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Vinod Kanjibhai Bhagora Vs. State of Gujarat (02/02/2024)
CITATIONSpecial Leave Petition (Civil) No(s). 16030 of 2018
DATE OF JUDGEMENT2nd February, 2024
COURTSupreme Court of India
APPELLANT Vinod Kanjibhai Bhagora
RESPONDENT State of Gujrat
BENCHJustice Vikram Nath and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma 


In this case, there’s a postal assistant (the person appealing) who worked for the Central Government in Gandhinagar from August 12, 1983, to July 16, 1973. During a break in service, the appellant obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Superintendent of the Post Office, Gandhinagar, to participate in the recruitment process for a ‘Senior Assistant’ position in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. After resigning from the Gandhinagar postal division on July 16, 1993, the appellant joined as a Senior Assistant in the State Government. They worked for the State Government for 23 years until retirement. Following retirement, the State Government only provided terminal benefits/pensionary benefits for the Subject Period.

The person appealing submitted a request to the Chief Postmaster General, Gujarat Circle, arguing that the terminal benefits should cover the period they served in the Central Government. However, this request was denied on the grounds that they had tendered an unconditional resignation, thereby excluding that period from their benefits. Subsequently, the appellant sought relief from the High Court, but their plea was also dismissed. Now, the appellant has filed an appeal in the apex court seeking relief.


The key issue in this case revolves around determining the period of employment for which the appellant is entitled to receive terminal/pensionary benefits. Specifically, the question is whether the period during which the appellant served in the Central Government before joining the State Government should be considered in calculating his terminal/pensionary benefits.


The provision in question is Rule 25 of the Gujarat Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 2022. Both parties extensively discuss and analyze this rule, and the apex court provides a detailed explanation of its application in the current case.

Rule 25. Qualifying Service: Subject to the provisions of these rules, qualifying service of Government employee, means and includes – (ix) services rendered under Central Government/Central Government Autonomous bodies having pension scheme, by a Government employee who is absorbed in Government


Appellant: The counsel representing the appellant highlighted Rule 25(ix) of the Pension Rules, arguing that the 10 years during which the appellant served as a Postal Assistant in the Central Government should be considered for his pensionary benefits. They contended that because the appellant was initially employed by the Central Government and later absorbed by the State Government, Rule 25(ix) was applicable to his case.

Respondent: The counsel representing the respondent, the State of Gujarat, contended that the appellant was not eligible for the application of Rule 25(ix). They argued that the appellant’s appointment in the State Government resulted from a new recruitment process initiated by an advertisement released by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Therefore, according to the respondent, the circumstances did not align with the conditions outlined in Rule 25(ix) for the appellant’s case.


The apex court, upon interpreting the Pension Rules, emphasized the importance of giving Rule 25 a comprehensive interpretation. The court criticized the restrictive interpretation put forward by the respondents, which limited the provision’s applicability only to individuals expressly absorbed by the State Government from the Central Government. The court argued that such a narrow interpretation would exclude individuals like the appellant, who obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the government before participating in the recruitment process and subsequently tendered a formal resignation upon selection.

The court reached the conclusion that the High Court had unfairly denied the appellant the benefit provided by Rule 25(ix). It criticized the High Court’s ruling, which prohibited the appellant from considering the period of service rendered to the Central Government as part of the “qualifying service” under the Pension Rules. This decision was deemed erroneous by the apex court.

Post setting aside the impugned order of the High Court the apex court ordered the following:

i. re-calculate the terminal benefits / pensionary benefits accruing in favour of the Appellant;

ii. transmit the arrears (if any) of such terminal benefits / pensionary benefits to the Appellant within 6 (six) weeks from today i.e., 02.02.2024.


This Article is written by Niharika Singh, student of Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida; intern at Legal Vidhiya.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are intended solely for informational purposes. Accessing or using the site or the materials does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The information presented on this site is not to be construed as legal or professional advice, and it should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Additionally, the viewpoint presented by the author is of a personal nature.


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