'Unfair To Deny Post-Retiral Benefits After They Worked For Over 30 Years' : Supreme Court Grants Relief To Employees Selected On Short-Term Basis

Gyanvi Khanna

11 Jun 2024 5:33 AM GMT

  • Unfair To Deny Post-Retiral Benefits After They Worked For Over 30 Years : Supreme Court Grants Relief To Employees Selected On Short-Term Basis

    The Supreme Court, through its order dated May 07, granted post-retiral benefits to the Assistant Wasil Baki Navis (AWBNs)/ appellants, selected in 1981 for District Gorakhpur on a short-term seasonal appointment basis. The Bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Satish Chandra Sharma observed that the appellants have worked for 30 to 40 years. Thus, it added, it would be unreasonable and...

    The Supreme Court, through its order dated May 07, granted post-retiral benefits to the Assistant Wasil Baki Navis (AWBNs)/ appellants, selected in 1981 for District Gorakhpur on a short-term seasonal appointment basis.

    The Bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Satish Chandra Sharma observed that the appellants have worked for 30 to 40 years. Thus, it added, it would be unreasonable and unfair to deny them post-retiral benefits or terminal dues. The Division Bench also made it clear that the present order has been passed in the peculiar facts and circumstances given the significant duration of service undergone by the appellants.

    "Having considered the fact that the appellant(s) have worked for such a long period, it would be unreasonable and unfair to deny them post retiral benefits or terminal dues as may be admissible to the regular government employees," the Bench observed.

    To provide a brief background, a total of 14 candidates were appointed as AWBNs in the undivided district of Gorakhpur. However, the district of Gorakhpur was bifurcated, resulting in the creation of the Maharajganj district. Thus, out of the 14 selected Seasonal AWBN, nine continued their service in Gorakhpur, while five/ appellants continued in District Maharajganj. On June 26, 1991, the five Seasonal AWBNs in Maharajganj were regularized by the District Magistrate, Maharajganj. However, a complaint was filed at the local level regarding the regularization, and it resulted in the termination of their services via an order dated October 1992.

    Challenging the termination order, the writ petitions were filed before the Allahabad High Court. Subsequently, interim orders were passed by the High Court staying the operation of the impugned order. Based on this, the appellants continued to work.

    Following this, the Single-Judge Bench of the High Court quashed the October 1992 order. Further, it also directed that the appellants shall be deemed to be regularized in service from June 26, 1991, with all consequential benefits. However, this order was set aside by the Division Bench of the High Court. The Court had directed that the service period would not be counted for retiral and pensionary benefits.

    39. The special appeals are allowed. The judgments impugned in these three appeals are set aside. However, since the respondents have been continued on the basis of orders passed by this court earlier, no refund of salary can be claimed due to setting aside of their appointments and setting aside the order of the Hon'ble Single Judge. However, for retiral and pensionary benefits, the services already rendered on the basis of orders of this Court shall not count. Pension and other retiral benefits already availed of by any of the employees who retired in the meantime shall not be subject to recovery. Costs easy.”

    Imperatively, when the appeal was filed before the Supreme Court, an interim order was passed staying the termination of the appellants. Pursuant to this, the appellants got retired in the years 2018, 2019 and 2022.

    Based on these facts and circumstances, the Bench observed:

    Having considered the fact that the appellant(s) have worked for such a long period, it would be unreasonable and unfair to deny them post retiral benefits or terminal dues as may be admissible to the regular government employees.”

    Thus, it restored the order passed by the Single Bench and granted the appellants all consequential benefits. In furtherance of this, the Court also directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that these benefits, as also ordered by the Single-judge bench, are given to the appellants within two months.

    Dushyant Parashar, AOR appeared for the petitioners.

    Case Title: ANAND PRAKASH MANI TRIPATHI VS. STATE OF U.P., DIARY NO. - 7179/2017

    Citation : 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 417

    Click here to read/ download the order


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