SC imposes Rs 5 Lakh cost on Tamil Nadu Govt for filing unnecessary plea challenging pension of employee


NEW DELHI, Sep 28: The Supreme Court recently imposed an exemplary cost of Rupees 5 lakhs on the State of Tamil Nadu for filing an unnecessary Special Leave Petition.
"At the outset, it is required to be noted that as such the State ought not to have filed the present Special Leave Petition. Despite the fact that the issue with respect to entitlement of pension by the respondent was concluded up to this Court, still thereafter, the State had an audacity to contend that the respondent was not entitled to pension", a bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Krishna Murari held.
The issue related to the pensionary entitlement of an employee. In an earlier round of litigation, the Supreme Court had confirmed the pensionary entitlement of the employee. However, when the stage for disbursing the arrears came, the State took up a plea that the employee was not entitled to pension. The Madras High Court, by its judgment delivered in February 2022, rejected the State's contention, observing that the Department "has misappropriated the money of the employee by depriving him of his pension".
"The act of the appellants in not granting arrears of pension from 01.04.2009 is arbitrary. Once the entitlement of pension of the employee is decided, the appellants are bound to pay the same", the High Court's division bench observed. Challenging this, the State approached the Supreme Court, which took an extremely critical view of the State's conduct.
"Once the issue was concluded up to this court that the respondent is entitled to pension, thereafter, it was not open for the State to again contend post 2009 when the arrears were to be paid that the respondent is not entitled to pension. The aforesaid stand is just in teeth of order passed by this Court. In that view of the matter, there is no substance in the present Special Leave Petition, the same deserves to be dismissed and is accordingly dismissed with an exemplary cost, which is quantified at Rs. 5,00,000/-", the Supreme Court observed.
The cost of Rs. 5,00,000/-, to be deposited by the State within a period of four weeks from September 19 with the Registry of the Supreme Court Court and on such deposit, the same be transferred to the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC), Supreme Court of India.

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