Pre-2004 Daily wagers eligible for Pension though regularised after 2004
Pre-2004 Daily wage employees are entitled to regular pension as per old pension scheme even though they get to confirmed in government service after 2004
In Pre-2004 Daily Wages case, the Supreme Court has made it clear that employees engaged as daily wagers or on work charge basis prior to January 1, 2004, but regularised thereafter would be governed by the old pension scheme.
Earlier The Punjab and Haryana High Court, the apex court also made it clear that the new contributory pension scheme would not be applicable in their case as they did not fall within the definition of the freshly appointed. This orders earlier came in the case of Harbans Lal versus the State of Punjab and other respondents.
For new entrants to government service, the court was told that the New Restructured Defined Contributory Pension Scheme was introduced by the Government of India with effect from January 1, 2004.
As per the amendment vide notification on March 2, 2004 made in the Punjab Civil Service Rule, the Government made it clear that all government employees appointed on or after January 1, 2004, would be covered by the New Defined Contributory Pension Scheme.
The Punjab Government, vide circular dated May 30, 2008, clarified that New Restructured Defined Contributory Pension Scheme would be applicable with effect from January 1, 2004, in case of Punjab Government employees whose services were regularised after January 1, 2004, though they were engaged as daily wager or on work charge basis prior to that.
The circular and subsequent circulars in this regard were quashed by the high court in the case of Harbans Lal versus the Government of Punjab and other connected petitions. The State Government of Punjab then filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court, which was dismissed on July 30, 2012.
The State Government of Punjab then filed a review petition in which notice was issued vide order dated October 31, 2013.
Along with this case around 58 other petitions were connected with this review petition by the Supreme Court. After hearing senior advocate PN Mishra and Neeraj Sharma for the employees-respondents, the Supreme Court dismissed all the petitions, thereby granting the relief of old pension scheme to employees engaged prior to January 1, 2004, but regularised thereafter.
The Supreme Court further directed the State of Punjab not to file special leave petitions on similar issues and dismissing the petitions.
This has become a development and is significant as employees retiring after January 1, 2004, after regularisation of services on or after that shall now get pension after counting the entire daily wage service period.
Source : The Tribune