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"No Arbitrary Fixing Of Cut-Off Date Within Homogeneous Classes Of Pensioners": HP HC Sets Aside Notifications Denying NPA Benefits To Superannuating Doctors

Nupur Thapliyal
3 July 2021 11:52 AM GMT
No Arbitrary Fixing Of Cut-Off Date Within Homogeneous Classes Of Pensioners: HP HC Sets Aside Notifications Denying NPA Benefits To Superannuating Doctors
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The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday set aside notifications denying benefits of Non Practicing Allowance (NPA) as a part of basic pay for calculating retiral benefits to superannuated doctors who retired prior to 1st September 1997 and 1st January 2006. Quashing the notifications, a single judge bench comprising of Justice Sureshwar Thakur ordered thus: "A reading of the afore...

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday set aside notifications denying benefits of Non Practicing Allowance (NPA) as a part of basic pay for calculating retiral benefits to superannuated doctors who retired prior to 1st September 1997 and 1st January 2006.

Quashing the notifications, a single judge bench comprising of Justice Sureshwar Thakur ordered thus:

"A reading of the afore extracted relevant paragraphs, does graphically pronounce, that within the homogeneous classes of pensioners, no arbitrary fixing of any cut off date, for any relevant purpose, inasmuch, as, the adding onto or addition of any NPA, in the basic pay, being restricted to retirees, whose superannuation occurred on or within the interregnum commencing from 1.9.1997, and upto 2006, can assume any tinge of constitutional validity, and, nor would stand the constitutional touchstone of Article 14 of the Constitution of India."

The development came in the plea filed by two doctors who superannuated from service on 2nd December 1997. It was their case that during the tenure of their services, both were receiving NPA, however, they were aggrieved by a notification dated 28th July 1998 wherein it was stated that for the purpose of calculating retiral benefits including revised pension w.e.f. 1.9.1997, purpose will be restricted only those doctors who retired on and after 1st September 1997 and 1st January 2006.

Furthermore, the petitioners had also challenged other notifications dated 31st August 1989, 14th October 2009 and 21st May 2013 by which benefits of 25% NPA as a part of basic pay for calculating retiral benefits was denied to those doctors who superannuated with effect from 2nd December 1997 and 1st January 2006.

Relying on the decisions of the High Court in the cases of Dr. D.R. Barwal ( now deceased) through his legal representatives Smt. Usha Barwal & others vs. State of H.P. & Others decided on 04.05.2021 and representatives Smt. Usha Barwal & others vs. State of H.P. & Others, the Court was of the view that no arbitrary fixing of cut off date within homogenous classes of pensioners cn be there for the purpose of adding NPA in the basic pay.

Setting aside the said notifications, the Court directed the respondent authorities to make additions of NPA on the salaries and pensions received by the petitioners commencing from 1st September 1997 and also to make recalculations or their pensions.

"Moreover, the all apposite arrears shall be liquidated to the writ petitioners, within a period of four months from today, and, any failure on the part of the respondents to do so, shall cause entailment, upon all the monetary benefits accurable to the petitioners, hence levying thereon(s) of simple interest at the rate of 6% commencing from today." the Court directed.

Title: Dr. Ved Parkash Sharma & Anr. v. State of H.P. & others

Click Here To Read Order

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