• Aruna A.

Reckoning previous service in State autonomous bodies for pension

Employees who are in regular service of autonomous bodies such as statutory corporations, Government owned companies, or Universities may later join Government service. In such cases, often a confusion will arise as to whether their previous service can be counted for pension.

Part III of Kerala Service Rules deals with pension. As per rule 20 of the Kerala Service Rules service in Panchayath/Municipal Common Service and Universities prior to the entry in State Government Service or Aided School/Aided College Service shall be reckoned as qualifying service for claiming pension and Death-cum-Retirement Gratuity from Government. As per the "Note" in Rule 2 following Universities shall be considered for this benefit;

  1. Kerala University

  2. Calicut University

  3. Mahatma Gandhi University

  4. Sree Sankara University

  5. Kannur University

  6. Cochin University of Science and Technology and

  7. Kerala Agricultural University.

This benefit is applicable to all cases where retirement takes place on or after 2nd February 2001.

In Mohamed Basheer A. v State of Kerala the High Court of Kerala had made a declaration interpreting Rule 11 and Rule 20 of the Part III of Kerala Servant Rules and relevant Government orders that, previous service of an employee in the State autonomous bodies shall be counted for pension. However, a contrary stand was taken in P.K. Babu v Chief Engineer, KSEB and others and held that previous service can be counted only as permitted under Rule 11 and Rule 20 of the Kerala Service Rules. The question as to which of the above ruling was correct was considered by a Full Bench of the High Court of Kerala in Jayakumar v State of Kerala. In the said case the High Court held as follows;

"(i) The decisions in Mohammed Basheer, O.P.No.10540 of 1998 and W.P.(C) No.6536 of 2007 are overruled.

(ii) The decisions in P.K. Babu and Dileeb B are affirmed.

O.P.(KAT) 277/18 & con.cases

(iii) Rules 11 and 20 of Part III KSR read along with G.O.(P) 369/87/Fin. dated 31.03.1987, G.O.(P) No.383/89/Fin dated 29.08.1989 and G.O(P) No.228/2001/Fin dated 02.02.2001 do not provide for reckoning of the past service, of State Government employees, in State Public Sector Undertakings, State autonomous or similar bodies as qualifying service for the purpose of their pension and Death-cum-Retirement Gratuity payable as retirement benefits for service rendered in the State Government."

Thus previous service in autonomous bodies like statutory corporation, Government owned companies etc. shall not be reckoned for calculating pension for a Government servant.

One of the major criticism against denial of reckoning previous service in State autonomous bodies like statutory corporation, Government owned companies etc. is that, the State Government reckons previous service in Central Government autonomous bodies for pension. Thus it can be argued that, the stand of the State Government against reckoning of previous service in State autonomous bodies like statutory corporation, Government owned companies etc. is discriminatory and illegal.

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