Recovery from Pension is not permissible : Supreme Court

recovery of pensionRecovery from Pension

The Recovery from Pension is much highlighted subject among all pensioners but they feel helpless due to less awareness of law.

Sometimes Pension Disbursing Agency initiates recovery from the pay and allowances given during service.

Reasons for Recovery from Pension

There are many reasons for deduction from pension like over payment of pension or wrong pay fixation pay and pension.

However, sometimes family member do not intimate to Bank about the death of pensioner, resultantly Bank paid pension in excess amount.

As we know the amount of service pension is more than family pension. Therefore, it can also be a reason for initiation of deduction in pension.

Actions for Stay on Recovery of Pension

Individual must approach to PDA) i.e. CPAO / PCDA (P) asking reason for recovery.

PCDA(P)/ CPAO do not give satisfactory reply; Individual can approach to Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) / Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT)/ High Court seeking stay on recovery of pension.

Supreme Court Judgment on Recovery from Pension

In the case of Secretary Department of Irrigation Vs Dharmatma Singh [SLP (CC) 14563/2010 decided on 29-07-2013, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that since the employee himself was not responsible in any manner for the mistake in fixing his pay leading to overpayment.

In another case titled State of Punjab Vs Rafiq Masih (Civil Appeal No. 11527/2014 decided on 18-12-2014) the Hon’ble Supreme Court clarified the issue of recovery from pension, pay & allowances and held that Recovery by the employer would be impermissible in law in following situation:-

(i) Recovery from employees belonging to Class-III & Class-IV Employee.

(ii) Recovery from Retired employees or who are due to retire within one year of the order of recovery.

(iii) Recovery from employees, when excess payment has been made for a period in excess of five years, before the order of recovery is issued.

(iv) Recovery is cases where an employee has wrongfully been required to discharge duties of a higher post, and has been paid accordingly, even though he should have rightfully been required to work against an inferior post.

(v) In any other case, where the Court arrives at the conclusion, that recovery if made from the employee would be iniquitous or harsh or arbitrary to such an extent, as would far outweigh the equitable balance of the employer’s right to recover.

Latest Judgment on Deduction in Pension

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Thomas Daniel Vs State of Kerala (Civil Appeal No. 7175/2010 decided on 02-05-2022 has held that recovery from retirement benefits is not permissible.

A veteran who is getting disability pension for schizophrenia cannot take legal action being having mental disability against illegal deduction. 

Read More : What is Invalid Pension in Army/ Navy / Air Force.