The U.P Public Service Commission invited applications for appointment in Combined Subordinate Service through an advertisement 28.10.2002. All the petitioners applied for the post. They got through the Preliminary, Main and Interview stages and were subsequently given their appointment letters on 07.03.2006 and 19.04.2006.
After joining the services, all the petitioners started working on different positions like Audit Officers, Accounts Assistants and Finance Officers.
The main issue, in this case, arose when the New Pension Scheme came into force on 1.04.2005.
The petitioners have made a prayer that they should get benefits of the Old Pension Scheme and not the New Pension scheme because according to them(petitioners) if the recruitment process were completed on time, then they would have been covered under the Old Pension Scheme which was applicable till 31.03.2005.
Learned Counsel for the petitioners has stated that delay in holding of selection cannot prejudice the right of the petitioners. It was further argued that the benefits mentioned in the advertisement were according to the Old Pension Scheme. Still, due to delay in recruitment the petitioners are now covered under the New Pension Scheme.
Counsel for the Respondent State has argued that the date of entry into service would be the relevant date for applicability of pension scheme and as the pension rules have not been questioned as such petitioners are not entitled to any relief.
While pronouncing its Judgement, the Court referred to various judgements some which are mentioned below:
In Ashutosh Joshi case vacancies were advertised for men and women. While women were recruited under the Old Pension scheme, the male candidates were appointed under the New Pension Scheme. In this case, the Uttarakhand High Court held that any delay in offering appointments to men would not disentitle them to getting benefits as per the Old Pension scheme like was the case for their female counterparts.
Allahabad High Court while passing its Judgement in the Mahesh Narayan case held that Persons appointed against a previous advertisement could not be denied benefits which have already been extended to the appointees of a later recruitment exercise. The protection in the form of benefit under old pension rules has been extended only to protect against an arbitrary act.
However, in the instant case, there was no arbitrary act or discrimination against the petitioners.
Judgement Of the Court
Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in the instant petition held that the petitioners were unable to demonstrate that they have been arbitrarily discriminated against or have been denied appointment before 31st March 2005.
In case of delay in the selection process, previous pension rules will not apply. In such a case, the date of entry into the service will determine the applicability of pension rules. It was observed that the petitioners had accepted the New Pension rules for the past 14 years without protesting, and now they cannot be allowed to challenge the same.
Accordingly, the petition was dismissed as in the opinion of Court it lacked merit.
Title: Manoj Kumar Singh & Ors vs the State of U.P. and Another
Case No. WRIT – A No. – 5414 of 2020
Date Of Order: 13.10.2020
Coram: Hon’ble Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra