PENSION IS NOT A BOUNTY NOR A MATTER OF GRACE
The Full Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India headed by Chief Justice Y.B. Chandrachud and comprising Justice V.D. Tulsapurkar, Justice D.A. Desai, Justice O. Chinuappa Reddy and Justice Bhaharul Islam delivered a historic Judgement on 17.12.1982 on Pension. The Judgement is known as Magnacarta of the Pensioners. December 17 is celebrated as "Pension Day" all over India by Pensioners Organizations. The following are the excerpts from the Judgement.
"As per Indias Constitution, Government is obliged to provide social and economic security to Pensioners and that Govt. Retirees (Pensioners) had the Fundamental rights to Pension"
"States obligation to provide security in old age is recognized. As a first, Pension is treated not only as a reward for past service but with a view of helping the employee to avoid destitution in old age. When the employee is physically and mentally alert, he rendered the best unto the master expecting the master to look after him in the evening of his life. A pension is not in the nature of alms being rolled to beggars".
"Pension is not a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer. It is not an exgratia payment, but a payment for past service rendered. It is a social welfare measure rendering Socio-economic justice to those who in the hey days of their life, ceaselessly toiled for their employers on assurance that in their old age, they would not be left in lurch."
"Pension is therefore deferred wages. Pension is their statutory, inalienable and legally enforcible right and it had been earned by the sweat of their brow. The Senior Citizen need to be treated with dignity, courtesy befitting their age. A pension scheme consistent with available resources should therefore provide pension so that the pensioner should able to live (i) free from want, with decency, independence and self respect and (ii) at a standard living equivalent at pre-retirement level.