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S.25B Industrial Disputes Act | Service Rendered Even Prior To Regularization Needs To Be Considered While Awarding Pensionary Benefits: Gujarat HC

PRIYANKA PREET
8 March 2022 5:59 AM GMT
S.25B Industrial Disputes Act | Service Rendered Even Prior To Regularization Needs To Be Considered While Awarding Pensionary Benefits: Gujarat HC
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"While conferring benefits viz. pensionary benefits, calculation of the entire service rendered even prior to the benefit of the regular pay scale being conferred needs to be considered for the purpose of awarding pensionary benefits (from the date of initial appointment as a daily wager)," the Gujarat High Court has affirmed in reference to Section 25B of the Industrial Disputes Act....

"While conferring benefits viz. pensionary benefits, calculation of the entire service rendered even prior to the benefit of the regular pay scale being conferred needs to be considered for the purpose of awarding pensionary benefits (from the date of initial appointment as a daily wager)," the Gujarat High Court has affirmed in reference to Section 25B of the Industrial Disputes Act.

The Bench comprising Justice Biren Vaishnav was hearing a Special Civil Application under Article 226 wherein the Petitioner sought direction to Respondent Authorities to consider him as permanent workman and clear arrears of monthly wages, revision of 6th and 7th Pay Commission pay-scale benefits along with 12% simple interest per annum.

The brief facts of the case were that the Petitioner was employed as a daily wager on in December 1979. An Industrial Tribunal order of November 2021 which directed that the Petitioner and the other 20 workmen be treated as permanent and be paid all benefits of permanency was challenged before the Gujarat High Court.

The Petitioner's foremost contention was that he had rendered 40 years of service but was not being paid pensionary benefits. His name was not included in the benefits for GPF whereas his co-worker was a beneficiary. He also drew attention of the Court to the statement of 21 workers who vide an order of August 2013 were granted these benefits.

Per contra, the Respondent contested that the Petitioner was granted the benefit of 6th and 7th Pay Commission and also other benefits like Medical Allowance, House Rent Allowance, increments and Dearness Allowance. However, he was appointed as a daily wager in 1979. On the basis of he having completed 240 days in a year, he had completed five years of service in 2005 and 10 years of service in 2010. There was evidence to show that the Petitioner had not worked for 240 days in the years preceding 2001, as well. Since the Petitioner's service fell short of the minimum number of years required, he had earned INR 2,44,608 as gratuity for 9 years which was duly paid.

To address these contentions, the Bench relied on Tribhovanbhai Jerambhai vs. Dy. Executive Engineer, Sub-Division, R&B Deptt & Anr, 1998 (2) GLH 1 and other cases. Justice Vaishnav quoted thus from the cases:

"These clauses merely refer to from which point of time such benefits may be available. It may be that benefits of regular services such as regular pay scale, leave, gratuity and pensionary benefits may be available only after regularization of an employee. However, this does not mean that his past continuous service would be wiped out for the purpose of pensionary benefits."

The Bench affirmed the stance taken by the Courts earlier by noting the question:

"As it likely to happen in many cases and appears to have happened in the present case, actual order of regularization may not be passed immediately upon an employee having put in 10 years of continuous service for variety of reasons such as inaction on the part of the employee to press for such benefits, verification needed at the hands of the administration and sometimes, sheer inertia may delay actual regularization. Would that mean, the benefit of pension would be denied to an employee because after the belated regularization he did not have sufficient time to render 10 years of qualifying service? The answer has to be in the negative."

The Court opined that in the instant case, the Petitioner was placed similarly as other Petitioners were in the precedents and thus, his case deserved consideration. Accordingly, the Petition was allowed and the Court directed that the pension, gratuity and other monetary benefit be paid to the Petitioner from his date of employment from 14.12.1989.

Case No.: C/SCA/3404/2019

Case Title: RAGHUVERSINH CHANDRASINH SARVAIYA Versus STATE OF GUJARAT

Citation: 

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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