following itsjudgment in Raj Kumar Gupta vs. State of Haryana (supra) byholdingthat fixing 26.10.60 as thecut -off date wasarbitrary. The Statehas, therefore, filed this appeal.

Asstatedearlierprior to 22.2.90 members of the Punjab SuperiorJudicial Service, in respect oftheir death- cum-retirement benefits were governed by the All India Services (Death-cum-RetirementBenefits) Rules and not by the Punjab Civil Service Rules Volume II. Though the respondent claimed thebenefit of Rule 4.2 of the Punjab Civil Service Rules Volume II it was really by virtue of the amendment madein Rule 16 ofthe Punjab Superior Service Rules which made thoseRules applicable from 22.2.90. As we have held in State ofPunjabvs. S.S. Dewan (Civil Appeal No. 506 of 1992) that the amendment made in Rule 16 applies only to those who were/are in service and retired/retire after it to be regarded as misconceived andwithout any substance. Therefore, in view of the decision inS.S. Dewan'scase (supra) this appeal is allowed.the judgment and order passed by theHigh Court is set asideand thewrit petition filedby therespondent stands dismissed. Inview of the facts and circumstances of the case there shall be no order as to costs.

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