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Raj Kumar and Ors. Versus Union of India and Anr.

Writ Petition (civil) 569 of 2001 - Dated:- 4-1-2006 - B.N. Srikrishna & C.K. Thakker, JJ. JUDGMENT: SRIKRISHNA, J. The writ petitions in this group arise from the same set of facts and seek the same relief. They can conveniently be disposed of by a common judgment. For the purpose of facts, it would be sufficient to refer to the facts narrated in Writ Petition (C) No. 569/2001. The petitioners were holding different posts under the Border Security Force (hereinafter referred to as "the .....

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ith their views that "a member of the force is entitled to get pensionary benefits on resignation under Rule 19 of the said Rules provided he has put in requisite number of years of service and fulfills all other eligibility conditions." (The Rules referred to are the Border Security Force Rules, 1969, hereinafter referred to as "the BSF Rules") This G.O./Circular provided that the competent authority may, "having regard to the special circumstances of a case, permit a m .....

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ccepting the resignation of a member of the Force, the order should specify the reduction to be made in the pension, if any, as per the provisions contained in proviso (b) to Rule 19(1) of the BSF Rules, and further that failure to do so would imply that there was no reduction in the pension made. The G.O./Circular dated 27.12.1995 was interpreted by the authorities to mean that any member of the Force could resign with the permission of the competent authority, even before completing the qualif .....

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Rules and their resignations were accepted. In the case of about 447 personnel of the Force, the pension amounts were released and they started drawing pensions. The cases of about 1762 personnel of the Force were still pending sanction of the pension amounts. In the meanwhile, it appears that the authority realised its mistake and took rectification action by a letter dated 15.01.1998 conveying the decision of the Director General of the Force, as follows: "It is to inform you that DG BSF .....

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y Director (Personnel) issued a circular conveying that those personnel whose resignations had been accepted after the circular dated 27.12.1995 under Rule 19 of the BSF Rules under mistaken impression of their entitlement to pensionary benefits but who had not yet been granted pension, should be called back to rejoin immediately. It was conveyed that in their cases the period of absence would be treated as an Earned Leave/ Half Pay Leave as due and the remaining period as leave without pay (EOL .....

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he first cut-off date for rejoining was 30.4.1999, which was later extended up to 30.6.1999 and, finally, up to 31.8.1999. Pursuant to the aforesaid circular of 17.10.1998, out of 1762 personnel recalled, 1065 personnel reported for work and they were allowed to rejoin the service subject to the conditions stipulated in the said circular. About 697 personnel, however, did not rejoin the service and the pensionary benefits payable to them were stopped. About 69 personnel who had less than 20 year .....

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ying service for pension, sought pensionary benefits by placing reliance on the circular dated 27.12.1995. As the authorities did not concede their right, they moved the High Court for relief. Three such cases came up to this Court and were decided by this Court in its judgment in Union of India and Ors. v. Rakesh Kumar and Ors., in Civil Appeal No. 6166/1999 along with Civil Appeal Nos. 2121/2000 and 2491-92/2001 decided on 30.3.2001 reported in (2001) 4 SCC 309. The controversy with regard to .....

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SF Rules, the relevant provisions of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 and the provisions of the G.O./Circular dated 27.12.1995 this Court held, (vide Paragraph 19) thus: "Reading the aforesaid G.O. as a whole, it nowhere reveals Government's intention to confer any additional pensionary benefit to the members of the BSF who retired before completing the requisite qualifying service as provided under the CCS (Pension) Rules. It neither supplements nor substitutes the statutory rules. The G. .....

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ht on the basis of decision which is de hors the statutory rules nor there can be any estoppel. Further, in such cases there cannot be any consideration on the ground of hardship." .... "Respondents who were permitted to resign from service under Rule 19 of the BSF Rules before the attainment of the age of retirement or before putting such number of years of service, as may be necessary under the Rules, to be eligible for retirement are not entitled to get any pension under any of the .....

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before us are entitled to any relief. That the personnel of the Force who otherwise were not eligible to pensionary benefits under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 are not conferred with this benefit as a result of the misreading of Rule 19(1) of the BSF Rules as put forward in the G.O./Circular dated 27.12.1995 is beyond cavil from the judgment of this Court in Rakesh Kumar (supra). This position is also not contested by the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners in the different matters be .....

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ctually been sanctioned pensionary benefits, and were in receipt thereof at the time when the judgment of this Court in Rakesh Kumar (supra) was pronounced. It is also contended on behalf of the petitioners that in the cases of the BSF personnel who had resigned before the circular dated 27.12.1995, some as early as in 1980 and had been sanctioned pension by the authorities under Rule 19 of the BSF Rules, as special cases, even though they had not completed 20 years' service; after the judgm .....

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sult of individual letters dated 31.10.1998 by which it was stated that personnel already in receipt of pension would not be re-inducted into service. However, even in such cases the pension has been stopped pursuant to the judgment in Rakesh Kumar (supra). Counsel urged that this has resulted in double jeopardy in such cases, as the personnel concerned lost their service as well as pensionary benefit. We are unable to accept the contention urged on behalf of the petitioners that the confusion w .....

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ry benefits, although not eligible for pension under the CCS Pension Rules 1972, had been given the opportunity of getting back into service by virtue of the circular dated 17.10.1998. Despite the deadline for reporting being extended from 30.04.1999 to 31.08.1999, about 697 personnel had failed to avail of the opportunity of returning to service. There cannot be any equity in favour of those that failed to avail of the opportunity of rejoining service. If any of them failed to take advantage of .....

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of pension to persons who are otherwise ineligible under the CCS Pension Rules 1972. The contention raised in all these petitions on the question of law must necessarily fail in the light of the clear pronouncement in Rakesh Kumar (supra). Learned counsel referred to Union of India and Ors. v. Lt. Col. P.S. Bhargava1 and Praduman Kumar Jain v. Union of India and Anr.2. After perusal, we find that they are not of any help to us in deciding the issue before us. The issue before us arises out of t .....

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-categories:- (i) Personnel who retired in 1996, were sanctioned pension and were therefore asked vide letters dated 31.10.1998 not to report for re- induction. Their pension has been stopped pursuant to the judgment in Rakesh Kumar (supra). These persons can be further divided into two sub- categories:- (a) those who are in a position to be re-inducted into service even now (b) those who cannot be re-inducted into the service as a result of being age-barred or due to being medically or physical .....

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n sanctioned pension, but who have been directed to report for re-induction in service shall necessarily have to forfeit their pension, if they have not reported for service by virtue of the circular dated 17.10.1998. If however, they have reported for service then there is no question of any relief in their case. 2. In the case of persons falling in category (B)(i), they shall also be given the option of re-induction into service, and those falling in category (B)(i)(a) shall be so re-inducted, .....

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