Unmarried/ Widow Daughter Of Employee Who Superannuated Or Died Prior To DCRB Scheme Entitled To Family Pension

Annu Priya
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Unmarried/ Widow Daughter Of Employee Who Superannuated Or Died Prior To DCRB Scheme Entitled To Family Pension

A Full bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday held that family pension can be extended to unmarried/ widowed daughter of an employee who superannuated or died prior to coming into force of the Non-Government Educational Institution Employees (Death-cum-Retirement Benefit) Scheme, 1981, which came into effect on and from 1st April, 1981.

The bench comprising Justice Harish Tandon, Justice Shampa Sarkar and Justice Rabindranath Samanta made the observation while answering a reference in connection with three petitions relating to grant of family pension to (i) widowed daughter of a deceased Assistant Teacher, (ii) widowed daughter of a retired (now deceased) high school clerk and (iii) unmarried and handicapped daughter of a retired (now deceased) Assistant Teacher.

In answering the question in a holistic manner, and going to the root of the issue, the Bench engaged in a discussion of the purpose of pension through the golden principles in the case of D.S. Nakara v Union of India (1983). In this case the Supreme Court had held that public purpose of pension cannot be thwarted by 'artificial division' of retirement pre and post a certain date. It was also held that payment of pension does not depend upon the discretion of the Government but is governed by the rules and a Government servant coming within those rules is entitled to claim pension.
DCRB Scheme Entitled To Family Pension
Whit these principles in mind, the bench took note of multiple Government orders issued over a period of time regarding the remission of family pension to unmarried/widowed daughters. It proceeded on the assumptions that an Order dated 01.01.2010, which was in contrast to earlier orders, and denied unmarried/widowed daughters right to claim family pension was the final stand of the Government for adjudication.

The bench emphasised on the beneficial interpretation of pension laws in favour of pensioners and held that the segregation brought about by the 2010 government order by segregating amongst the ‘homogenous class' of pensioners as held in DS Nakara would have to stand the test of intelligible differential and rational nexus under the Constitution. They opined:

“The golden rule as postulated by Hon’ble Apex Court in D.S. Nakara (supra) was that the provision of a pensionary rule /law being beneficial to a homogenous class of pensioners, should be interpreted liberally in their favour. Furthermore, the classification within the Homogeneous class, though permissible, must pass the muster of intelligible differentia. The classification within the class should be reasonable, rationale and manifest the laudable object sought to achieve. Any attempt to create separate class segregated from the Homogeneous class must stand on the test of reasonableness.”

In holding that the restriction imposed on unmarried/widowed daughters of those employees who had retired before 1981 from claiming family pension was not a result of the legislative intent behind the statute, the Court held that such women would be entitled to family pension, and laid down:

“Socio-economic justice stemming from the concept of social morality, if pressed into service, the memoranda granting social security of livelihood to the aforesaid classes of women by providing family pension should be construed liberally. Some isolated terms in the memorandum dated 01.11.2010 providing pension to living employees or their widows, in our view, cannot restrict the beneficial provisions contained in the memoranda as above.”

नोट :- हमारे वेबसाइट www.indiangovtscheme.com पर ऐसी जानकारी रोजाना आती रहती है, तो आप ऐसी ही सरकारी योजनाओं की जानकारी पाने के लिए हमारे वेबसाइट www.indiangovtscheme.com से जुड़े रहे।
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