a pensioner received excess pension around 5 years due to the mistake authorities after finding out of this mistake they have ordered to recollect the excess money from the pensioner and after his death from his family pension Is this decision is legal
Yes, the authorities have the power to regain the excess pension. Supreme court in the case of State of Punjab and others Vs rafiq Masih, enumerated the circumstances in which recovery is not possible.
These are the instances in which recovery is impermissible.
1. Recovery from employees belonging to Class-III and Class-IV service (or Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ service) 2. Recovery from retired employees, or employees who are due to retire within one year, of the order of recovery. 3. Recovery from employees, when the excess payment has been made for a period in excess of five years, before the order of recovery is issued. 4. Recovery in cases where an employee has wrongfully been required to discharge duties of a higher post, and has been paid accordingly, even though he should have rightfully been required to work against an inferior post. 5. In any other case, where the Court arrives at the conclusion, that recovery if made from the employee, would be iniquitous or harsh or arbitrary to such an extent, as would far outweigh the equitable balance of the employer’s right to recover.