After years of correspondence and legal battle, more than 125 UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) officials appointed before the promulgation of service rules in 1998 may finally get pensionary benefits.
This, according to people aware of the issue, may be possible as the Allahabad high court, in a recent order, asked the UPSRTC management to decide the pension issue on merit before April 11, failing which its managing director will have to appear before the court in person to explain.
The court, in its March 17 order, also imposed the cost with regard to the petitioners on the UPSRTC managing director, asking the official to pay ₹25000 to each of them.
“The UPSRTC is expected to hold its board meeting shortly in light of the high court order and clear recommendations by the corporation, the bureau of public enterprises etc. for giving pensionary benefits to all such personnel appointed prior to the promulgation of service rules,” a senior UPSRTC official said.
Principal secretary-transport Venkateshwar Lu, also the UPSRTC chairman, said the high court had directed the government to decide the pension issue on merit and the order will be complied with soon.
“We will decide the issue as directed by the court after taking into account the possible financial implications of the decision in favour of the petitioners,” he said, adding, “Let the UPSRTC first move a proposal in this regard in the board meeting.”
A government order dated July 21, 1972 provided that from June 1 of the year till the framing of service rules by the UPSRTC shall be governed and regulated by the service rules applicable to the employees of the UP State Roadways, the entity that existed before UPSRTC.
The petitioners in the court submitted that since they were appointed subsequent to June 1, 1972 and prior to the promulgation of the service regulations framed by the UPSRTC in 1998, they were entitled to be governed by the GO dated July 21, 1972 and hence they were entitled to the pensionary benefits.
“The petitioners produced a number of letters exchanged between the UPSRTC and the government, all strongly recommending giving pensionary benefits to all such employees. However, no final decision was ever taken due to which some employees moved the high court in 2018,” another UPSRTC official said.
“The strange thing is that more than 700 personnel appointed during the same period are already getting pensionary benefits but around 125 others, some of whom have even passed, were deprived of pension,” he pointed out.