Pension is Not a Bounty

My Lord, What is Pension?

It is a well known principle that pension is not a bounty. The benefit is conferred upon an employee for his unblemished career. In D.S. Nakara v. Union of India, (1983) 1 SCC 305 D.A. Desai, J. speaking for the Bench opined that:

“The antiquated notion of pension being a bounty, a gratuitous payment, depending upon the sweet will or grace of the employer not claimable as a right and, therefore, no right to pension can be enforced through court has been swept under the carpet by the decision of the Constitution Bench in Deokinandan Prasad v. State of Bihar, (1971) 2 SCC 330 wherein this Court authoritatively ruled that pension is a right and the payment of it does not depend upon the discretion of the Government but is governed by the rules and a government servant coming within those rules is entitled to claim pension. It was further held that the grant of pension does not depend upon anyone’s discretion. It is only for the purpose of quantifying the amount having regard to service and other allied matters that it may be necessary for the authority to pass an order to that effect but the right to receive pension flows to the officer not because of any such order but by virtue of the rules. This view was reaffirmed in State of Punjab v. Iqbal Singh, (1976) 2 SCC 1.”

We may hasten to add that though the said decision has been explained and diluted on certain other aspects, but the paragraphs which we have reproduced as a concept holds the field as it is a fundamental concept in Service Jurisprudence. It will be appropriate and apposite on the part of the employers to remember the same and ingeminate it time and again so that unnecessary litigation do not travel to the Court and the employers show a definite and correct attitude towards employees.

Hon’ble Justice Dipak Misra, State of Rajasthan v. Mahendra Nath Sharma, [Civil Appeal No. 1123 of 2015].

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