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It is not possible to compute two different spells of service as a single service: SC

SURINDER NATH KESAR  V. BOARD OF SCHOOL EDUCATION & ORS. CIVIL APPEAL NO.9682 OF 2019 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 25200 of 2015) ON 6TH JANUARY 2020.

The appeal filed by the appellant in the Supreme Court under the bench comprising of Justice ASHOK BHUSHAN and Justice M.R. SHAH was dismissed.

The SC held that,“Rule 4.23 does not permit condonation of interruption of more than one year’s duration, hence the case of the appellant was not covered under Rule 4.23.”

The appellant was initially appointed by the Board of School Education, Haryana, Bhiwani on 08.05.1970 on the post of Proof Reader. The appellant due to his family circumstances voluntarily retired on 01.02.1988. The appellant submitted a representation to the Education Minister of Haryana. Later it vides his letter dated 27.03.1993 forwarded the application of the appellant recommending consideration of his case for re-appointment on the humanitarian ground after treating the period of absence without pay even if be Rules have to be relaxed. The Board keeping into view the recommendation of the Education Minister resolved on 31.05.1994 granting sanction to reappoint the appellant afresh. The appellant retired on 31.05.2002. After retirement, certain retirement benefits were paid to the appellant, which were accepted with protest. The Learned Single Judge rejected the application saying that it is not possible to compute two different spells of service as a single service. The review petition which was filed was also dismissed. The appeal filed before the Division Bench was also dismissed.

The question of law is whether Rule 4.23 of PCSR will be attracted or not?

As per Rule 4.23 if the break-in service has been occasioned on account of resignation, dismissal or removal, the period of interruption of service cannot be condoned. Learned counsel for the appellant contended that it is not condonable only when the interruption has been caused by resignation, dismissal or removal from service or due to participation in a strike. In this case, the above said interruption was not made. So Rule of 4.23 can be attracted for the benefit of the appellant.

Learned counsel for the State made a submission that the Rule of 4.23 of PCSR is applicable only when the interruption is not more than one year but in the present case, the interruption is for six years.

The court held that there is no doubt about the validity of the book, which has the provisions of Rules 4.22 and 4.23 produced by the learned counsel for the State of Haryana.

The SC held that,

“Rule 4.23 does not permit condonation of interruption of more than one year’s duration, hence the case of the appellant was not covered under Rule 4.23.”

When Rule 4,23 is not attracted to the appellant, the state can refuse the grant of relaxation. Further, the refusal made by the respondent for adding the period of interruption for pensionary benefit cannot be faulted.

The court has further condoned the interruption for first and the later five years are not condoned as per the provisions. “When the Statute does not permit condonation of interruption of the period from 02.02.1988 to 02.08.1994 and the proposal for granting relaxation in Rule 4.23 had been refused, we cannot find any fault in the decision of the respondent refusing to grant the benefit of condonation by adding the earlier period.”

As the reappointment was considered as a fresh appointment, the appellant has not worked for ten years so he is eligible for the pension.

The appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court as per the above said reasons were not enough for granting the appeal. So the SC upheld the order of the Single Judge and the Division Bench.

–  Manusri Ramakrishna

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