The Supreme Court on 05/12/2019 observed that the employees who had voluntarily retired from their jobs were not entitled to the benefit of pension- “The decision to resign results in the legal consequences that flow from a resignation under the applicable provisions.”
In the present matter, Ghanshyam Chand Sharma was regularized in the post of a peon on the date 22/12/1971 and submitted in resignation on 7th July 1990, which was then accepted on 10th July 1990. However the petitioner claims that pension was denied to him on two grounds. Firstly the person had not completed a minimum of twenty years of service that makes a person eligible for pension. Secondly it was shown to the petitioner that his choice of voluntary retirement forfeited his claims of pension. On applying to the HC, the HC allowed the writ petition and instructed the employer to clear his pension. The HC itself referred to the judgement of Asger Ibrahim Amin v. LIC and held that the petitioner had voluntarily retired and not resigned.
In the present appeal proceedings, i.e. BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. V. Ghanshyam Chand Sharma, it was brought to the court’s notice that in the case of Senior Divisional Manager, LIC v Shree Lal Meena it was observed that the words resignation and retirement cannot be used interchangeably merely because of the completion of minimum working period. The bench comprising of Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hrishikesh Roy believed that “The view in Asger Ibrahim Amin was disapproved and the court held that the provisions providing for voluntary retirement would not apply retrospectively by implication. In this view, where an employee has resigned from service, there arises no question of whether he has in fact „voluntarily retired? or „resigned?. The decision to resign is materially distinct from a decision to seek voluntary retirement. The decision to resign results in the legal consequences that flow from a resignation under the applicable provisions. These consequences are distinct from the consequences flowing from voluntary retirement and the two may not be substituted for each other based on the length of an employee?s tenure.” The bench also noticed that once a voluntary retirement was granted, the past service record of the employee was forfeited according to Rule 26 of the CCS Pension Rule.