whether the service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and Supreme Court Legal Services Committee prior to the promulgation of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules, 2000 is to be counted while calculating their qualifying service for determination of pension. ? The Union of India has raised a two­fold submission. It is first submitted that the service of the petitioners rendered prior to 03.07.2000 cannot be taken into consideration while quantifying the qualifying service or determining their retiral benefits. It is secondly contended that this plea could have been taken in the earlier writ petition and, in fact, such a plea was raised but finally the Court did not grant this relief and, therefore, they cannot file the second petition. From the facts narrated above, it is apparent that the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee was created under administrative instructions of the Government. Thereafter, the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 came into force. The services of the officers and employees were governed by Rule 3A and after 2000, they are governed by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Regulations, 2000. They have been rendering service uninterruptedly as employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and no distinction can be made between the service prior to 03.07.2000 and the service rendered thereafter. The petitioners have been regular employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and their entire service must be counted for determining their pension and other retiral benefits. This entire service is to be treated as their qualifying service in accordance with the Rules. As far as the second submission made on behalf of the Union of India is concerned, we have carefully gone through the earlier order and the writ petition. Though it is correct that in the writ petition there was a general claim to grant all the benefits under Rule 6 which would include retiral benefits but it appears that the Court did not go into the same. There is no rejection of the plea and as such we are of the considered view that this petition is maintainable and cannot be rejected on this hyper­technical ground. In relation to applicability of Order II Rule 2 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 this Court has held in Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others1 as follows: 1 AIR 1962 SC 1334 7 “12. …The bar of O.2 R. 2 of the Civil Procedure Code on which the High Court apparently relied may not apply to a petition for a high prerogative writ under Art. 226 of the Constitution, but the High Court having disallowed the claim of the appellant for salary prior to the date of the suit, we do not think that we would be justified in interfering with the exercise of its discretion by the High Court.” Placing reliance on the case of Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma (supra), this Court in Gulabchand Chhotalal Parikh v. State of Gujarat2 in relation to Order II Rule 2 held as follows: “23. …By its very language, these provisions do not apply to the contents of a writ petition and consequently do not apply to the contents of a subsequent suit…” In view of the above, we allow the petition and direct that the entire service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee shall be treated as qualifying service for the purpose of pension and shall be taken into consideration for calculating their retiral benefits. Pending application(s), if any, stand(s) disposed of.

NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 59 OF 2019
BRAHMA SINGH AND OTHERS …PETITIONER(S)
Versus
UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS …RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
DEEPAK GUPTA, J.
The short issue involved in this case is whether the service
rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid
Committee and Supreme Court Legal Services Committee prior to
the promulgation of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee
Rules, 2000 is to be counted while calculating their qualifying
service for determination of pension.

  1. The petitioners are serving and retired employees of the
    Supreme Court Legal Services Committee in various capacities.
    They claim that the entire service rendered by them should be
    1
    treated as qualifying service for the purpose of fixing the retiral
    benefits. The respondent no.1­Union of India has rejected their
    claim on 11.09.2017 and 08.12.2017, leading to the filing of this
    petition. The case of the petitioners is that their claim is squarely
    covered by the judgment already rendered in their favour in Writ
    Petition (Civil) No.267 of 2008 wherein considering the effect of
    the Rules which are now under consideration, their entire service
    was taken into consideration for fixing the pay and allowances
    and they were given complete benefit of Rule 6 of The Supreme
    Court Legal Services Committee Rules,2000. According to the
    Union of India, the benefit can be given only from the date of
    promulgation of the Rules and not prior to that. Some of the
    petitioners joined in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee as
    far back as in 1981 and the service not taken into consideration
    is more than 18 years and 8 months.
  2. The Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee was constituted by
    the Ministry of Law & Justice under executive instructions on
    10.07.1981. Para 7 of the said instructions provides that the
    Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee shall be entitled to make
    necessary arrangements for staff and other facilities necessary for
    2
    the discharge of its functions. These instructions were issued
    with the concurrence of the Ministry of Finance, Department of
    Expenditure. Therefore, the posts were sanctioned posts though
    no rules were framed for filling up the same. Pursuant to these
    instructions, the petitioners were appointed in different
    capacities in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee. In 1987,
    the Parliament enacted the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
    The National Legal Services Authority was constituted under
    Section 3. Sub­section (5) and (6) of Section 3 provide that the
    Central Authority can appoint officers and other employees. The
    appointment of such employees and their pay and allowances are
    to be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with
    the Chief Justice of India. Section 3A of the Legal Services
    Authorities Act provides for the constitution of the Supreme
    Court Legal Services Committee and sub­section (5) and (6) are
    identical to sub­section (5) and (6) of Section 3. Rule 9 of The
    National Legal Services Authority Rules, 1995 provides that the
    conditions of service and salary and allowances of officers and
    other employees of the Central Authority shall be at par with the
    Central Government employees holding equivalent posts and it
    further provides that in all matters like age of retirement, pay
    3
    and allowances, the rules applicable to the employees of the
    Central Government shall also apply to the employees of the
    Central Authority. The Central Authority framed the Supreme
    Court Legal Services Committee Regulations, 1996 and
    Regulations 3(1) and 3(2) thereof read as follows;
    “3. General effect of vesting. – On and from the date of
    commencement of these regulations, ­
    (1)All the assets, liabilities, rights, title and interest of the
    erstwhile Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee stand
    transferred to, and vest in, Supreme Court Legal Services
    Committee;
    3(2) The staff, who have been serving under the
    erstwhile Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee shall be
    deemed to be working for the Supreme Court Legal
    Services Committee;
    xxx xxx xxx”
  3. The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules, 2000
    were framed by the Central Government in consultation with the
    Chief Justice of India and came into effect on 03.07.2000. Rule 6
    is relevant for our purpose and reads as follows:
    “6. The conditions of service and the salary and
    allowances payable to the officers and employees of
    the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee under
    sub­section (6) of section 3A.­(1) The officers and other
    employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services
    Committee shall be entitled to draw pay and allowances
    in the scale of pay indicated against each post in the
    Schedule to these rules or at par with the Central
    Government employees holding equivalent posts.
    4
    (2)In all matters like age of retirement, pay and
    allowances, benefits and entitlements and disciplinary
    matters, the officers and employees of the Supreme Court
    Legal Services Committee shall be governed by the
    Central Government rules as are applicable to persons
    holding equivalent posts.
    (3)The officers and other employees of the Supreme Court
    Legal Services Committee shall be entitled to such other
    facilities and benefits as may be notified by the Central
    Government from time to time.
    Explanation. – The words “benefits”, “allowances”,
    “entitlements”, “facilities” occurring in these rules shall
    be deemed to include, the entitlement to gratuity,
    provident fund, housing, medical benefits, pension, group
    insurance, and all other benefits as are available to
    employees of the Central Government holding equivalent
    posts.”
    Sub­rule (2) of Rule 6 of the Supreme Court Legal Services
    Committee Rules clearly states that in all matters like age of
    retirement, pay and allowances and benefits on retirement the
    officers and employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services
    Committee shall be governed by the Central Government rules.
  4. Earlier, the petitioners had approached this Court by filing
    Writ Petition (Civil) No. 267 of 2008 whereby they had claimed
    that they were entitled to pay and allowances and other benefits
    under Rule 6 quoted hereinabove. That writ petition was allowed
    and the respondents were directed to give full benefit of Rule 6 of
    the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules by fixing the
    pay and allowances of the petitioners and other similarly situated
    5
    employees in the pay scales specified in the Schedule appended
    to the Rules or at par with the Central Government employees
    holding equivalent posts. They were also directed to pay arrears
    from the date of promulgation of the Rules i.e. 03.07.2000.
  5. The Union of India has raised a two­fold submission. It is
    first submitted that the service of the petitioners rendered prior
    to 03.07.2000 cannot be taken into consideration while
    quantifying the qualifying service or determining their retiral
    benefits. It is secondly contended that this plea could have been
    taken in the earlier writ petition and, in fact, such a plea was
    raised but finally the Court did not grant this relief and,
    therefore, they cannot file the second petition.
  6. From the facts narrated above, it is apparent that the
    Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee was created under
    administrative instructions of the Government. Thereafter, the
    Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 came into force. The
    services of the officers and employees were governed by Rule 3A
    and after 2000, they are governed by the Supreme Court Legal
    Services Committee Regulations, 2000. They have been
    rendering service uninterruptedly as employees of the Supreme
    6
    Court Legal Services Committee and no distinction can be made
    between the service prior to 03.07.2000 and the service rendered
    thereafter. The petitioners have been regular employees of the
    Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and their entire service
    must be counted for determining their pension and other retiral
    benefits. This entire service is to be treated as their qualifying
    service in accordance with the Rules.
  7. As far as the second submission made on behalf of the
    Union of India is concerned, we have carefully gone through the
    earlier order and the writ petition. Though it is correct that in
    the writ petition there was a general claim to grant all the
    benefits under Rule 6 which would include retiral benefits but it
    appears that the Court did not go into the same. There is no
    rejection of the plea and as such we are of the considered view
    that this petition is maintainable and cannot be rejected on this
    hyper­technical ground. In relation to applicability of Order II
    Rule 2 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 this Court has held in
    Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma v. State of Uttar
    Pradesh and Others1
    as follows:
    1 AIR 1962 SC 1334
    7
    “12. …The bar of O.2 R. 2 of the Civil Procedure Code on
    which the High Court apparently relied may not apply to
    a petition for a high prerogative writ under Art. 226 of the
    Constitution, but the High Court having disallowed the
    claim of the appellant for salary prior to the date of the
    suit, we do not think that we would be justified in
    interfering with the exercise of its discretion by the High
    Court.”
    Placing reliance on the case of Devendra Pratap Narain
    Rai Sharma (supra), this Court in Gulabchand Chhotalal
    Parikh v. State of Gujarat2
    in relation to Order II Rule 2 held as
    follows:
    “23. …By its very language, these provisions do not apply
    to the contents of a writ petition and consequently do not
    apply to the contents of a subsequent suit…”
  8. In view of the above, we allow the petition and direct that
    the entire service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme
    Court Legal Aid Committee and the Supreme Court Legal
    Services Committee shall be treated as qualifying service for the
    purpose of pension and shall be taken into consideration for
    calculating their retiral benefits. Pending application(s), if any,
    stand(s) disposed of.
    ………………………………..J.
    (L. Nageswara Rao)
    2 AIR 1965 SC 1153
    8
    …………………………………J.
    (Deepak Gupta)
    New Delhi
    February 05, 2020
    9