The Bombay High Court has held that recovery of money after retrospective pay revision after retirement or superannuation is not permissible in law and granted relief to a retired teacher of a municipal school.
A bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing a writ petition filed by the teacher.
The teacher, Grace Pampoorickal, was appointed as an Assistant Trained Teacher in 1970 and attained the age of superannuation in February 2010. At the time, the last pay drawn by her was Rs.9,200. However, in August 2011, when the pension book was handed over to the petitioner, she realized that the last pay drawn by her was reduced to Rs.7,410. Consequently, an amount of Rs. 1,40,030 was ordered to be recovered from her retirement benefits.
Petitioner’s lawyer Rahul Walia argued that the retrospective reduction in his client’s pay scale without informing her was bad in law and not sustainable.
In its response, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai said the petitioner’s last pay drawn was wrongly fixed at Rs. 9,200 as the said amount is meant for a trained graduate teacher, hence keeping in mind her qualifications, her pay scale was reduced.
The court noted:
“On consideration of the rival submission of the parties, it is apparent that the respondent has sought to revise the last pay drawn by the petitioner with a retrospective effect which is almost after a period of 17 to 18 months after her retirement.”
Thereafter, referring to a similar case, the court said a decision of another bench headed by Justice Gavai in a similar case covers the said case as well. In the said decision, judgments of the Supreme Court in Sayed Abdul Qadir & ors Vs. State of Bihar & ors and State of Punjab and Haryana Vs Rafiq Masih (White Washer) & ors were relied upon and it was categorically held that such a recovery at the fag end of the career of an employee or after his superannuation is not at all permissible in law.
Thus, the petition was allowed and the retrospective change in pay scale was set aside.