MHADA employees have no legal right to claim pension
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on wednesday rejected a petition filed by employees of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) seeking pension on superannuation.
MHADA is a government body set up to provide affordable housing to the people of the state.
The bench headed by Justice V M Kanade rejected the plea of employees on the ground that there was no statutory legal right available to them to claim pensionary benefits.
The employees pleaded that MHADA had already passed a resolution deciding to grant pensionary benefits to the workers who had joined after November 1, 2005. However, the state had not granted approval to this proposal.
The employees also demanded pension on the ground that the state had adopted Civil Service Rules which provides for payment of montly pension on superannuation.
However, the bench held that mere adoption of Civil Service Rules was not sufficient to create a legal right to claim pension.
“Any decision taken by MHADA can come into force only if the State Government approves it. We are inclined to reject the plea for issuing direction to provide for pensionary benefits to the employees,” said the bench.
Advocate General Darius Khambata argued that it is not a legal right of the employees to get pension. Such an issue cannot be claimed as a matter of right. Whether to give pension or not is a matter of policy decision for the state.
Moreover, if the state decided to give pension to MHADA employees, then it may have to give such benefit to the employees of other state government organisations or state corporations. In that case, the financial burden on the state exchequer would rise, the Advocate General said.
A similar petition had been filed before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court wherein the state had informed that the Chief Minister had rejected such a proposal (of MHADA deciding not to grant pension to workers). Thereafter, the HC asked the state cabinet to decide the issue which too turned down the proposal.