1 Nov 2023 4:45 AM GMT
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has partially allowed the plea of a retired Subordinate Judge claiming that the proceedings issued by the High Court Registrar for reducing his pension amounts to imposing further punishment after the Government imposing 20% cut in his pension for a lifetime.The Division Bench of Justice Ravi Nath Tilhari and Justice B.V.L.N. Chakravarthi ruled that the...
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has partially allowed the plea of a retired Subordinate Judge claiming that the proceedings issued by the High Court Registrar for reducing his pension amounts to imposing further punishment after the Government imposing 20% cut in his pension for a lifetime.
The Division Bench of Justice Ravi Nath Tilhari and Justice B.V.L.N. Chakravarthi ruled that the petitioner should be entitled to the benefits of the revised pay scales in 1993 and that the 20% cut in pension should be determined after fixing the petitioner's pay in the revised scale. The difference in subsistence allowance and pension had to be paid to the petitioner.
"The petitioner would be entitled for the difference of the subsistence allowance, which ought to have been paid considering the revision of the pay scale in the year 1993 and the actual amount of subsistence allowance paid to the petitioner. He would be entitled for the arrears of the amount towards pension on such calculation and determination."
The petitioner had approached the Court contending that the Registrar of the High Court was wrong in issuing proceedings to further reduce the pension of the petitioner after the Government had already reduced his pension by 20%.
The petitioner had been a District Munsif Magistrate in the State Judicial Services and was later promoted to Subordinate Judge. However, he was suspended from service in 1991 and eventually removed from service in 1993.
The petitioner filed a writ petition challenging his removal, and the High Court, in its judgment in 1996, set aside the removal order and directed the High Court to take further action in accordance with law.
Subsequently, the High Court recommended to the Governor to take action as per the Revised Pension Rules in 1999, which resulted in a 20% cut in the petitioner's pension.
The main contention of the petitioner was that two sets of proceedings issued in 2000 and 2001 by the High Court imposed further punishment after the government's order of pension cut in 1999.
The court held that the 2000 and 2001 proceedings were not imposing further punishment but were issued to regularize the petitioner's service period from his removal to superannuation. These proceedings were consistent with Rule 54-A(2) and Rule 54(5). The court highlighted that the petitioner's removal had been set aside, and there was no severance of his employment.
It was also held that the respondents would have to give the petitioner the benefit of computation of his remuneration on the basis of the revised pay scales of the year 1993 and from time to time, till the petitioner reached the age of superannuation as if he was in service.
The Court further held that from 1993 to 1994 when the petitioner reached the age of superannuation, the period wherein the petitioner was considered as having been not on duty, he would only be entitled to subsistence allowance to the extent of 75% computed as per the revised pay scales of 1993.
Finally, the Court held that it would be just to consider the petitioner ‘no service’ from the period of 1993 -1994 owing to the High Court setting aside the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the petitioner.
“Though the period w.e.f 28.12.1993 to 31.12.1994, has been treated as the period ‘not on duty’, but the necessary consequences would follow consequent upon setting aside the order of removal. For that period, the petitioner may not be entitled for full salary but for the subsistence allowance only, as per the order dated 28.07.2000 to the extent of 75%, but that percentage of the subsistence allowance has to be calculated, as per the fixation of the petitioners’ salary, pursuant to the pay revision in the year 1993.”
Thus, the court concluded that the petitioner was not subjected to further punishment through the 2000 and 2001 proceedings. However, it was held that he should receive the benefits of the revised pay scale and adjustments to his pension accordingly. The court directed the respondents to comply with these orders within two months.
Accordingly, the plea was allowed in part.
Case No: WRIT PETITION No.15346 of 2002
Counsel for petitioner: G RAVI MOHAN
Counsel for respondent: M/S INDUS LAW FIRM ,S.NAGESWARAREDDY
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