Read Judgment: The State of Bihar & Ors v. Rajmati Devi & Anr 

Tulip Kanth

New Delhi, May 23, 2022: Holding that no government employee appointed after August 31,2005 shall be entitled to any other benefit except under the Bihar Government Servant Contributory Pension Scheme, 2005, the Supreme Court has held that the husband of the first respondent was absorbed in the government service only w.e.f. March 2, 2009, and he would be governed by the New Pension Scheme of 2005.

While considering the case of pension where husband of the first responded had died in harness while in service, the Division Bench Bench of Justice M.R.Shah and Justice B.V.Nagarathna said, “The Old Pension Rules, 1950 came to be abolished and the New Contributory Pension Scheme came to be introduced w.e.f. 01.09.2005. Under the New Contributory Pension Scheme, there is no provision for pension/family pension. As per the Scheme, all those who are appointed after 31.08.2005 shall be governed by the New Contributory Pension Scheme.”

Herein, the husband of first respondent joined the Bihar Research Society which was taken over by the Government of Bihar. Later, the State abolished the Old Pension Rules i.e., Bihar Pension Rules, 1950 and replaced the same with New Pension Scheme i.e., Bihar Government Servant Contributory Pension Scheme, 2005, w.e.f. September 1, 2005. The husband of the first respondent died on March 23,2013 while in service. When the wife-first respondent filed the writ petition before the High Court praying for family pension and other retiral benefits, the Single Judge allowed the said writ petition and directed the State to pay the family pension to her.This appeal before the Apex Court was filed when the Division Bench dismissed the State’s Appeal.

The Top Court was of the opinion that at the time when the husband of first respondent, who died in the year 2013, was absorbed, the Old Pension Rules were abolished and the New Contributory Pension Scheme was in existence and  as per the corrigendum issued in the appointment order and as per clause 6, the prior service rendered by the concerned employee prior to his absorption shall not be treated as a government service.Therefore, the deceased-husband could be said to be a government servant and in government service w.e.f. March 2, 2009 only and therefore, governed by the New Contributory Pension Scheme under which there is no provision for the pension/family pension.

Observing that the wife-first respondent shall not be entitled to the family pension under the Old Pension Rules, which were not applicable at the time when her husband came to be absorbed in the government service, the Division Bench allowed the Appeals and quashed the order of the High Court granting the relief to the wife under the Old Pension Rules.

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