Punjab Civil Services Rules | Employee Dismissed From Service Not Entitled To Pension, Can Claim Compassionate Allowance: High Court

Aiman J. Chishti

29 Feb 2024 4:50 AM GMT

  • Punjab Civil Services Rules | Employee Dismissed From Service Not Entitled To Pension, Can Claim Compassionate Allowance: High Court

    The Punjab & Haryana High Court has made it clear that an employee governed under Punjab Civil Services Rules, who is dismissed from service is not entitled to pension, however he can claim compassionate allowance.Two Police Constables who were dismissed from service after conviction in a criminal case, had argued that despite conviction, they cannot be deprived of their right...

    The Punjab & Haryana High Court has made it clear that an employee governed under Punjab Civil Services Rules, who is dismissed from service is not entitled to pension, however he can claim compassionate allowance.

    Two Police Constables who were dismissed from service after conviction in a criminal case, had argued that despite conviction, they cannot be deprived of their right of pension.

    Rejecting the argument Justice Jagmohan Bansal said, "The petitioner during his service was dismissed from service. An employee who is dismissed from service is not entitled to pension, though, he can claim compassionate allowance under Rule 2.5 of Punjab Civil Service Rules (Volume II). The petitioner...was rightly dismissed from service, thus, he cannot be extended pension on the basis of Rule 2.1 and 2.2 of Punjab Civil Services Rules."

    The two constables were convicted for offence punishable under NDPS Act and were awarded sentence of imprisonment of 3 years.

    Thereafter, State on the basis of registration of FIR initiated departmental proceedings against the petitioners. Both the petitioners came to be dismissed from service and they unsuccessfully preferred appeal before Appellate Authority which was followed by revision before higher authorities. The present petition was filed challenging the  orders of dismissal.

    The counsel for the petitioners argued that the Disciplinary Authority while dismissing the petitioners from service did not consider their length of service and entitlement to pension. They have been mechanically dismissed from service.

    It was contended that a Police Officer despite conviction cannot be deprived of his valuable right of pension. The petitioners were awarded sentence of 3 years and there are instances where respondent has released pension despite conviction of more than 3 years, he added.

    To buttress his contention, reliance was placed upon judgment of the High Court Court in 'Ajit Singh (deceased) through his L.R. Jasvir Kuar Versus Accountant General (A&E), Punjab and others' [CWP No.14327 of 2018].

    After considering the submissions, the Court referred to Rule 16.2 (2) of Punjab Police Rules, which states that, "If the conduct of an enrolled police officer leads to his conviction on a criminal charge and he is sentenced to imprisonment, he shall be dismissed."

    "The expressions used in Sub-Rule (2) needs to be noticed. The legislature has used expression 'shall' which indicates that there is no discretion with authorities in case of conviction. Expression 'criminal charge' is preceded by expression 'on a' which means that nature of charge is irrelevant. The officer may be guilty of an offence either committed in the discharge of duty or having no bearing with his official duties. In every case, where an officer is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment on a criminal charge, he is liable to be dismissed. The proviso to said sub-rule is also important to be noticed," the Court explained.

    Furthermore, the Court rejected the argument that a Police Officer despite conviction cannot be deprived of his right of pension, despite dismissal.

    Justice Bansal said the Ajit Singh case which relied upon by the counsel for the petitioners will not be applicable in the present case because it comes out that said judgment is based upon Rule 2.1 and 2.2 of Punjab Civil Services Rules. The said rules are applicable where conviction takes place after retirement and  case of the petitioners is not of conviction after retirement whereas it is case of conviction during service, thus, aforesaid rules are not applicable to the petitioner.

    Adding that the petitioner was dismissed during his service, the judge said, "An employee who is dismissed from service is not entitled to pension, though, he can claim compassionate allowance under Rule 2.5 of Punjab Civil Service Rules (Volume II)."

    Consequently, the plea was dismissed.

    K.G. Chaudhry, Advocate with Sakshi Singh, Advocate for the petitioners.

    Pawan Kumar, DAG, Punjab.

     Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (PH) 60

    JOGINDER SINGH v. STATE OF PUNJAB AND OTHERS

    Click here to read/download the order

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