For Writ Against Stoppage Of Pension, Part Of Cause Of Action Arises Where Pensioner Is Getting Pension : Supreme Court

first_imgTop StoriesFor Writ Against Stoppage Of Pension, Part Of Cause Of Action Arises Where Pensioner Is Getting Pension : Supreme Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK5 Nov 2020 7:29 AMShare This – x”For a retired employee convenience is to prosecute his case at the place where he belonged to and was getting pension”, SCAs per a significant judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on Thursday, a retired employee can file a writ petition against stoppage of pension at the place where she is residing and need not approach the High Court where the pension authority is located.A 3-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan held that part of cause of action under Article 226(2) of the Constitution of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginAs per a significant judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on Thursday, a retired employee can file a writ petition against stoppage of pension at the place where she is residing and need not approach the High Court where the pension authority is located.A 3-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan held that part of cause of action under Article 226(2) of the Constitution of India for filing writ arises at the place where the pensioner is residing and drawing pension.The top court made this notable pronouncement in the case Shanti Devi Alias Shanti Mishra v Union of India and others.Case BackgroundThe case related to the pension entitlement of one B N Mishra, who was an employee of the Coal India Limited till 2005. After drawing pension for nearly 8 years, Coal India Ltd stopped his pension in 2013 stating that he had not opted for the Family Coal Mines Pension Scheme of 1998. He was also asked to refund an amount to the tune of Rs 8 lakhs which was drawn by him.Challenging the stoppage of pension and the demand for refund, B N Mishra approached the Patna High Court in 2014. The High Court dismissed the writ petition on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction. The HC referred to the fact that he had earlier filed a writ petition in the Patna High Court in 2006 seeking refund of an amount of Rs.1,33,559/ in his pension account. That writ petition was dismissed citing lack of territorial jurisdiction. Following that, he had approached the High Court of Jharkhand, within whose jurisdiction his pension authority was situated. Pointing out this aspect, the High Court dismissed the writ petition filed in 2014 observing that he had submitted himself to the jurisdiction of Jharkhand High Court.During the pendency of the proceedings, B N Mishra died and his wife, Shanti Mishra was substituted as the petitioner.Supreme Court’s viewDisagreeing with the view taken by the High Court, the Supreme Court noted that the pensioner was residing at Darbhanga, Bihar, after his retirement and received pension there for over eight years. The SC further noted that as per Article 226(2) of the Constitution, if a part of the cause of action arises at a place, writ petition can be maintained there.”Form the facts of the present case, we are of the considered opinion that part of cause of action has arisen within the territorial jurisdiction of Patna High Court. The deceased petitioner was continuously receiving pension for the last 08 years in his saving bank account in State Bank of India, Darbhanga. The  stoppage of pension of late B.N. Mishra affected him at his native place, he being deprived of the benefit of pension which he was receiving from his employer.Stoppage of pension gave a cause of action, which arose at the place where the petitioner was continuously receiving the pension.We, thus, are of the view that the view of the learned Single Judge as well as the Division Bench holding the writ petition not maintainable on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction was completely erroneous and has caused immense hardship to the petitioner”, observed the bench.The causes of action for the writ filed in 2006 and 2014 were totally different, the court further noted. Therefore, the HC erred in dismissing the second writ petition stating that he had submitted himself to Jharkhand High Court.Forum non conveniensThe respondent raised an argument of forum non conveniens by saying that the previous writ petition filed by him in the Jharkhand High Court was still pending.”For a retired employee convenience is to prosecute his case at the place where he belonged to and was getting pension”, the bench observed in this regard.”Stoppage of pension and asking for refund of more than Rs. 08 lakhs amount had serious adverse effect on the petitioner, who was staying at his native place Darbhanga. A retired employee, who is receiving pension, cannot be asked to go to another court to file the writ petition, when he has a cause of action for filing a writ petition in Patna High Court”, the judgment added.The court referred to precedents such as Kusum Ingots & Alloys Ltd. Vs. Union of India and Anr., (2004) 6 SCC 254, Nawal Kishore Sharma Vs. Union of India and Ors., (2014) 9 SCC 329The Court allowed the appeal and revived the writ petition before the High Court.Also, taking note of the fact that the petitioner before the SC was the widow of the original petitioner who is now without the support of family pension, the apex court ordered the grant of provisional pension to her,  which will be subject tofinal decision in the writ petition.Case Details :Title : Shanti Devi Alias Shanti Mishra v Union of India and others (Civil Appeal 3630 of 2020)Coram : Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R ShahAppearances: Arvind Kumar Gupta, for appellant; Sreekumar C.N., Kaustubh Shukla, Uddyam Mukherjee for respondentsClick here to read/download judgment Read JudgmentNext Storylast_img read more