Re-Employed Government Employees eligible for Dearness Relief on Pension as well as Dearness Allowance for Pay on the present Post – Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal Order
The Nagpur bench of Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) held that a re-employed pensioner was entitled for receiving “dearness allowance (DA)” on his pension as well as on his salary.
“There is no rule that prohibits claiming dearness allowance on pension amount as well as on basic salary that is received after re-employment. The intention of legislation was to give benefit to the government employee who prefers retirement before the age of 55 years and is obviously subjected to payment of reduced amount as pension as compared to those who superannuate at 58 years,” Justice (retired) MN Gilani stated.
Applicant Mohammed Jameel had sought voluntary retirement from the Public Health Department on October 5, 1999, before attaining 55 years and joined as a lecturer in Law College in Gondia from the next day. He retired on February 9, 2007, after putting in seven years of teaching. On the same day, city-based district treasury officer issued an order of recovery of Rs1.31 lakh from his pension amount on the grounds that drawing “two dearness allowances” was not permitted. The petitioner received the DA on his pension as well as on his salary during his re-employment.
He challenged this order through counsel Tushar Mandlekar relying on the MCS Pension Rules that say in case of persons retiring before attaining the age of 55 years, the competent authority while fixing the pay should ignore the “entire pension” clause in case of employees other than Class I. The government relied on the guidelines issued through its circulars for pointing out that excess DA payment was not permissible.
Mandlekar argued the definition of “pension” as per Article 366 of the Constitution of India was inclusive of DA. The definition of pay, pension, and pensionable pay, are defined under Rule 9 (36), (37), (38), and Rule 60 of MCS, if read together along with the definition of pension under Article 366, makes it clear that DA was included in pay and pension, and thus could not be separated or deducted independently.
The tribunal held that Rule 157 (3) of MCS Pension Rules was independent and had its own identity, which mandated the government to ignore the “entire pension” clause that included allowances attached to it.
MAT added that there was no reason for paying and disbursing officer to rely on Rule 262 of Maharashtra Treasury Rules 1968 or government circulars. “The payment of pension to the re-employed pensioners is required to be fixed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XIV of MCS Pension Rules, 1982. It is provided in Rule 157 (3) that “entire pension” needs to be ignored while fixing the new pay,” Justice Gilani said before quashing the district treasury officer order.
Source: Times of India