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High Court Of Delhi|10 January, 2013


To be referred to the Reporter or not?
1. The petitioner retired as a Naib Subedar from the Army in the year 1979. After retirement the petitioner was drawing pension from his employer/Army for which the disbursal agency was the respondent No.2/State Bank of India, New Delhi Main Branch and paying agency was Pay and Accounts office of the respondent No.1.
2. The Central Government brought into force the recommendations of the fifth Central pay commission and which was informed to the defence service chiefs by means of a letter dated 24.11.1997. The date for crediting of the first instalment of arrears of pension was on or before 31.12.1997, and for the second instalment of arrears instructions were to be issued later on in terms of para 11 of the circular which reads as under:-
“11. It is considered desirable that the benefit of these orders should reach the pensioners as expeditiously as possible. To achieve this objective, it is desired that all Pension Disbursing Authorities should ensure that the revised pension and the first instalment of arrears due to the pensions in terms of the above orders is paid to the pensions or credited to their account by 31st December, 1997 or before, positively. Instructions regarding release of second instalment of arrears will be issued later.” (underlining added).
3. At this stage, I must state that there is nothing which is forthcoming from record which could be pointed out to me either by the counsel for the petitioner or by the respondents as to which was the date for crediting of the second instalment of arrears payable in terms of the fifth Central pay commission report.
4. Sixth Central pay commission report thereafter came and which was directed to be implemented by means of the circular dated 11.11.2008 issued to the defence service chiefs. As per para 21 of the said circular, 40% of the arrears was to be paid immediately on issuance of the circular dated 11.11.2008 and the balance 60% of arrears was to be payable by 31.3.2010, and which para reads as under:-
“21. 40% of the arrears for the period of 1.1.2006 to 31.8.2008 on account of updation of pension/family pension under these orders will be paid immediately and remaining 60% of arrears shall be payable in the year 2009-2010.
5. The case of the petitioner is that arrears in terms of the fifth Central pay commission report were credited in his account only on 12.7.2010 i.e. there is a delay of first instalment from 1.1.1998 to 12.7.2010 and the second instalment (date payable not known) till 12.7.2010.
6. So far as the payment of arrears in terms of the sixth Central pay commission report is concerned, the petitioner claims that 40% of the arrears were payable by 11.11.2008, but were only paid on 15.6.2010 and even the balance 60% of the arrears which were payable by 31.3.2010 were paid again only on 15.6.2010.
7. It has now been held by the Supreme Court in a series of judgments reported as R.P.Kapur vs. Union of India, 1999 (8) SCC 110;
R.R. Bhanot vs. Union of India, 1994 (2) SCC 406; State of Kerala vs.
N.Padmanabhan Nair, 1985 Vol. 1 SCC 429; O.P.Gupta vs. Union of India, 1987 (4) SCC 328 and Uma Agarwal vs. State of U.P., 1999 (3) SCC 438, that if there is any delay in grant of pension, the pensioner is entitled to interest on the pension paid with delay inasmuch as pension is not a bounty, which is granted by the Government.
8. A reference to the counter affidavit shows that none of the averments as stated in the writ petition are really in any manner disputed by the respondent No.1. So far as the respondent No.2 is concerned its counsel only states that the petitioner is not entitled to interest on arrears because it was only in the year 2010 that request was first made for payment of arrears of pension and which is said to be clear because the petitioner had written a letter dated 3.4.2010 for crediting the amount in his account of the arrears in terms of the fifth Central pay commission and sixth Central pay commission. It is also argued on behalf of the respondent No.2 that in the letter dated 16.7.2010 the petitioner claims that he is fully satisfied with the bank and taking back his complaint.
9. In my opinion, the arguments raised by respondent No.2 are misconceived in view of the admitted facts and the ratio of the judgments of the Supreme Court stated above which requires payment of interest for delay and hence petitioner will be entitled to interest at the rate of 8% (as claimed by the petitioner as per ground (E) in the writ petition) on delayed period for crediting of the arrears of pension for the following periods:-
(i) For the period from 1.1.1998 till 12.7.2010 so far as the first instalment of Rs.5,000/- plus 50% of the balance amount of arrears are concerned in terms of VCPC.
(ii) From a specific date which will be informed by the respondents to the petitioner, (being the last date for crediting of the second instalment of the arrears of fifth pay commission) till 12.7.2010 for the second instalment of payment under VCPC.
(iii) For 40% of the arrears in terms of the 6th Central pay commission interest will be payable from 11.11.2008 to 15.6.2010 and
(iv) For 60% of the arrears in terms of the 6th Central pay commission interest will be payable from 1.4.2010 till 15.6.2010.
10. In case the respondent No.2/State Bank of India has any issue on account of non-crediting of the amounts which are granted by today’s judgment towards interest in favour of the petitioner, the respondent No.2 will be at liberty to recover the amount payable to the petitioner in terms of today’s judgment from the respondent No.1.
11. The writ petition is disposed of by granting interest to the petitioner as stated above. Any issue or dispute as to the calculation or of amounts payable, the same will (if it arises) be looked into in any contempt proceedings if the respondents do not comply with the present judgment.
12. Writ petition is therefore allowed as stated above, leaving parties to bear their own costs.
JANUARY 10, 2013
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High Court Of Delhi

10 January, 2013