CHENNAI: The Madras High Court had held that the State government should not artificially make two classes for retired employees in the state transport undertakings to extend the revised pension benefits in line with the seventh pay commission’s recommendations.
"Respondents, i.e., state transport and finance department shall pay the arrears of pension and dearness allowance to petitioners as made applicable to the pensioners who have retired between 01.01.2016 and 31.03.2018 with notional effect from 01.01.2016, prospectively with effect from 26.08.2019, within a period of six months from the date of receipt of this order, " Justice C Saravanan held on allowing a batch of writ petitions.
The judge made this observation after noting that a GO passed by the state government on August 26, 2019, allowing only the employees who retired between 2016 and 2018 are eligible to get the revised pension benefits.
“STUs revision of pension of those pensioners who retired prior to 01.01.2016 and after 01.01.2016 by treating them as a separate class belonging to the same group is not permissible. The respondents cannot differentiate them. This act of the respondents is arbitrary and a violation of Article 14, 16, 21, 300-A of the Indian Constitution, ” the judge ruled.
The petitioners are, the retired transport employees, who were in the posts of managerial cadre posts, administrative and technical supervisory staff, and superintendents in the state transport undertaking.
The petitioners sought a direction from the HC to the state transport department to revise the pension and dearness allowance benefit as per the recommendation of the seventh pay commission of the central government. While the managerial cadre post employees retired between 1998 and 2018, others retired before 2016.
Therefore, only a few sections of the retired employees/petitioners benefitted from the GO of the state government.
“There is no rational basis to discriminate between the persons who belong to the same class by artificial creating a class between them, who retired on or before 01.01.2016 and those who retired after 01.01.2018. The benefit of GO dated 26.08.2019 has to be extended uniformly, ” the court said in the order.