In Union of India & Ors. Vs. Tarsem Singh reported in (2008) 8 Supreme Court Cases 648 at paragraph 7 it was stated as follows:
“To summarise, normally, a belated service related claim will be rejected on the ground of delay and laches (where remedy is sought by filing a writ petition) or limitation (where remedy is sought by an application to the Administrative Tribunal). One of the exceptions to the said rule is cases relating to a continuing wrong. Where a service related claim is based on a continuing wrong, relief can be granted even if there is a long delay in seeking remedy, with reference to the date on which the continuing wrong commenced, if such continuing wrong creates a continuing source of injury. But there is an exception to the exception. If the grievance is in respect of any order or administrative decision which related to or affected several others also, and if the reopening of the issue would affect the settled rights of third parties, then the claim will not be entertained. For example, if the issue relates to payment or refixation of pay or pension, relief may be granted in spite of delay as it does not affect the rights of third parties. But if the claim involved issues relating to seniority or promotion, etc., affecting others, delay would render the claim stale and doctrine of laches/limitation will be applied. Insofar as the consequential relief of recovery of arrears for a past period is concerned, the principles relating to recurring/successive wrongs will apply. As a consequence, the High Courts will restrict the consequential relief relating to arrears normally to a period of three years prior to the date of filing of the writ petition.”
The said decision has been followed in the case of Asger Ibrahim Amin Vs. Life Insurance Corporation of India reported in (2016) 13 Supreme Court Cases 797. The relevant paragraphs are set out hereinbelow.
“4. As regards the issue of delay in matters pertaining to claims of pension, it has already been opined by this Court in Union of India v. Tarsem Singh [Union of India v. Tarsem Singh, (2008) 8 SCC 648 : (2008) 2 SCC (L&S) 765] , that in cases of continuing or successive wrongs, delay and laches or limitation will not thwart the claim so long as the claim, if allowed, does not have any adverse repercussions on the settled third-party rights. This Court held : (SCC p. 651, para 7) “
” We respectfully concur with these observations which if extrapolated or applied to the factual matrix of the present case would have the effect of restricting the claim for pension, if otherwise sustainable in law, to three years previous to when it was raised in a judicial forum. Such claims recur month to month and would not stand extinguished on the application of the laws of prescription, merely because the legal remedy pertaining to the time-barred part of it has become unavailable”.