Shimla: Himachal Government can count the contract service of the employee for pension. After losing such cases in court and following a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, the Ayurveda Department has been asked to send the case to the Finance Department to implement a decision.
This judgement came from the Supreme Court on August 7, 2023 in the Sheela Devi vs. Himachal Government case. The Finance Department will be asked what is the possibility of implementing this judgment and what is the financial implication?
In this case, Himachal government was not able to defend its contract policy even in the Supreme Court after the High Court. It was said in the Supreme Court on behalf of the state government that the relief given to the petitioner by the High Court is based on wrong information.
Contract employees enter into contract voluntarily under the contract policy of the state government. This period is not taken into account for pension. Contract policy was implemented in Himachal in the year 2003-04, while on May 4, 2023, there was a notification to implement the new pension scheme in place of the old pension.
Sheela Devi, who was posted as a contract employee in Ayurveda, had filed a case in the High Court arguing that this period should also be taken for pension.
On the other hand, the work of an employee who became regular after the contract without any break in service was also considered the same between contract and regular.
Therefore, the Supreme Court said that the state government will have to take this service of contract employees also for pension. For this, employees were asked to give 8 weeks to avail the option and these benefits were to be decided in 4 months.
The Ayurveda Department has also gone to Delhi and discussed this matter with Senior Advocate PS Patwalia. He also suggested the department to implement this decision.
This decision of Ayurveda is to count the contract period for pension, but the bigger problem for the state government is regarding giving seniority to the contract period.
In a judgment from Food and Civil Supplies, apart from pension, it has been decided to count the contract period for seniority and other financial benefits also.
Due to this, even the DPC of promotion in all departments will have to be changed. In this matter, the government has just sought advice from the Law Department on further strategy.