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When a social piece of legislation is intended to confer benefits, as part of the obligations enshrined in Part IV of our Constitution, no attempt should be made to deny such benefits. A piece of legislation made for furthering the constitutional obligations thrust by Part IV of the Constitution on the State should not be allowed to be frustrated by actions of any agency, nor the passage of time should be a factor to defeat the benefits of a legislation which advances the policy and purposes enshrined in Part IV of the Constitution. Passage of time should not normally be a hindrance for enforcing the constitutional guarantees or benefits. Passage of time, however, long it might be, should not come in the way for, securing justice to all, which is the very primary objective and motto of the constitutional courts. Delay or latches, are normally taken a serious note when 3rd party interests or conflicting rights creep in. In the process of balancing the competing rights between the State and the fundamental rights of the citizens, courts, seldom seek to non suit the claims of the citizens only due to delay in approaching the court. It is also now recognised that when a class interest is frustrated by a public authority, the entire class of citizens need not be forced to seek individual reliefs by approaching the constitutional courts. Avoiding expensive litigation and avoiding mulitplicity of proceedings is one of the mottos pursued vigorously by the constitutional courts in India now. Further, pensioners form into a single class by themselves. They are vulnerable due to constraints, both physical and resource wise. Therefore, I prefer to direct the judicial discretion available under Article 226 in their favour, instead of disallowing the claim for better pensionary benefits. #pdf

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  on 09 October 2009
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