Gramin Dak Sevaks Pension Eligibility Case

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of India has addressed the pension eligibility of Gramin Dak Sevaks in the postal department. This case, which had its roots in a previous High Court directive and Tribunal’s order, has significant implications for the retirement benefits of these employees. Stay informed about the latest developments in this crucial legal battle. #LegalCase #SupremeCourt #PensionEligibility


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  • High Court directed compliance of Tribunal’s order based on earlier judgment of the Court in W.P. (C) No 11665 of 2011.
  • High Courts uniformly ruled in favor of Gramin Dak Sevaks who were selected as regular employees of the postal department.
  • Tribunal’s directive stated the period spent as Gramin Dak Sevak will be counted in toto for pension benefits for those absorbed as regular Group ā€˜Dā€™ staff.
  • Pension will be granted under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 for Gramin Dak Sevaks retiring without absorption as regular Group ā€˜Dā€™ staff with a period counting condition of 5/8 of the total service tenure.
  • In all appeals, the respondents’ service tenures in regular posts were slightly less than the 10-year requirement for pension eligibility.

Also Read: VVF India Ltd. vs. Employee Union: Wage Revisions & Benefits Case


  • Appellants argue that Gramin Dak Sevaks are regulated by different rules and a new service rule should not be created for them.
  • Citing Superintendent of Post Offices and Others v. P.K. Rajamma, it was established that Extra-Departmental Agents associated with postal departments have a unique service structure.
  • Specific timeline and service details of a particular case (SLP No. 6544 of 2019) were provided.
  • Appellants challenge the decision of the Orissa High Court regarding the equivalence of service between Gramin Dak Sevak and regular service.
  • It is noted that a Gramin Dak Sevak is allowed to pursue other vocations simultaneously.
  • The working hours of a Gramin Dak Sevak are comparatively lower (3-5 hours).

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  • The case deals with the computation of service for pension eligibility of employees who served as Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) in the postal department.
  • The 2011 Rules stipulate that GDS shall not be entitled to pension but to ex-gratia gratuity as decided by the Government, which was struck down as unconstitutional by the Central Administrative Tribunal.
  • The service period of GDS cannot be combined with regular tenure for pension eligibility as they are part-time employees with different employment characteristics.
  • There is no specific provision for computing GDS service to meet pension service requirement.
  • The court emphasizes that GDS service cannot be artificially extended for pension benefits without a legal basis.
  • The minimum service period required for pension eligibility in the postal department is 10 years.
  • Challenges in pension eligibility due to marginal shortfall in regular service tenure are highlighted.
  • The Rules governing GDS service do not allow for pension entitlement, and there is ongoing legal dispute regarding this issue.
  • The judgment under appeal is deemed unsustainable in the context of eligibility for pension benefits.
  • The need for appointment of GDS requires concurrence from the Department of Pension & Pensioner’s Welfare.
  • The significance of the 1991 circular in the case is mentioned, which was considered in a previous case involving pension entitlement.
  • The issue before the Court pertained to the eligibility of GDS to become a member of Nagar Panchayat.
  • The Court opined that GDSs were government servants holding civil posts.
  • The Constitution Bench judgment in D.S. Nakara & Ors. vs Union of India [(1983) 1 SCC 305] was cited regarding pensioners’ discrimination.
  • The Court found no legal principle to include GDS service tenure in regular service for pension calculation.
  • A case of a GDS seeking pension benefits was brought up where temporary service was counted as qualifying, excluding work-charged establishment period.
  • The Court highlighted a Rule allowing service of more than 3 months in a fraction of a year to be considered as a full year for pension benefits calculation.
  • A Full Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court had struck down a similar Rule.
  • The Court noted that a previous judgment allowing work-charged employee service to be counted for pension benefits was rejected in another case.
  • Rulings on calculation of qualifying service in regular employment were discussed under Rule 49(3) of the 1972 Rules.
  • The Court referred to a case where claims of work-charged employees in a different department were considered for pension benefits.
  • The distinction between government servants and full-time casual employees like Extra Departmental Agents was highlighted in a separate case.
  • A case involving a work-charged employee in Uttarakhand seeking pension benefits based on service in that capacity was also mentioned.
  • The decisions in the cases of P.K. Rajamma and Chet Ram are relied upon for establishing that the respondents were government servants as GDS or civil posts.
  • The judgement in Habib Khan’s case cannot be applied to support the respondents’ plea due to the clear findings in the aforementioned cases.
  • An unreported judgement of Karnataka High Court in Union of India and Others Vs. Dattappa favored counting the service period as extra-departmental Agent for pension qualification.
  • The Karnataka High Court’s Division Bench considered the employment to be continuous and not a switch from one service to another.
  • Ministry or Department can relax or dispense with the rules if undue hardship is caused in a particular case.
  • Any relaxation or dispensation must be reasoned and recorded in writing.
  • The extent, exceptions, and conditions of the relaxation must be determined by the Ministry or Department.
  • No order for relaxation shall be made if it contravenes any statutory provision.
  • Undue hardship to a large number of employees must be considered in cases of relaxation of rules.
  • Resorting to Rule 88 should not be avoided just because it might prolong the process.
  • The authorities should evaluate cases for relaxing the mandatory qualifying service requirement under the 1972 Rules if conditions in Rule 88 are met.
  • The court directs following the course as directed in the case of Union of India & Ors. v. Registrar & Anr.

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  • The Orissa High Court upheld the Tribunal’s order in the writ petition by Union of India and postal authorities.
  • Existing pension orders for any respondents should not be disturbed.
  • For respondents without pension orders, the concerned ministry can consider relaxing the minimum qualifying service rule.
  • Interim orders in these appeals have been set aside with the specified conditions.


Case Number: C.A. No.-008497-008497 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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