Friday, October 16, 2015

Supreme Court Verdict in favour of Pension for Resignees!

Following is the Land Mark Judgement by Supreme Court for LIC employee!
It is 100% applicable to IBA.
Will UFBU take up this as most urgent subject and proceed to get Pension for the Resignees?

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10251 OF 2014
1.  The question which falls for consideration is whether the Appellant is
entitled to claim pension even though he resigned from service of his own
volition and, if so, whether his claim on this count had become barred by
limitation or laches.

2 . The Appellant joined the services of the Respondent Corporation on
30.6.1967 on the post of Assistant Administrative Officer (Chartered
Accountant) at the age of twenty seven. He worked for 23 years and 7 months
in the Corporation before tendering his resignation on 28.1.1991, owing to
“family circumstances and indifferent health”, presumably having crossed fifty
years in age. The request of the Appellant for waiver of the stipulated three
months notice was favourably considered by the Corporation vide letter dated
28.2.1991, and the Appellant was allowed to resign from the post of Deputy
General Manager (Accounts), which he was holding at that time. We shall
again presume that the reasons that he had ascribed for his retirement, viz.
family problems and failing health, were found to be legitimate by the
Respondent, otherwise the waiver ought not to have been given. Thereafter, the
Central Government in exercise of power conferred under Section 48 of the
Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 had notified the LIC of India (Staff)
Regulations, 1960 and thereafter the Life Insurance Corporation of India
(Employees) Pension Rules, 1995 (hereinafter referred to as “Pension Rules”)
which, though notified on 28.6.1995, were given retrospective effect from
1.11.1993. The Pension Rules provide, inter alia, that resignation from
service would lead to forfeiture of the benefits of the entire service including
eligibility for pension.

3.  On 8.8.1995, that is post the promulgation by the Respondent of the
Pension Rules, the Appellant enquired from the Respondent whether he was
entitled to pension under the Pension Rules, which has been understood by the
Respondent as a representation for pension; the Respondent replied that the
request of the Appellant cannot be acceded to. The Appellant took the matter no
further but has averred that in 2000, prompted by news in a Daily and
Judgments of a High Court and a Tribunal, he requested the Respondent to
reconsider his case for pension. This request has remained unanswered. It was
in 2011 that he sent a legal notice to the Respondent, in response to which the
Respondent reiterated its stand that the Appellant, having resigned from service,
was not eligible to claim pension under the Pension Rules. Eventually, the
Appellant filed a Special Civil Application on 29.3.2012 before the High Court,
which was dismissed by the Single Judge vide Judgment dated 5.10.2012. The
LPA of the Appellant also got dismissed on the grounds of the delay of almost
14 years, as also on merits vide Judgment dated 1.3.2013, against which the
Appellant has approached this Court.

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, (2008)
8 SCC 648 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

The legal position deducible from the above observations further amplifies that
the so-called resignation tendered by the Appellant was after satisfactorily
serving the period of 20 years ordinarily qualifying or enabling voluntary
retirement. Furthermore, while there was no compulsion to do so, a waiver of
the three months notice period was granted by the Respondent Corporation.
The State being a model employer should construe the provisions of a beneficial
legislation in a way that extends the benefit to its employees, instead of
curtailing it.

15.  The cases of Shyam Babu Verma v. Union of India, (1994) 2 SCC 521;
State of M.P. v. Yogendra Shrivastava, (2010) 12 SCC 538; M.R. Prabhakar v.
Canara Bank, (2012) 9 SCC 671; National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Kirpal Singh,
(2014) 5 SCC 189; UCO Bank v. Sanwar Mal, (2004) 4 SCC 412 relied upon by
the parties are distinguishable on facts from the present case.

16.  We thus hold that the termination of services of the Appellant, in essence,
was voluntary retirement within the ambit of Rule 31 of the Pension Rules of
1995. The Appellant is entitled for pension, provided he fulfils the condition of
refunding of the entire amount of the Corporation’s contribution to the
Provident Fund along with interest accrued thereon as provided in the Pension
Rules of 1995. Considering the huge delay, not explained by proper reasons, on
part of the Appellant in approaching the Court, we limit the benefits of arrears
of pension payable to the Appellant to three years preceding the date of the
petition filed before the High Court. These arrears of pension should be paid to
the Appellant in one instalment within four weeks from the date of refund of the
entire amount payable by the Appellant in accordance of the Pension Rules of
1995. In the alternative, the Appellant may opt to get the amount of refund
adjusted against the arrears of pension. In the latter case, if the amount of
arrear is more than the amount of refund required, then the remaining amount
shall be paid within two weeks from the date of such request made by the
Appellant. However, if the amount of arrears is less than the amount of refund
required, then the pension shall be payable on monthly basis after the date on
which the amount of refund is entirely adjusted.

17.  The impugned Judgments of the High Court are set aside and the Appeal
stands allowed in the terms above. However, parties shall bear their respective



Shankar said...

Court has held this case as different from that of M.R.P and others vs CANARA Bank. How?

rajesh said...

Hi Sir... I want to know whether any employee who has resigned before declaration of settelement eligible for arrears??

jainrakesh kumar said...

The track record of our beloved UFBU is not so good on the negotiating table. We should not expect anything more from them. They have done a big harm to the elder bankers on a/c of pensionary benefits during the signing of tenth bipartite settlement. Now at this juncture they may not be in a position to do anymore for us.

Anonymous said...

Will at least now the case of Resigned Officers' Pension be taken up in right earnest with IBA bu our unions?

S. Balasubramanian said...

Yesterday, the Honourable Kolkata High Court, through its verdict,
directed United Bank of India to pay DA to all the pre-2002 retirees
on the same terms. In effect, the Court held that distinction
between pre and post 2002 retirees is totally arbitrary, unjust
and discriminatory. The request for stay of this judgement has also
been refused.

There now remains case of pension payment to all the Resignees.
Here also another distinction and discrimination, namely pre-1995
resignees and those resignees after the Pension Regulations dated
29.9.1995. There is a SLP by the Andhra Bank against the Andhra
High Court order for payment of pension to a pre-1995 resignee.
The case is Shri Venkateswara Rao and 3 others. What is the fate of
this case in the Supreme Court?

Understand that a Special Bench has been constituted by the Supreme
Court of India to examine and dispose the constitutional validity of
pension payment as a fundamental right. It is a deferred wage and
not a bountee. Any news on this please?

Your responses are sought so that many Resignees, who are deprived of
pension,get their pensions before long.

Thank you,