24 June 2024


Judgments

Central Administrative Tribunal

Haridasan T vs. The Director General Sports of India

MANU/CA/0789/2022

10.11.2022

Service

Commuted value can be decided only on the specific application of the pensioner

The question posed for consideration in present Original Application is whether pension can be commuted suo-motu by the Pension Sanctioning Authority, behind the back of the employee.

The learned counsel for the applicant submitted that, the commutation of pension made by the Respondents suo-motu is illegal. That was done without any application filed by the applicant nor he was subjected to any medical examination. In spite of submitting representations, the illegality was not un-done and that prompted the applicant to approach this Tribunal. The learned counsel reiterated that the applicant did not file petition for commuting any portion of his pension and therefore, order is illegal and liable to be interfered with.

Pension is the property of the employee accrued to him in recognition of the services rendered by him for long years. It is being paid 'as a measure of socio economic justice which inheres economic security in the fall of life of a person when his mental prowess is ebbing corresponding to aging process and therefore one has to fall back on his savings.'

It is also the settled position that right to get pension constitutes a right vested in an employee and any interference with that right will be a breach of that right. According to Article 300 A of the Constitution, no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law. It is the lookout of the State that he is not deprived of the property. Pension cannot be treated as a bounty payable on the sweet will and pleasure of the government and the right to superannuation pension is a valuable right vested in a government servant. Character of pension as property cannot possibly undergo any mutation at the whim of a particular person or authority. This right to property cannot be taken away without due process of law as per the provisions of Article 300A of the Constitution. By a mere executive order State has no power to withhold the right of the pensioner to receive the property vested in an individual.

Even though it was claimed by the Respondents that procedures under Rule 9 of the CCS (Pension) Rules were followed, no evidence is forthcoming in support of the same. Even in that case, commuted value can be decided only on the specific application of the pensioner. Without his junction, pension cannot be commuted.

If the pensioner wants to commute a percentage of pension, he should make an application, the application should be considered by the sanctioning authority and a formal order should be issued permitting him to commute a percentage of pension, maximum of which is 40%. Here, no such procedure has been followed. As rightly pointed out, commutation has been done suo-motu by the third Respondent, without any application moved by the applicant. Further, the commuted value of pension amounting to Rs.3,97,577 was recovered towards the amount due from the applicant and credited to the account of the Respondents in breach of Articles 300 A of the Constitution. Thus, the procedure followed by the 3rd Respondent is illegal and requires to be interfered with. The order to the extent of fixing commuted value of pension at Rs.3,97,577 and recovering the same from the applicant is quashed. The amount shall be refunded to him within a period of two months. The Original Application is allowed.

Tags : Pension Commutation Legality

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