Supreme Court of India
Ic 29547 L Bobby Joseph vs Union Of India on 4 October, 2019Author: L. Nageswara Rao

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta



Civil Appeal……………… of 2019
(@ Diary No. 10043 of 2017)

…. Appellant(s)

Union of India & Ors.
…. Respondent (s)



1. The Appellant was granted Short Service Commission

on 15.06.1969 and Permanent Commission on 15.06.1974.

His promotion/seniority was fixed w.e.f. 12.08.1970. He

voluntarily proceeded for his pre-mature retirement w.e.f.

15.07.1991 in the rank of Major. He was granted pension

by an order dated 29.07.1991, as Major.

2. By an order dated 25.09.1991, the Appellant was

granted substantive rank of Lt. Colonel. The Appellant

sought for revision of pension as he was entitled for

payment of pension applicable to the rank of Lt. Colonel

(TS) pursuant to the implementation of the 5 th Central Pay

Commission. As the request made by the Appellant was

rejected, he approached the Armed Forces Tribunal,

Regional Bench, Kochi, which directed the reconsideration

of the representation made by the Appellant.

3. By way of implementation of the direction issued by

the Armed Forces Tribunal, the Respondent reconsidered

the matter pertaining to the payment of pension applicable

to the rank of Lt. Colonel (TS) to the Appellant. By

observing that the Appellant did not complete 21 years of

reckonable service which was required for grant of pension

to the Lt. Colonel, as per the Army Order dated

20.03.1990, the Respondents held that the Appellant was

not entitled for payment of pension applicable to the Lt.

Colonel (TS). The Military Secretary Branch, M3-8A

Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army)

South Block, New Delhi was of the opinion that the

Appellant fell short of the requisite 21 years by a period of

30 days.

4. Challenging the proceedings dated 30.04.2015, the

Appellant filed O.A. No.110 of 2015 before the Armed

Forces Tribunal. The Armed Forces Tribunal dismissed the

O.A., dissatisfied with which, the Appellant has filed the

above Appeal.

5. The Tribunal accepted the submissions made on

behalf of the Respondents that to be placed in the rank of

Lt. Colonel (TS), a person should have 21 years of

reckonable service. In case of Short Service

Commissioned Officers who were granted Permanent

Commission, the date of the Permanent Commission shall

be taken into account for the purpose of promotion and

seniority. Considering that the Appellant was granted

permanent Commission w.e.f. 15.06.1974 and seniority

from 12.08.1970, his reckonable service would be 20 years

11 months. In such view of the matter, the Tribunal

concluded that the Appellant was not entitled to the relief


6. After retirement of the Appellant, an order for

payment of pension was issued on 29.07.1991. His service

for the payment of pension was shown to have been 22

years 1 month and 1 day. He was granted pension in the

rank of Major. The Appellant has placed before us an order

dated 15.10.1991 by which the competent authority

approved the promotion of officers of 1970 to the

substantive rank of Lt. Colonel by time scale. The officers

whose names were found in the list annexed to the said

order were directed to wear the badges of the rank of Lt.

Colonel (TS). The name of the Appellant is shown at Serial

No.11 of the list that was annexed to the order dated


7. Having been promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel, the

Appellant is entitled to payment of pension in the rank of

Lt. Colonel (TS). In response to our query about the order

dated 15.10.1991, the learned Additional Solicitor General,

on instructions submitted that it was issued due to a

mistake. She fairly submitted that the said order has not

been withdrawn. The reliance placed on the Army orders

to consider the reckonable service for the purpose of

promotion/seniority as Major is of no avail to the

Respondents in view of the order dated 15.10.1991. The

Appellant cannot be denied payment of pension applicable

to the rank of Lt. Colonel (TS) on the ground that he fell

short of the reckonable service of 21 years. The Appellant

retired in the year 1991 and has been made to run from

pillar to post to get his rightful pension. We deem it

appropriate that apart from his entitlement to the pension

applicable to the post of Lt. Colonel (TS), he is also entitled

to be compensated for the avoidable litigation to which he

was unnecessarily dragged into.

8. For the aforementioned reasons, we allow the Appeal

with costs, assessed at Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand

only) which shall be payable to the Appellant within a

period of four weeks.


New Delhi,
October 04, 2019



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