The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that government employees become ineligible for pension under the Central Civil Services Pension Rules if they resign because they forfeit past service, the Hindustan Times reported. The pension rules apply to government servants, including civilian government servants in the defence services, appointed before December 31, 2003.

The court made a distinction between voluntary retirement and resignation while deciding a case related to the resignation of an employee of electricity company BSES Yamuna Power Limited.

“The decision to resign results in the legal consequences that flow from a resignation under the applicable provisions,” observed the court. “These consequences are distinct from the consequences flowing from voluntary retirement and the two may not be substituted for each other based on the length of an employee’s tenure.”

The respondent in question, Ghanshyam Chand Sharma, was appointed a daily rated mazdoor on July 9, 1968, according to Financial Express. His services as a peon were regularised on December 22, 1971. Sharma resigned from the company July 7, 1990. BSES Yamuna accepted it with effect from July 10. Subsequently, it denied Sharma pensionary benefits for not completing 20 years of service, and forfeiting his past services by resigning.

Sharma had challenged the order in Delhi High Court. His petitions were upheld by both a single-judge Bench as well as a Division Bench.