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Delhi Transport Corporation v/s K. C. Anand

    LPA No. 1336 of 2007 & CM Appeal Nos. 16017 of 2007, 16018 of 2007

    Decided On, 29 January 2008

    At, High Court of Delhi

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE DR. MUKUNDAKAM SHARMA & THE HONOURABLE MS. JUSTICE REVA KHETRAPAL

    For the Appearing Parties: Avnish Ahlawat, Latika Chaudhary, , Advocates.



Judgment Text

MUKUNDAKAM SHARMA, C. J.


(1) THIS appeal is directed against the order dated 08. 08. 2007 passed by the learned Single Judge whereby the learned Single Judge has directed the appellant to pay interest on the arrears of pension for the period from 01. 06. 1993 up to 14. 07. 2005 @ 12% per annum with costs of Rs. 5,000/ -. There was a further direction issued by the learned Single Judge in the impugned order directing the appellant to pay to the respondent commutation of pension as applicable from 01. 06. 1993, if not already paid.


(2) COUNSEL appearing for the appellant has submitted that this appeal is filed by the Delhi Transport Corporation on the ground that the appellant is not liable to pay any interest on the arrears of pension for the simple reason that the cause of action for payment of the same arose only when the appellant decided to pay to the respondent the pensionary benefit under the 1992 Scheme.


(3) THE aforesaid contention is considered by us in the light of the records which are placed before us. The records reveal that the appellant released the respondent on voluntary retirement on 31. 05. 1993. Some of the retiral benefits were paid at that stage. However, no pension was paid by the appellant to the respondent on the ground that he was not entitled to receive the same. It is, however, stated that he was paid contributory provident fund and, therefore, the respondent would not be entitled to the payment of pensionary benefits. The respondent filed various petitions at various fora, and finally on 17. 04. 1998 the matter came to a rest with the Supreme Court of India disposing of the matter. Apparently, the respondent had contested the action of the appellant in releasing him on voluntary retirement, which appeal, however, was dismissed by the Supreme Court.


(4) IT is the specific stand of the appellant that the said fact has no relevance with regard to the non-payment of his pension as the cause of action for pension arose only when the Supreme Court decided that pension was payable to all the persons although they had not opted for pension and when the appellant took a decision that the aforesaid ratio of the decision of the supreme Court would also be applicable to the respondent. The learned Single judge, before whom similar arguments were raised, rejected the said contention holding that there was no dispute to the fact that the pension had been paid to the respondent under the 1992 Scheme, which is applicable to the respondent, he having been released from service on voluntary retirement on 31. 05. 1993. It was, in that context, held that the respondent would also be entitled to interest on the pensionary amount for the period from 01. 06. 1993 upto 14. 07. 2005 when the amount was finally paid at the rate of 12 % per annum.


(5) THE documents placed before us clearly establish that on the day when the 1992 Scheme was introduced and made applicable, the same was made applicable and effective from 03. 08. 1981. The respondent was released on voluntary retirement on 31. 05. 1993. The Supreme Court only interpreted the said Scheme and held that the said Scheme will be applicable to similarly situated persons like the respondent, but such Scheme is applicable to all the employees although they had not opted for pensionary benefits. The said contention, therefore, that cause of action, if any, for payment of the said pensionary benefit arose only after the decision of the Supreme Court and only when the respondent took a decision that the said decision of the Supreme Court shall be applicable to the case of the respondent is misplaced. If a person is entitled to the benefit of pension, the same accrues immediately on promulgation of the Scheme which in this case was effective from 03. 08. 1981. The respondent was released on voluntary retirement on 31. 05. 1993 and, therefore, he became entitled to receive such pensionary benefit immediately on his retirement. It is a different matter that the appellant interpreted the aforesaid Scheme as if it is not applicable to the respondent, which fact was negated by the Supreme Court saying that persons like the respondent although they had not opted for pensionary benefit would also be entitled to such benefit.


(6) ACCORDINGLY, the order passed by the learned Single Judge directing for payment of interest for the period for which the respondent was deprived of the user of the said amount is legal, valid and justified. We find no infirmity in the said order for the rate of

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interest which is levied by the learned Single judge is only 12% per annum. The appellant was supposed to receive the aforesaid pensionary benefit immediately on his retirement. He was deprived of the aforesaid pensionary benefit and could not use the same for long 12 years and, therefore, levy of interest on the said amount at 12% per annum for the period during which the said amount was unpaid was held to be proper and justified. LPA 1336/2007 and CM Nos. 16017/2007 and 16018/2007 are accordingly dismissed.
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