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The Union of India (Uoi), Represented by the Secretary, Ministry of Finance Vs. P.M. Jayarajan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1972)2MLJ226
AppellantThe Union of India (Uoi), Represented by the Secretary, Ministry of Finance
RespondentP.M. Jayarajan
Excerpt:
- .....the meagre record placed before us, that the respondent's annuity or pension was fixed in terms of indian rupee, that is to say at rs. 815-11-o per mensem which was then the equivalent of 734-2-6. though the computation of the annuity was expressed in terms of sterling, it was fixed in term of indian rupee under article 561.3. now, under article 934 a pension stated in rupees is payable at any indian government treasury in or out of india, or at the option of the pensioner, at or through the home treasury (u.k.) or elsewhere by any of the authorities mentioned in appendix 15. under this regulation, pensions drawn from, at or through the home treasury or elsewhere of any of the authorities mentioned in appendix 15 are converted into sterling at such rates as the secretary of state may.....
Judgment:

K. Veeraswami, C.J.

1. The controversy in this appeal filed, by the Union against the judgment of Alagiriswamy, J, is as to whether the respondent for the period of his residence at Uganda was entitled to be paid pension at 1 shilling 9 pence according to him, or at 1 shilling 6 pence per rupee as contended by the appellant. The respondent is a Ceylonese national, and joined the Indian Civil Service on 6th October, 1933. After the transfer of power on 15th August, 1947 he was retained in service and continued to serve until his retirement on 31st December, 1949 under the terms of the (Viceroy's announcement of 1947. Since then he took up residence in Ceylon, but between March, 1963 and October, 1969, he resided at Uganda, in East Africa. At his retirement he was sanctioned an annuity of 743, 2, shillings 6 pence per annum. He commuted a part of his pension amounting to Rs. 315-11-0 per mensem leaving a balance of Rs. 500 per mensem which he was drawing as appears from a letter of the Accountant-General, Madras, dated 20th November, 1950 and addressed to the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury at Colombo. The respondent made reprpsentations in 1963 that while he was at Uganda he was entitled to receive his pension of Rs. 500 converted at the rate of 1 shilling 9 pence to the rupee which Was acceded to. There was a communication to the respondent to that effect from the Accountant-General, Madras. The Union Government by a communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs in July, 1964, however, reversed the decision and directed that the conversion rate should only be 1 shilling 6 pence to the rupee, and the excess payments should be recovered from him. Having failed in his fresh representations, he moved this Court for a, Rule, under Article 226 of the Constitution that he was entitled to the, payment of his pension at the higher conversion rate as per if Regulations 934-A and 934-D of the Civil Service Regulations, Alagiriswamy, J,, who allowed his petition, found that his pension was fixed initially at Rs. 815-11-0 per mensem,, and after commutation it was reduced to Rs. 500 per mensem, and that being the case, Article 934 and not Article 983, of the Regulations would govern the case.

2. Article 561 as in force at the relevant time said that an officer who had been twenty-five years, in the service counting from the date of his covenant, and who had rendered twenty-one years' active service, was entitled, on his resignation of the service being accepted, to an annuity of Rs. 10,666-10-8. The Regulation also said that the annuity was subject to a minimum of 1,000. Incidentally we may refer to the amendment of this Regulation, according to which the annuity Was raised to Rs. 13,333-5-4 if he Was an Indian Officer or a non-Indian Officer drawing his pension in India and to Rs. 10,666-10-8 subject to a minimum of 1,000 if he was a non-Indian Officer and drew his pennon through the High Commissioner for India in England, But this was effective from 12th June, 1956 and would not govern the case of the respondent. The pension admissible under Rule 10 of the Premature Retirement: Rules under which the respondent retired was N/21 x 1 ,000, subject to a. maximum of Rs. 10,666-10-8. Should it exceed 1,000 in value that sum shall be substituted for 1,oco, and the pension recalculated accordingly. We find from a communication of the Accountant-General dated 14th February, 1950 that the respondent, on his retirement from the Indian Civil Service with effect from 23rd January, 1950, would be entitled to an annuity of 734-2-6 under Rule 10 of the Premature Retirement Rules. The subsequent letter dated 13th October, 1967 of the Accountant-General, Madras, shows that this sum under sterling was converted at the then current rate of exchange of 1 shilling 6 pence to be drawn in India which came to Rs. 815-11-0 per mensem, and that after commutation the pension that he would be entitled to draw would be equivalent to 734-s-6 per annum, less the amount of Rs. 315-11-0 per mensem commuted, converted into sterling at 1 Shilling 6 pence per rupee. But this communication was sent after the decision of the Government of India. While the commutation order was made, the substance of which is to be found in a communication of the Accountant-General, dated 20th November, 1950, that said:

The Government of Madras,, have in their Public (Special) Department letter G.O. No. 3855, dated 99th September, 1950 (copy endorsed to the High Commissioner for India, Ceylon) sanctioned the payment of Rs. 65,839-13-0 (Rupees sixty-five thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine and annas thirteen only) being the commuted value of Rs. 315-11-0 Out of the original annuity of Rs. 815-11-o per month granted to Sri P.M. Jayarajan, I.C.S., (Retired). I request that arrangements may kindly be made for the payment of the said amount at Colombo, where the pensioner is drawing his pension. As the commutation takes eftect from the date of medical examination viz., 11th October, 1950, the annuity should be reduced to Rs. 500 per month with eftect from nth October, 1950.

It is not denied that in 1963 the Accountant-General considered that the respondent was entitled to Rs. 500 per mensem converted at the rate of 1 shilling 9 pence to the rupee when he was at Uganda. It seems to us, as far as we can see from, the meagre record placed before us, that the respondent's annuity or pension was fixed in terms of Indian rupee, that is to say at Rs. 815-11-o per mensem which was then the equivalent of 734-2-6. Though the computation of the annuity was expressed in terms of sterling, it was fixed in term of Indian rupee under Article 561.

3. Now, under Article 934 a pension stated in rupees is payable at any Indian Government Treasury in or out of India, or at the option of the pensioner, at or through the Home Treasury (U.K.) or elsewhere by any of the authorities mentioned in Appendix 15. Under this Regulation, pensions drawn from, at or through the Home Treasury or elsewhere of any of the authorities mentioned in Appendix 15 are converted into sterling at such rates as the Secretary of State may prescribe. There is a second proviso to Article 934 which is:

Provided that save where a pensioner resides in India (which for the purpose of this Article and Articles 934-A, 934-B, 934-C, 934-D and 935 shall be deemed to include Burma, Ceylon, Nepal, and the French and Portuguese establishments in India) the minimum rate of conversion shall be 1/9 per rupee.

Uganda finds a place in Appendix 15.1 So, when the respondent shifted his residence from Ceylon to Uganda, payment of his pension there would attract the second proviso. That apparently was the earlier view of the Accountant-General, Madras. We think that is the Correct view.

4. We are unable to accept the contention for the appellant that the, respondent is regulated by Article 983. During the relevant period, he did not take the annuity at the Home Treasury, or in India. It seems to us that none of the two provisos to Article 983 would be applicable to the facts relating to the respondent. The Article Was substituted in December, 1957. But the new Article cannot govern the respondent who retired far earlier. Even otherwise, the new Article has no relevance, as, while the respondent was at Uganda, he was not asking for payment of his pension either in India, or through, the High Commissioner far India in the, United Kingdom so as to apply such rate of exchange as the President may, by order, prescribe. The respondent having entered service prior to 9th Sepember, 1949, he would be entitled, while at Uganda, to the privileged rate of 1 shilling 9 pence to the rupee under the second proviso to Article 934 read with Articles 934-A and 934'D;

5. The appeal is dismissed. No costs.


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