13 years on, cancer patient gets pension
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
15th November 2012 08:57 AM
The Madras High Court has directed the State Bank of India to pay pension to a 56-year-old woman, who was suffering from cancer, after 13 years.
Allowing an appeal from Premila Kiruba Augustus, a division bench comprising Justices C Nagappan and M Sathyanarayanan said in respect of arrears of pension, the appellant was entitled to interest at 9 per cent per annum from January 7, 2011, the date on which the petition was filed. The bank was directed to pay the arrears along with interest within three months and continue to pay the eligible pension to her.
S Vaidyanathan, counsel for Premila, submitted that she joined the services of SBI at Bangalore main branch and at her request, was transferred to Chennai circle in 1981.
She was on leave for personal reasons and the bank had passed an order dated March 31, 1999 stating that she had voluntarily retired from service. She applied for retirement benefits and the bank paid gratuity and provident fund but refused to pay pension. Hence, the present petition.
The bank contended that Pramila had filed the present petition after a delay of 12 years. She had voluntarily abandoned her service and, therefore, in terms of the bipartite settlement, she should be treated as voluntarily retired from service and since she never made a request seeking voluntary retirement, she could not claim pensionary benefits.
The bench said the facts of this case would disclose that the bank had called upon the petitioner to pay one month’s salary and allowances in lieu of notice and also informed her of the consequences of not paying the amount and the fact remains that the employee had remitted the one month’s salary along with allowances. “Voluntary retirement has been forced by the bank on the petitioner and, therefore, the contention of the bank that the petitioner had voluntarily abandoned the service cannot be sustained,” the bench added.
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