Financial paucity not a ground to restrain pension benefits: P&H High Court

Financial paucity not a ground to restrain pension benefits: P&H High Court

The petitioner served as Inspector in Municipal Council, Abohar raised contention that after her retirement she was entitled for retirement benefits which were delayed without any valid justification , also gratuity were not paid. She argued that she is also entitled to the interest on the above mentioned delayed payments. She also contended that she had approached the court through writ petition earlier where a decision was passed to pay all her dues without any further delay in favor of the petitioner and against the respondents. However the respondent admitted that they could not provide the pension benefits to the petitioner as they themselves are financially unstable and suffering money crunch, but they admitted with the order of the court and said that leave encashment and gratuity was not paid to the petitioner.

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The High Court clearly stated that financial instability is not a valid ground to strip the pensioners from their right to get pension and other retirement benefits as pension is the only source of income they have to carry on with their lives and to live a dignified life they must receive the amount that was promised to them. While giving this decision the Punjab and Haryana High Court cited various case laws such as Ram Karan vs. Managing Director, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation in which precedent has been laid down that financial paucity is not a valid ground to deprive someone of their pension. The court also related the above mentioned decision to Article 21 of the constitution as the Indian Constitution gives everyone right to life and liberty, this right is wide enough to be interpreted as dignified life and all such facilities should be provided to one so that he lives with adequate standard of living.

Supreme court cases like B.L. Wadhera v. UOI , All India Imam Organisation and ors. v. UOI and ors, Kapila Hingorani v State of Bihar clearly identify the position when financial stringency is the ground of violation of fundamental right of any person, in all these cases it has been decided that “financial difficulties of the institution cannot be above the fundamental right of any citizen.”