In the case of Shri M.L Patil Vs State Of Goa and Anr, the Supreme Court ruled that pension in arrears cannot be denied merely because the petitioners delayed approaching the court since pension is a continuous cause of action.
In the instant case, the petitioners enrolled in service before the appointment day as provided under Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganisation Act, 1987. They were superannuated/retired by the respondents (Goa government) at the age of 58 years, even though the age of retirement was 60 years. Aggrieved by such an action, the petitioners approached the Bombay High Court, challenging the respondent's action. The petitioners contended that the respondents' act in the question of the respondent violates section 60(6) of the Reorganisation Act. The section states the conditions of service applicable immediately before the day appointed shall not be varied to the employee's disadvantage appointed before it, except with the central government's approval.
The Bombay High Court ruled that though the petitioners were wrongly superannuated/retired at the age of 58 years, none of them shall be entitled to salary or wages for the two extra years they would have been in service as they delayed approaching the court. The court further reckoned that the revised pension rates would be payable only from January 1st 2020. Dissatisfied with the Bombay High Court verdict, the petitioners challenged the same before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court partly set aside the order of the Bombay High Court to the extent of denying pension to the petitioners. It was further observed that the appellants are entitled to a pension at the revised rates from the day they turn 60.
The Supreme Court observed that though the High Court was justified in denying the petitioners any salary for the two extra years if they would have continued in service, there was no justification in denying the arrears of pension to petitioners. The Supreme Court justified its stance by observing that pension is a "continuous cause of action”. The court further directed the respondent to pay the pension arrears accordingly to the appellants within four weeks.