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22 accountants to avail pension under old rules after HC ruling

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SHILLONG, April 7: In a significant ruling, the High Court of Meghalaya has directed the state government to enrol altogether 22 Junior Divisional Accountants (JDAs) under the Old Pension Scheme, namely the Meghalaya Civil Services (Pension) Rules 1983.
The JDAs had filed a petition seeking to be governed by the 1983 Pension Rules rather than the New Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, which they were placed under upon regularisation.
The petitioners argued that their past services as JDAs, dating back to 2008 and 2009, qualified them for the Old Pension Scheme under Regulation 3(f). They contended that their continuous service since before the implementation of the New Pension Scheme made them eligible for the older scheme.
“Pursuant to an advertisement dated 27.09.2007, inviting applications for temporary appointment as Junior Divisional Accountant (JDA) for vacancies available, in various offices of the PWD/PHE/Irrigation, the petitioners (JDAs) had applied for the same and were thereafter selected, and appointed to the post of Junior Divisional Accountant under Regulation 3(f) of the Meghalaya Public Service Commission (Limitation of Functions) Rules, 1972 and posted at different offices. Thereafter, the services of the petitioners on the approval of the Meghalaya Public Service Commission (MPSC) being obtained, by letter dated 02.03.2020, were regularised. This was followed by a letter dated 19.02.2021, whereby the state government approved the regularisation of 38 Junior Divisional Accountant, including the petitioners herein,” the court said.
The state, however, argued that since the regularisation process occurred after the New Pension Scheme took effect in 2010, the petitioners should be subject to it.
After considering the arguments, the court found that the petitioners’ service should indeed be governed by the Old Pension Scheme, as their initial appointments predated the implementation of the New Scheme.
The court set aside the clause in the regularisation letter that contradicted the benefit allowed by an earlier directive, directing the respondents to place the petitioners under the Old Pension Scheme.
The writ petition was allowed and disposed of accordingly, without costs.

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