STATE OF KERALA vs ANIE LUKOSE

STATE OF KERALA vs ANIE LUKOSE - Supreme Court Case 2022

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL  APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL  APPEAL NO.  835   OF 2022
(ARISING OUT OF SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) NO. 29384 OF 2018)
STATE OF KERALA & ANOTHER        ….APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
ANIE LUKOSE .  …. RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G E M E N T
J.K. MAHESHWARI, J.
Leave granted.
2. This appeal arises out of the judgment dated 30.7.2018
passed   in   Writ   Appeal   No.   1513   of   2018     confirming   the
judgment dated 19.2.2018 passed by the learned Single Judge
allowing the Writ Petition (C) No. 2573 of 2016.
3. The facts giving rise to the present appeal are that the
respondent had retired as selection grade Lecturer  on availing
voluntary  retirement  w.e.f. 31.7.2006.  His basic pension was
fixed in the pre­revised scale  at Rs. 8907/­ p.m..  Inadvertently,
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in the verification report,  the  basic pension was  erroneously
shown as Rs. 7138/­ p.m. (pre­revised).  Thereafter, on revision
in the scale of pay, it was enhanced to  Rs. 11,127/­ and made
effective from 1.1.2006.  The fixation of the said basic pension
was challenged in the earlier round of litigation in W.P. (C) No.
30847 of 2012.  The High Court vide judgment dated 28.02.2013
held that the fixation of  pension at Rs. 7138/­ was erroneous
and his pension of Rs. 8907/­ (pre­revised) ought to have been
taken   into   account     at   the   time   of   revision   of   the   pay   and
pension   w.e.f.   1.1.2006.     The   said   judgment   has   not   been
challenged and therefore became final.  In view of the said fact,
prayer was made in WP(C) No. 2573 of 2016 to fix the pension @
Rs. 8907/­ in pre­revised and Rs. 19333/­ as   per revision of
pay  and pension  of the appellant.
4. Learned Single Judge of the High Court has taken note of
the  fact  that  the  last  pay  drawn  by  the   appellant   was
Rs. 46,400/­ and according to the same, his pension in the
revised scale has rightly been fixed at Rs. 19,333/­ on account
of completing the qualifying service by her.   In the previous
round of litigation, the  fixation  made  @   Rs. 7138/­   in   prerevised   scale   and   Rs.   11,127/­   in   revised   scale     was   found
erroneous by the High Court.   However, as per the direction
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made by the High Court,  fixation had rightly been proposed by
the   office   of   the     Accountant   General   on   completion   of   the
qualifying service by her.   The appellants filed a Writ Appeal
and by the order impugned, the Division Bench of the High
Court held that the Accountant General had correctly prepared
the pension paper, fixing the pension at Rs. 19,334/­ in the
revised scale.  The Division Bench declined to interfere with  the
order of the learned Single Judge.
5. Learned counsel for the appellant would contend  that as
per   the   Circular   being   G.O.(P)   No.   230/2012/Fin.   dated
19.04.2012, it is clarified that for computing the 10 months’
emoluments for the purpose of average emoluments in respect of
employees who retired from service on or after 1.1.2006, the
average emoluments are required to be counted.   The average
emoluments have been clarified in  Clause 63 of Annexure P­18
regarding   Kerala   Service   Rules.     It   is   contended   that   the
respondent had  retired after one month of re­joining from the
leave   for   about   two   years   without   allowances,   therefore,   the
order   impugned,   confirming   the   order   of   the   learned   Single
Judge, is wholly unjustified.
6. On the other hand,   learned counsel for the respondent
has argued with vehemence and contended that the Accountant
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General has rightly made the fixation of the pension in the prerevised and revised scales of pay, relying upon the circulars and
the order of the High Court passed earlier.  Therefore, the order
impugned has rightly been passed by the High Court, which
does not warrant interference. 
7. After having heard    learned  counsel for  the  parties at
length and on perusal of the fixation made by the office of the
Accountant General, sent to the Principal Secretary (Finance),
Finance (Pension B)   Department, Thiruvananthapuram, it is
clear that the pension of the respondent was fixed at @ Rs.
19334/­   w.e.f.   1.3.2010.     The   said   fact   has   not   been
controverted in the counter­affidavit, as apparent from the order
of the learned Single Judge.  For  reverting  the arguments of the
appellants   with   reference   to   the   revised   Circular     dated
19.4.2012, it is necessary to refer to the original Circular G.O.
(P)   No.   211/2011/Fin   dated   7.5.2011,   specially   Clause   2(2)
relevant to the facts of the present case, which is reproduced as
thus:
“For computing 10 months’ emolument for the
purpose   of   average   emoluments,   in   respect   of
employees who retired from service on or after
1.1.2006 and who , during part of the said period
of 10 months, drawn pay in the pre­revised scale,
their   pay   in   the   pre­revised   scale   may   be
enhanced notionally by adding  DA at 74%”.
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8. The said clause has been modified vide Circular G.O.(P)
No. 230/2012/Fin   dated 19.4.2012 , which is reproduced as
thus:
“For computing 10 months’   emoluments for the
purpose   of   average   emoluments   in   respect   of
employees   who   retired   from   service   on   or   after
1.1.2006 and who, during the part of 10 months,
drew pay in the pre­revised scale, their pay in the
pre­revised scale may be enhanced notionally to
the initial pay drawn in the revised scale which
came into force with effect from 1.2.2006.   Para
2.2 of GO read above and modified to this extent.
Para   2.1   of   the   GO   read   above   shall   not   be
applicable to the above category.”
9. On perusal of the aforesaid, it is clear that for computing
10 months emoluments for the purpose of average emoluments
in respect of an employee, who retired from service on or after
1.1.2006 and who during part 10 months draws pay in the prerevised   scale,   their   pay     in   the   pre­revised   scale   may   be
enhanced notionally to the initial pay drawn in the revised scale,
which came into force w.e.f. 1.1.2006.  Average emolument, as
specified in the Rules,  is required to be calculated as per Note 1
Clause 63 of Annexure P­18, from which it is clear that if during
this period, an employee had been absent from duty, on leave
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with   or   without   allowances,   which   qualified   for   pension   or
having   been   suspended,   but   re­instated   in   service,   without
forfeiture   of     service,   his   emoluments   for   the   purpose   of
ascertaining the average   would be taken, at what they would
have been, had he not been absent from duty or suspended
provided that the benefit of pay in any officiating post would be
admissible only if it is certified that he would have continued to
hold that officiating post but for leave or suspension.  Therefore,
it is clear  that part of 10 months would not mean the past 10
months and if   the employee had   remained on leave without
allowances, even their calculation as per the last pay drawn had
rightly   been   made   by   the   office   of   Accountant   General   as
referred by learned Single Judge as well as the Division Bench in
the orders impugned.
10. In view of the foregoing discussion,   we do not find any
error in  the  order  impugned,   warranting interference  in  this
appeal.   Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed. No order as to
costs.
………………………….J.
[ INDIRA BANERJEE ]
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……………………………J.
[ J.K. MAHESHWARI ]
NEW DELHI;
FEBRUARY 1, 2022.
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