The Bombay High Court has upheld a municipal service rule which does not entitle a part time teacher to get pension.
The court rejected the teacher's contention that she be given pension as she was exclusively in the service of the municipal colleges as a part time teacher and that during her career spanning 24 years she did not take up any other job.
"In our opinion, the submission advanced by the petitioner cannot be accepted...Merely because the petitioner, in the remaining time available to her, did not take up any other work or occupation, it cannot mean that she was full time working with the college of municipal corporation," said Justices V M Kanade and R P Sondurbaldota.
The test is not whether the petitioner had actually worked at two or more places as a part time. The test is the actual time spent by the petitioner in her services with the municipal corporation and the availability of the remaining time for her to work any where else. In the circumstances, the respondents have correctly relied upon the provision of rule (2)(b) for rejection of her plea for pension, the judges said.
Besides, as has been held by the apex court, in the absence of specific provision in the rules for grant of pension benefits, this court cannot issue a writ directing the respondents to grant pension benefits to the petitioner contrary to the statutory rules, the judges ruled recently.
Pradnya Damle was working as a part time teacher for deaf students in colleges of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai from 1986 to 2010. She was with Topiwala National Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital from 1986 to 2008. Later, she was transferred to Lokmanya Tilak Medical College from February 2008 till her superannuation in 2010.
During the total period of 24 years of her service as "part time teacher," for a period of six months, she had worked on adhoc basis in leave vacancy as "full time teacher."
While in service, she had applied for the post of a full time teacher, but could not get the job for want of existence of such a post. Thus, she continued as a part time teacher throughout.