PSBs not complying with SC judgements

PSBs NOT COMPLYING WITH SC JUDGMENTS "PENSION OPTION TO COMPULSORY RETIRED EMPLOYEES”.

PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS NOT COMPLYING WITH SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS IN RESPECT OF SIMILARLY PLACED EMPLOYEES “PENSION OPTION TO COMPULSORY RETIRED EMPLOYEES”.

PSBs are denying the pension option re-iterating their earlier stand in terms of joint note dated 27.4.2010 and the pension option guidelines. Employees who were eligible to opt for pension at the time of 1st option are being denied the IInd option because they have been compulsorily retired during the period of 1st option to IInd option (i.e. 1995-2010). Although the IInd option is just an extension of the 1st option. This is being done without taking cognizance of the Supreme Court Judgments. This is not only against Article 141 of Constitution of India but also against the right to equality, forcing all similarly placed officers to knock at the doors of court, for getting justice. Incidentally it is also against the National Litigation Policy to avoid/wast the precious time and resource of the judiciary. The brief facts are as under:

1. The issue of giving pension option to Compulsory Retired employees reached it finality when the Supreme Court dismissed two civil appeals No.2779 of 2006 United Bank of India Vs Prasanta Kumar Roy & Ors along with Civil appeal no.4677 of 2010 of PNB Vs C.P. Krishnaswamy and others on 30.8.2011, upholding the decision of High Courts, and not inclined to interfere with their judgment and allowed pension option to compulsory retired petitioners.

2. Based on the above judgments all PSBs should have suo motto implemented the Supreme Court verdict and allowed Pension Option to all Compulsory Retired which was denied to them in April 2010. (SC judgment dt.30.8.2011), PSBs denied the pension option to compulsory retired employees based on joint note dated 27.4.2010.

3. The issue of not giving pension option to compulsory retired employees based on joint note dated 27.4.2010 came up for consideration of Supreme Court when Andhra Bank & Ors filed a SLP No.35389/2013 against the decisions of Divisional Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court WA 905/2012 dated 8.8.2013. The Supreme Court dismissed the special leave petition on 5.09.2014. Another similar SLP No.35449/2013 filed by Andhra Bank was also dismissed along with the judgment on 5.09.2014.

4. Andhra Bank filed a Review Petition No.2954/2014 requesting for reviewing the above decision of Supreme Court in SLP 35389/2013 and 35449/2013 (Para 3 above). This Review Petitions was again dismissed along with another RP No.2889/2014 on 21.11.2015. As such the issue reached its finality and S.C. allowed pension option to compulsory retired employees by confirming the H.C. Decision that Bank cannot discriminate one set of retirees on penalty of compulsory retirement from the other set of retirees.

5. Another SLP filed by Punjab & Sind bank (No. 8506/2016) arising out of final judgment dated 18 Dec 2015 (LPA 1794 of 2015) passed by Punjab & Haryana High Court in PSB vs Surinderjit singh was dismissed by Hon’ble Supreme Court on 13 Apr 2016.

6. United Bank, PNB, Andhra bank & PSB and for that matter all other banks should have honored these verdicts of Hon’ble Supreme Court & given pension option to all similarly placed employees of all banks in terms of Article 141 of the Constitution of India. But I am sorry to point out that no bank as per my information has done it so far for reasons best known to them. It is also against the National Litigation Policy.

7. It may not be out of place to mention that the following High Court has allowed writ petitions as detailed below keeping in view the decision of Supreme Court of India and Article 141 of the Constitution of India.

(i) High Court of Madras W.P. No.15766 of 2013 filed by D. Kalaichelvan Vs Union Bank of India in fact passed an order quashing Clause 7 of the Union Bank Circular No.5690 dated 27.8.2010 in so far as it denied the benefits to Compulsory Retired employees allowing the WP on 1.4.2015 on the same issue.

(ii) High Court of Punjab and Haryana while deciding the Civil Writ Petition 2553/2012 quoting the above Supreme Court Judgments allowed the Writ Petition of V.K. Vohra Vs Central Bank of India on December 22, 2015.

(iii) M.P HIGH COURT DOUBLE BENCH ON 20 JUNE 2016 DISMISSED ANOTHER APPEAL OF PNB AGAINST THE DECISION OF SINGLE JUDGE IN WP 7993/2012 ASHWANI KUMAR SHARMA VS PNB ON 10 MAR 2016.

8. Denial of pension option to officers who had been compulsory retired prior to 27.04.2010 is in gross violation of Article 14 of Constitution of India which provides to citizens of India Right to Equality. The said article stipulates as under:

“The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”Discrimination between officers retired pre 27.04.2010 and post 27.04.2010 is against in gross violation of Fundamental Rights. Article 16(1) and (2) of Constitution of India lays down as under:-

16 (i)There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.

(ii) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State”
Keeping in view the Article 16(1) and (2), discrimination is being made by banks between officers compulsory retired prior to 27.04.2010 and post 27.04.2010 is in gross Violation of Right To Equality enshrined in Constitution of India.

9. Article 141 of the Constitution of India stipulates as under: “141. The law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India.
It will be agreed that purpose of Article 141 is reduce multiple litigation on the same subject. However, on account of non-implementation of judgment of Supreme Court of India by all other banks is giving rise to avoidable litigation which is against the Policy of Government of India. It will be agreed that in case judgments of Supreme Court of India are not complied with, there will be no end to litigation

10. I am not aware how many cases on this issue alone are already pending in the various High Courts in respect of remaining 20 Public Sector Banks. As per my information five Public Sector Banks, namely United Bank, PNB, Andhra Bank, Union Bank, Central Bank have been so far involved on the same issue in different High Courts/ Supreme Court.

11. If each of the Public Sector Banks start going upto Supreme Court by filing the Review Petitions, it is bound to lead to undesirable delay in providing justice to senior citizens of this country. Suitable instructions to all banks to allow option of Pension to all officers who have compulsory retired irrespective of their date of compulsory retirement should be issued.

12. There is no system available as of now either with the Ministry of Finance or with IBA/Banks to keep a track of the Supreme Court decisions for their implementation as discussed above.

 

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