Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to UP Ordinance seeking recovery of pension granted to Class III & IV employees

In 2019, the Supreme Court had held that services rendered in the work-charged establishment shall be treated as qualifying service for grant of pension.
Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to UP Ordinance seeking recovery of pension granted to Class III & IV employees
Pension, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today issued notice in a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Qualifying Service for Pension and Validation Ordinance, 2020 as being contrary to a 2019 judgment.

Notice was issued by a Bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and KM Joseph.

The plea filed by the Uttar Pradesh Ground Water Department Non-Gazetted Employees Association, argued by Senior Advocate Pallav Shishodia, states that the Supreme Court had earlier set aside the relevant rules and read down the provisions for computation of qualifying service for pension.

The top court had held that the period of service of work-charged employees in the State must be counted towards qualifying service for the purpose of grant of pension.

This judgment, dealing with the right to pension for thousands of work-charged employees regularised at the fag end of their services, was delivered by a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah in 2019 (Prem Singh v. State of UP).

In the present plea, it has been argued that after Justice Mishra demitted office in September 2020, the State of UP brought an Ordinance to nullify the above judgment and is now seeking recovery of the pension granted to these Class lll & lV employees.

Senior Advocate Shishodia submitted that the impugned Ordinance was passed without curing the exploitative discrimination against the work-charged employees which was disapproved by Supreme Court.

The plea states that the Ordinance was made effective retrospectively, which nullifies the law declared by the Supreme Court. The same would amount to encroaching upon the domain of the judiciary, it is claimed.

The overreach of legislative act of the Respondent, State of Uttar Pradesh which has been enacted to apply retrospectively is nothing but an attempt to overshadow the effect of the Judgment rendered by Hon’ble 3 Judges of Hon’ble Supreme Court.

Plea filed in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court had held that services rendered in the work-charged establishment shall be treated as qualifying service under the aforesaid rule for grant of pension.

The arrears of pension shall be confined to three years only before the date of the order, the top court had held in 2019.

However, the petitioner association states that the by the impugned Ordinance, the State government has provided that qualifying service shall include service rendered on a temporary or permanent post in accordance with the provisions of the service rules prescribed.

"It was unfair on the part of the State Government and its officials to take work from the employees on the work-charged basis. They ought to have resorted to an appointment on regular basis. The taking of work on the work- charged basis for long amounts to adopting the exploitative device", reads the plea.

It is thus prayed that the Court pass a direction to the State government to not give effect to the Ordinance in question.

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