Pension for Post Office Employees: Services rendered by postal department employees as Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) cannot be computed for calculation of the qualifying service of their pension after they get selected in regular posts in the department
Pension for Post Office Employees: Services rendered by postal department employees as Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) cannot be computed for calculation of the qualifying service of their pension after they get selected in regular posts in the department, according to a recent Supreme Court judgement. The Supreme Court decision came on November 8 in Union of India & ORS vs Gandiba Behera case. The apex court said, “In our opinion the services rendered by the respondents as GDS or other ExtraDepartmental Agents cannot be factored in for computing their qualifying services in regular posts under the postal department on the question of grant of pension.”
“But we also find many of the respondents are missing pension on account of marginal shortfall in their regular service tenure. This should deserve sympathetic consideration for grant of pension. But we cannot trace our power or jurisdiction to any legal principle which could permit us to fill up the shortfall by importing into their service tenure, the period of work they rendered as GDS or its variants,” SC added.
Gramin Dak Sevaks are also referred to as extradepartmental agents in the postal department.
As per Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, the minimum service period in regular employment in the said Department for being entitled to pension is 10 years.
Several appellants had approached the Supreme Court for relief after they were denied Pension when their regular service period fell below the mandatory 10 years. These appellants had urged the top court to consider the service rendered by them as GDS for the calculation of the qualifying service for pension.
The top court noted, “There is no provision under the law on the basis of which any period of the service rendered by the respondents in the capacity of GDS could be added to their regular tenure in the postal department for the purpose of fulfilling the period of qualifying service on the question of grant of pension.”
Authorities can provide relaxation
The Supreme Court, however, said that authorities may consider the cases of these appellants, most of whom had missed pension eligibility by a few months. “We are also of the opinion that the authorities ought to consider their cases for exercising the power to relax the mandatory requirement of qualifying service under the (CCS Pension) 1972 Rules if they find the conditions contained in Rule 88 stand fulfilled in any of these cases.”
Rule 88 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972
Under Rule 88 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, the government has the power to relax the norms under certain circumstances. The rules say: “Where any Ministry or Department of the Government is satisfied that the operation of any of these rules, causes undue hardship in any particular case, that Ministry or Department, as the case may be, may, by order for reasons to be recorded in writing, dispense with or relax the requirements of that rule to such extent and subject to such exceptions and conditions as it may consider necessary for dealing with the case in a just and equitable manner.”