Pay pension to transport staff without discrimination: Madras HC – The Indian Express

Chennai News

The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay within six months the pension due to the employees of various transport corporations in the State without any discrimination.

“I am inclined to allow all these writ petitions in terms of GO dated August 26. 2019. The authorities shall pay the arrears of pension and dearness allowance (DA) to the petitioners as made applicable to the pensioners, who had retired between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018 with notional effect from January 1, 2016 prospectively with effect from August 28, 2019 within six months…,” Justice C Saravanan said.

The judge was allowing a batch of writ petitions from the Federation of Retired Officers of Transport Corporations by its president S Renganathan of Kottur Garden and seven other associations, recently.

The petition prayed for a direction to the government to provide adequate funds to Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Employees Pension Fund Trust and to implement of the revision of payment of pension to the members of the petitioner Federation, who retired between September 1, 1998 and December 31, 2015 based on the recommendation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission with a multiplying factor of 2.57 as per a GOs dated October 25, 2017 and November 9, 2017 with arrears and interest and continue to pay the revised pension without any interruption.

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Allowing the petitions, the judge noted that even if the pension was to be paid from and out of the pension fund, reality is that the pension fund is being paid and funded by the State government as the amount of pension fund is not sufficient to meet the requirements. Therefore, a uniformity has to be maintained to all the employees who were drawing pension from and out of the fund which is supported by the government contributions.

Having extended the benefits to other class of pensioners and considering the fact that the pension of those pensioners is also borne by the State government, there is no justification for discriminating between the pensioners those who retired prior to January 1, 2016. Further, the State Transport Undertakings were part of the State Transport department. Various Transport departments were hived off into the separate State Transport Undertakings. There was a tacit understanding that the salaries and pension of these employees and pensioners would be protected on par with their counterparts in government services. Therefore, there is no basis for discriminating between the employees of the State Transport Undertakings who have retired earlier, the judge said.

The judge further said there is no rational basis to discriminate between the persons, who belong to the same class by artificially creating a class between them, who retired on or before January 1, 2016 and those who retired after January 1, 2018. The benefit of the August 2019 GO has to be extended uniformly. There is no justification in not granting similar revisions to those administrative and technical supervisory staff, who have retired prior to January 1, 2016. There is also no justification in confining the benefit to one section of the pensioners.

“In the light of the above discussions, I am inclined to allow all these writ petitions in terms of the August 28, 2019 GO,” the judge said.