HC reserves order on petition of MHADA workers urging pension

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The Bombay High Court reserved order on a petition filed by employees of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) seeking pension on superannuation but the state said it will not sanction such a benefit.

The order was reserved by a bench headed by Justice V M Kanade which indicated that it might give a judgement on Wednesday.

The employees pleaded that MHADA had already passed a resolution deciding to grant pensionary benefits to the workers who had joined after November 1, 2005. However, the state had not granted approval to this proposal of MHADA.

The employees also demanded pension on the ground that the state had adopted Civil Service Rules which provides for payment of monthly pension on superannuation.

Advocate General Darius Khambata today argued it is not a legal right of the employees to get pension. Such an issue cannot be claimed as a matter of right. Whether to give pension or not is a matter of policy decision for the state.

Moreover, if the state decided to give pension to MHADA employees, then it may have to give such benefit to the employees of other state government organisations or state corporations. In that case, the financial burden on the state exchequer would rise, the Advocate General said.

A similar petition had been filed before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court wherein the state had informed that the Chief Minister had rejected such a proposal (of MHADA deciding not to grant pension to workers). Thereafter, the HC asked the state cabinet to decide the issue which too turned down the proposal.

The bench of Justice Kanade today observed “merely adopting a rule is not sufficient to grant pension. The state has to approve this.”

The bench also said the state had not come out with a separate rule of granting pension to employees. “Show us the legal provision which allows payment of pension to MHADA workers,” the judges said.