THE PUNJAB STATE COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK LTD. vs THE REGISTRAR, COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES

THE PUNJAB STATE COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK LTD. vs THE REGISTRAR, COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES - Supreme Court Case 2022 - 

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
    CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).   297­298    OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1940­1941 of 2020)
THE PUNJAB STATE COOPERATIVE
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK LTD. ….APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE REGISTRAR, COOPERATIVE
SOCIETIES AND OTHERS ….RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).   303      OF 2022
     (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1934 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).     311      OF 2022
      (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 12822 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).    312        OF 2022
       (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1935 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).    310         OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1936 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).      300        OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1949 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).     306         OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1943 of 2020)
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CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).    299        OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1944 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).     308        OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1859 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).      309       OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1942 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).     301        OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1932 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).     302        OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1931 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).     304        OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1939 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).      305       OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1937 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).    307          OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 1945 of 2020)
           CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).     313         OF 2022
               (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s).12864 of 2020)
J U D G M E N T
Rastogi, J.
1. Leave granted.
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2. Civil Appeals @ SLP(Civil) Nos. 1940­1941 of 2020 and the
cognate appeals arise from the self­same common judgment dated
29th July, 2019 and 4th October, 2019 passed by the Division Bench
of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh.
3. The facts have been noticed by this Court from Civil Appeals @
SLP(Civil) Nos. 1940­1941 of 2020.
4. The appellant in the present batch of appeals, is the Punjab
State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank Ltd. (hereinafter
referred   to   as   ‘the   Bank’),   a   registered   cooperative   society   and
connected Civil Appeal @ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.12864 of
2020 has been preferred by the serving employees of the bank who
also claim to be aggrieved by the self­same impugned judgment in
the proceedings.  At the same time, the respondents are the original
writ   petitioners   who   are   the   retired   employees   and   the   service
conditions   of   the   employees   are   governed   by   the   Punjab   State
Cooperative Agricultural Land Mortgage Banks Service (Common
Cadre)   Rules,   1978(hereinafter   being   referred   to   as   the   “Rules
1978”) and became members of the Bank Pension Scheme, which
was introduced w.e.f. 1st April, 1989.  
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5. The appellant Bank is a registered cooperative society which
was earlier known as “Punjab State Cooperative Land Mortgage
Bank Ltd.”  The principal object of the Bank is to provide long term
loans  to  the   farming   community   and  to  protect   them  from   the
clutches of money lenders.  The main funding of the appellant Bank
is by way of loans from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural
Development(NABARD) as per the norms laid down.  The appellant
Bank   has   two   tier   structure   comprising   of   “Punjab   State
Cooperative   Agricultural   Development   Bank   Ltd.”   at   Apex
level(SADB)   and   the   “Primary   Agricultural   Development
Banks”(PADB) at the grass root level.   These two banks ensure
timely delivery of credit to the farmers, who are its members and
directly benefitted with various schemes which provide long term
and short­term loans to them.
6. Prior   to   1989,   the   employees   of   the   appellant   Bank   were
covered under the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous
Provisions   Act,   1952(hereinafter   being   referred   to   as   the   “Act
1952”).   The scheme was being duly adhered to and necessary
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contributions were regularly paid by employees and the employer
Bank.
7. The Department of Finance, Government of Punjab, vide its
letter dated 22nd September 1988, pursuant to recommendations of
the   Punjab   Pay   Commission   to   bring   the   employees   serving   in
various Public Sector Undertakings and State aided institutions
under   purview   of   the   State   Pension   Rules,   solicited   the
views/comments   of   the   concerned   organisations   to   inter­alia
communicate the additional financial burden involved in each case
and   whether   the   organisation/organisations   could   bear   the
additional   liability   out   of   their   own   resources.     These
recommendations were placed before the Administrator of the Bank
who vide Resolution dated 22nd June 1989 decided to implement the
recommendations of the State Government and as a consequence
thereof, the pension scheme of the employees and Officers in the
common cadre was introduced w.e.f. 1st April, 1989.
8. Resolution No.24 passed by the Administrator of the appellant
Bank dated 22nd June, 1989 is reproduced as under:­
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Item
No.
Agenda Decision
1 (i) To   consider   to
amend   Common
Cadre   Rules   for
introducing
Pension Scheme.
1 (i) Resolved that the existing Common Cadre
Rule No. 15 be numbered as 15(i) and a new
rule 15(ii) be incorporated as under:
15(ii)  The Board of  Directors may formulate
Pension Rule with the approval of RCS Punjab.
(ii) To   consider   to
introduce
Pension   Scheme
for   the
employees/office
rs   in   the
Common   Cadre
of   the   Punjab
State
Cooperative
Agricultural
Development
Bank
(ii) (a) Resolved that the Pension Scheme for
the employees/officers in the Common Cadre
of the Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural
Development   Bank   be   introduced   for   the
adoption w.e.f. 1.4.89.
(b) It is further resolved that the pension rules
enclosed are approved. Any matter which is
not specifically mentioned in these Rules shall
be governed by Chapter XIII of the Punjab Civil
Service Rules Vol. II.
(c)   It   is   further   resolved   that   the   Regional
Provident Fund Commissioner, Chandigarh be
requested   to   exempt   the   bank   from   the
payment   of   contributory   provident   fund
scheme   and   refund   the   entire   existing
contribution   with   them   along   with   family
pension   contribution   and   deposit   linked
insurance fund along with up to date interest
on these amounts.
9. In furtherance thereof, the appellant Bank sent a letter dated
27th  June, 1989 to the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab,
seeking approval for introduction of the pension scheme for its
employees   covered   under   the   Rules,   1978.     The   Registrar,
Cooperative   Societies,   Punjab,   by   its   communication   dated   7th
February,   1990   conveyed   its   approval   for   introduction   of   the
pension scheme proposed by the appellant Bank to its employees
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covered   under   the   Rules   1978.     In   pursuance   thereof,   the
amendment was carried out in the Rules, 1978 and Rule 15(ii) was
introduced authorizing the Board of Directors to formulate pension
scheme with the approval of the Registrar Cooperative Societies,
Punjab.     For   the   purpose   of   reference,   Rule   15(ii)   is   extracted
hereunder:­
“15  (i) PROVIDENT FUND:­
The employees shall be entitled to the benefit of the General
Provident Fund as provided in the employees Provident Fund Act,
1952 and scheme framed thereunder.
(ii) THE PENSION SCHEME FOR THE EMPLOYEES/OFFICES IN
THE   COMMON   CADRE   RULES   OF   THE   PUNJAB   STATE
COOPERATIVE   AGRICULTURAL  DEVELOPMENT   BANK  W.E.F.
1.4.89.
1. Short title and commencement:­
(i) The   rules   shall   be   called,   the   Punjab   State   Cooperative
Agricultural   Development   Banks   Employees   Pension,   Family
Pension and General Provident Fund Rules.
(ii) These Rules shall come into force with effect from 1.4.89.
2. Application
(i) These   rules   shall   apply   to   all   the   posts   in   the   services
specified in the Appendix ‘I’ of the Common Cadre Rules, provided
that   in   case   of   the   employees   appointed   by   transfer   from
Government   Departments,   these   rules   shall   only   apply   to   the
extent specified in their terms and conditions of deputation agreed
upon with the Government Department concerned.
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Provided further that nothing in these rules shall affect the
application   of   any   other   law,   statutory   rules,   bye­laws   and
regulations for time being in force.
    Provided further that an employee who joins service on or after
coming into force of these rules and such existing employees, who
opt for these rules, shall be covered by these rules. All category of
employees shall have to exercise this option in Form­A to these
rules within three months from the date of notification of these
rules.
(ii) The   employees   who   do   not   opt   for   these   rules   shall   be
governed by the Employees Provident Fund Act and Rules.
3. Definition:­
XXX XXX XXX XXX
(o) Pay:­ Pay means the pay as defined in Rule 2.44 of the Punjab
Civil Services Rules Volume­I Part­I.
Note:­ Unless the contrary appears from the context or subject
to term ‘pay’ defined in Rule 2.44 of the Punjab Civil Services,
Volume­I, Part­I, does not include “Special Pay.”
10. In   furtherance   thereto,   the   amended   Rule   15(ii)   came   into
force with effect from 1st April, 1989.  In sequel to the introduction
of implementation of the scheme, the contributions made by the
employees and the appellant Bank were transferred to create the
pension corpus fund to make it functionally viable and a trust was
created by a trust deed dated 24th  March, 1993 for management
and effective implementation of the scheme.
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11. It reveals from the record that the employees of the appellant
Bank who had opted for pension became members of the pension
scheme and continued to derive the benefit of pension after they
had opted for it till the year 2010.  Later, when the appellant Bank
found   the   scheme   to   be   unviable   on   account   of   financial
constraints, the Board of Directors of the appellant Bank in its
meeting   dated   29th  May,   2010   in   reference   to   Agenda   No.   15
reconsidered   the   matter   about   giving   pension   to   the   bank
employees and resolved as under:­
1. Pension to the retired employees and those going to retire in future
be communicated.
2. Pension   Scheme   will   not   be   applicable   in   case   of   employees
employed on or after 1.1.2004.
3. Pensioners be not given the benefit of commutation of pension,
medical reimbursement and LTC.
4. As   per   existing   rules,   the   contribution   equal   to   the   12%   GPF
deduction of employees to be continued by bank.
5. As   per   letter   No.CA3/64/13717   dated   29.8.2008   of   Registrar,
Cooperative Societies, 12% of the profits of SADB & PADBs be
allocated   to   employees   benefit   fund   and   its   90%   share   be
contributed to the pension fund.
6. Bank to continue pension from its funds/expenses by stopping the
commutation of pension, medical reimbursement and LTC facilities
to its employees and retired employees, imposing 25% deduction
on   eligible   amount   of   pension   and   after  adjusting  the  pension
amount against SADB/PADBs profits according to rules be made
up on the basis of outstanding loans of SADB and PADBs.
7. As and when there is improvement in financial condition of bank,
the payment of full pension may be considered.
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12. The appellant Bank sent a letter dated 9th June, 2010 to the
Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, seeking approval of the
aforesaid Resolution.  The Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab,
vide its letter dated 3rd  September, 2010 issued directions to the
appellant   Bank   to   review   its   proposal.     Pursuant   thereto,   the
appellant   Bank  submitted   its  revised   proposal   to  the   Registrar,
Cooperative Societies, Punjab, on 30th March, 2011 to proceed with
the pension scheme in accordance with Resolution No. 15 dated
29th  May, 2010.   Although the proposal was turned down by the
Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, Chandigarh still the Board
of Directors of the appellant Bank vide its Resolution dated 17th
August, 2012 decided to discontinue the pension scheme and revert
to the scheme of Contributory Provident Fund with a proposal of
One Time Settlement.  The Board of Directors, later in exercise of its
powers vested in Section 84A(2) of the Punjab Cooperative Societies
Act,   1961   with   the   prior  approval   of   the  Registrar,   Cooperative
Societies made amendment in Rule 15 of the Rules, 1978 by order
dated   11th  March,   2014.     Pursuant   thereto,   Rule   15(ii)   stood
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deleted.     The   order   dated   11th  March,   2014   is   reproduced
hereunder:­
O/o Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, Chandigarh
(Credit Branch­1)
To
The Managing Director,
The Punjab State Cooperative Agri. Dev. Bank Ltd.,
Chandigarh.
Memo. Credit/CA­3/2841  Dated: 11.03.2014
Sub:­   Amendment   in   Clause   15   of   Punjab   State   Cooperative   Agricultural
Development Bank Service Common Cadre Rules, 1978.
Ref: Your office letter No. Admn/S07/11984 dated 27.01.2014
This office has received a proposal on the subject cited above.
After examining the proposal and the legal opinion sent by the Bank, in
exercise   of   powers   vested   vide   Section   84A(2)   of   the   Punjab   Cooperative
Societies Act 1961, Registrar Cooperative Societies, is pleased to allow the
following   amendments   in   the   Punjab   State   Cooperative   Agricultural
Development Bank Service Common Cadre Rules 1978 as under:
Rule Existing Amended
15 (i) PROVIDENT FUND
The employees shall be entitled to
the benefit of the General Provident
Fund as provided in the employees
Provident   Fund   Act,   1952   and
scheme framed thereunder.
(i)   The   employees   shall   be
entitled to the benefits of the
Contributory Provident Fund
as   provided   in   the
Employees Provident Fund &
Miscellaneous Act, 1952 and
schemes framed thereunder.
(ii)   The   Pension   Scheme   for   the
employees/officers in the common
(ii) Deleted.
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cadre   rules   of   the   Punjab   State
Cooperative   Agricultural
Development   Bank   w.e.f.
01.04.1989.
13. It reveals from the record that since the appellant Bank much
before the amendment had stopped making payments of pension in
terms of Rule 15(ii) of the Rules 1978, the employees approached
the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution by filing writ
petitions and various interim orders were passed from time to time
and even at one stage, it was decided to introduce a proposal of one
time settlement which was furnished by the appellant Bank on
16th  October,  2012   in   the   pending   proceedings   before   the   High
Court and, as informed, few of the employees have settled their
claims under the One Time Settlement but it will be appropriate to
notice at this stage that while the proceedings were pending before
the Division Bench of the High Court, by Order dated 24th January
2014, it was made clear that one time settlement which has been
implemented   after   seeking   approval   of   the   competent   authority
shall   be   without   prejudice   to   the   legal   rights   of   the
applicant/respondent  employees. The Order dated 24th  January,
2014 is reproduced hereunder:­
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“CM­109­LPA­2014
Allowed as prayed for.
Document Annexure A1 is taken on record subject to such
exceptions.
CM stands disposed of.
CM­71­LPA­2014 in LPA­2001­2013
Notice   to   the   non­applicant/appellants.     Ms.   Jaishree
Thakur, Advocate accepts notice.
After hearing learned counsel for the parties and keeping in
view the fact that since One Time Settlement scheme has already
been   implemented   after   seeking   approval   of   the   competent
authority, this application is disposed of with a clarification that
the implementation of the said scheme shall be without prejudice
to the legal rights of the applicant/respondents.”
14. This fact can be further noticed that the learned Single Judge
of the High Court decided the writ petitions by a Judgment dated
31st August 2013 and Rule 15(ii) was deleted by the appellant Bank
by   Order   dated   11th  March,   2014   while   the   proceedings   were
pending in LPA before the High Court.
15. The learned Single Judge of the High Court held that the
employees of the appellant Bank, having served the Bank were
covered under the scheme which was applicable at the given time
under the Act 1952 (prior to 1989). It is the appellant Bank which
accepted   the   recommendations   of   the   State   Government   and
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solicited options from the employees as to whether they wanted to
opt   for   a   pension   scheme   which   became   applicable   after   the
amendment was made under the Rules 1978 and after a conscious
decision, Rule 15(ii) was introduced, it could not be justified to
circumvent   the   impact   of   the   amended   rule   and   thus   create   a
situation which would have the effect of defeating the rights which
are conferred upon the employees to seek pension under the rules
which became applicable with effect from 1st April, 1989 and finally
held that the employees are entitled to regular pension including
revised   rates   of   dearness   allowance,   to   all   the   employees   who
became member of the pension scheme under the Rules 1978.
16. When the matter travelled to the Division Bench of the High
Court, by that time, the amendment was made by an Order dated
11th March, 2014 and Rule 15(ii) was deleted.  The Division Bench,
after taking note of the submissions made by the parties observed
that the decision to frame the pension scheme was a conscious
decision   of   the   appellant   Bank   taken   in   its   own   wisdom   and
corresponding rules were introduced and made applicable from 1st
April, 1989 and Rule 15(ii) was deleted on 11th March, 2014.  In
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the interregnum, the employees became members of the pension
scheme   and   were   paid   their   regular   pension   for   sufficient   time
which   cannot   be   defeated   and   taken   away   retrospectively
detrimental to their interest.   The amendment which has taken
away the vested and accrued right of the employees to get pension
and that too with retrospective effect would be violative of Article 14
of the Constitution and disposed of the LPA with a declaration that
amendment dated 11th March, 2014 under Rules 1978 shall apply
prospectively.
17. The judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court dated
29th July, 2019 became subject matter of challenge at the instance
of  the   appellant  Bank  and  by  the  serving employees  who   have
claimed that their right to get pension may be affected in futuro,
and have approached this Court ventilating their grievances in the
instant proceedings.
18. It may be relevant  to  note that  before the  High Court, at
different   stages,   different   counter   affidavits   were   filed   by   the
Regional Provident Fund Commissioner(RPFC) with reference to the
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grant   of   exemption   after   the   Employees   Pension   Scheme   1995
became the part of the Act 1952.
19. It has been stated in the counter affidavit filed by the RPFC
under   the   Act   1952   that   earlier   it   was   erroneously   mentioned
“granted exemption from pension scheme”, but that was a factually
incorrect   statement   recorded   and   the   RPFC   has   made   an
unconditional apology for making such a statement of fact.  It is the
admitted case of RPFC that neither any application was filed by the
appellant   Bank   seeking   exemption   from   the   employees   pension
scheme nor it was granted or refused.
20. The stand of the EPFC is that Employees’ Provident Funds
Scheme,   1952   and   Employees’   Pension   Scheme,   1995   both   are
designed   to   secure   a   minimum   core   of   old   age/terminal   social
security.  Neither of these schemes exhaust an employee’s right to
social  security.    According to   the  EPFC,  the  bank’s  promise to
supplementary pension outside of EPF must be evaluated in that
light.
21. It is further stated that the benefits under bank’s pension
scheme   can   only   be   understood   as   supplementary   and   not
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substitutionary because the bank’s pension scheme did not provide
for dependents’ pension, nominees’ pension, childrens’ pension or
withdrawal benefits.  This only provides a far narrower pensionary
cover to its employees.  Its pension scheme could not be considered
for exemption under Section 17(1C) of the Act.
22. Learned counsel for the appellant Bank submits that it has
not been considered by the High Court that the appellant Bank had
framed a pension scheme subject to approval of the competent
authority.   Even though, the appellant Bank had not applied for
seeking   approval/exemption   from   the   authority,   still   the   fact
remains that in the absence of the approval being granted by the
competent authority, the retirees were entitled to receive pension
until the scheme remain in operation, i.e., upto 31st October, 2013.
23. Learned counsel further submits that if the employees are
being permitted to get pension under the scheme of the Bank after
31st  October   2013   and   also   statutory   pension   from   Regional
Provident Fund Commissioner under the Act 1952, indeed there
shall be payment of double pension which is in either way not
permissible in law.
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24. Learned counsel further submits that the employee is entitled
for pension but how the pension is to be computed, no one can
claim   any   vested/accrued   right.     It   is   not   the   case   of   the
respondents that they are not being paid pension.   It was paid
earlier under the pension scheme introduced by the Bank from the
year 1989 until it remained in force till 31st  October 2013 and
thereafter, the employees are entitled to get a statutory pension as
per the Employees Pension Scheme 1995 under the provisions of
the Act 1952.  Thus, plea of vested right which has been considered
by the High  Court  is completely misplaced and as long as the
appellant Bank fulfils its statutory liability under the provisions of
the Act 1952, which they are under an obligation to comply with,
the employees are not entitled to claim pension under the scheme
introduced by the Bank after it stands withdrawn with effect from
31st  October,   2013   and   thus   no   vested/accrued   right   of   the
employee   is   in   any   manner   has   been   defeated   and   a   finding
recorded by the High Court to continue the bank pension scheme
after it stood deleted is not sustainable in law and deserves to be
interfered by this Court.
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25. In support of his submissions, learned counsel placed reliance
on the judgments of this Court in  Marathwada   Gramin   Bank
Karamchari   Sanghatana   and   Another  Vs.  Management   of
Marathwada Gramin Bank and Others1
, State of Rajasthan Vs.
A.N. Mathur and Others2
 and State of Himachal Pradesh and
Others Vs. Rajesh Chander Sood and Others3
.
26. Learned   counsel   further   submits   that   the   pension   scheme
introduced by the Bank later became financially unviable and the
number   of   retirees   in   comparison   to   the   existing   employees
recruited after 1st  January, 2004 is almost three times and if the
appellant   Bank   is   mandated   to   continue   to   make   payment   of
pension   under   Bank   Pension   Scheme,   the   Bank   will   become
defunct and the contribution towards pension made by the serving
employees will be futile and they will get nothing at the time of their
retirement.  The Bank has earned a meagre profit in the later years
and still, in the given circumstances, the appellant Bank, if allowed
to made over pension in terms of the judgment impugned, there will
1 2011(9) SCC 620
2 2014(13) SCC 531
3 2016(10) SCC 77
19
be no option left except to close down the Institution in such an
eventuality and that apart it has created a wide gap of inequality
between the serving employees and the retirees without resorting to
exemption from the RPFC.
27. Learned counsel submits that the RPFC has initiated separate
proceedings under Section 7A of the Act 1952 for the year April
1989 to March 2015 and for the year April 2015 to June 2017,
imposing liability on the Bank by an Order dated 14th September,
2015   and   31st  August,   2017   respectively.     At   the   same   time,
separate proceeding under Section 14B for damages and Section 7Q
for interest were also instituted and in terms of orders passed by
the Authority, demand raised pursuant thereto has been deposited
by   the   appellant.     In   the   given   circumstances,   the   Regional
Provident Fund Commissioner has recovered towards pension fund
contribution   along   with   damages   and   interest   for   the   period
commencing from April 1989 to August 2017.   At the same time,
the appellant has been asked to pay pension to the retirees under
the Bank Pension Scheme in terms of the impugned judgment to
the employees who are covered at one stage under the scheme. It
20
will almost be a double payment to the employees which is over and
above the payment which was admissible to the employees in terms
of statutory pension scheme 1995 under the Act 1952 and that
apart,  there   are  categories  of   employees   who   have   settled   their
accounts under one time settlement which was approved by the
Government and if the Judgment is to be implemented in rem, it
will not only be a double payment of pension but a great financial
distress to the Bank which is otherwise not permissible in law.
28. Per contra, Mr. P.S. Patwalia, learned senior counsel for the
respondents   submits   that   indisputedly   the   present   respondents
who were writ petitioners before the High Court are the retired
employees and after amendment was made under the scheme of
Rules 1978, they became its member and started getting pension in
terms of the scheme under the Rules with effect from 1st April, 1989
and   without   any   justification,   the   appellant   Bank   unilaterally
stopped full pension to the respondent pensioners in the year 2010
and   that   was   the   stage   when   the   retired   employees   were
constrained to approach the High Court wherein it was held that
these pensioners are entitled to pension in terms of the scheme.  To
21
overcome  the   judgment   dated   31st  August,  2013   of  the   learned
Single Judge of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, by Order
dated 11th March 2014, Rule 15(ii) was deleted and by deleting the
said   rule,   it   has   taken   away   the   vested   right   of   the   retired
employees   and   their   service   conditions   have   been   altered
retrospectively to the detriment of the retired employees which is
violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
29. Learned counsel further submits that so far as the scheme
under the Act 1952 is concerned, the employees pension scheme
was introduced under the Act 1952 for the first time in 1995 and it
is   nowhere   related   to   the   pension   scheme   introduced   by   the
appellant under its Resolution No. 24 dated 22nd June, 1989 with
effect from 1st  April, 1989 and the appellant Bank neither sought
any exemption under Section 17(1C) of the Act 1952 nor it was
required   for   the   reason   that   the   Bank   introduced   the   pension
scheme in the year 1989.  At that time, there was no such pension
scheme   under   the   Act   1952   and   once   it   is   made   clear   that
exemption was never sought by the appellant Bank, under the Act
1952,  at least  the  vested right  which has been accrued to  the
22
respondents   cannot   be   taken   away   retrospectively   which   is   not
sustainable   and   this   what   the   Division   Bench   has   held   in   the
impugned judgment.
30. The   reliance   has   been   placed   on   the   Constitution   Bench
Judgment of this Court in Chairman, Railway Board and Others
Vs.  C.R.   Rangadhamaiah   and   Others4
  followed   with  U.P.
Raghavendra Acharya and Others Vs. State of Karnataka and
Others5
  and  Bank  of  Baroda  and  Another  Vs.  G.  Palani  and
Others6
.
31. Learned counsel further submits that more than half of the
respondents are in the age group of 73 to 80 years and one­third of
the retirees have already expired during pendency of litigation and
it is the appellant Bank who had in its own volition introduced the
scheme and the respondent employees have exercised their option
to be governed by the said scheme and the employees have also
foregone   their   Contributory   Provident   Fund.     In   the   given
circumstances, the rights which are conferred and vested in favour
4 1997(6) SCC 623
5 2006(9) SCC 630
6 2018 SCC Online SC 3691
23
of the respondent employees could not be divested by the appellant
in an arbitrary manner which is in violation of Article 14 of the
Constitution.
32. Learned   counsel   submits   that   so   far   as   the   One   Time
Settlement scheme is concerned, it was introduced to mitigate the
problem   due   to   withdrawal   of   pension   scheme   as   an   interim
measure under the orders passed by the High Court.  Since there
was no option left to the employees who became hand to mouth,
some   of   them   have   accepted   under   the   One   Time   Settlement
scheme but the Division Bench by its interim order made it clear
that acceptance of one time settlement shall be without prejudice to
their legal rights, in the given circumstances, what has been paid
under One Time Settlement  scheme to few of the employees is
always adjustable under the scheme to which they are entitled for
under   the   law.     The   scheme   was   in   vogue   for   more   than   two
decades and it is not open for the appellant Bank to take away their
vested rights in an arbitrary manner and deprive them the benefit of
pension which is in vogue since 1989 so far as the retirees are
concerned.
24
33. Mr.   Siddharth,   learned   counsel   for   the   Regional   Provident
Fund Commissioner submits that the appellant bank is covered
under the provisions of the Act 1952 and under the Act, three
schemes   have   been   framed,   firstly,   Employees   Provident   Fund
Scheme   1952(EPFS)   which   establishes   a   contributory   provident
fund under Sections 5 and 6 of the Act.  Employers and employees
contribute to the provident fund in equal measure at the prescribed
rates notified by the authority competent under the law from time
to   time.     However,   presently   there   is   12%   employees’   monthly
wages. Secondly, there is Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995(EPS)
scheme framed under Section 6A of the Act, 1952 which replaces
the earlier Employees’ Family Pension Scheme, 1971(FPS).  Family
Pension Scheme provided for pension to the dependents of such
employees who died in harness.   EPS, on the other hand, is a
comprehensive   pension   scheme   that   provides   superannuation
pension, early pension and dependents’ pension.   It is funded by
diverting a part of the employers’ share of contribution made to
EPFS into the pension fund(presently 8.33% of monthly wages).
Employees do  not  contribute under EPS.    The third  scheme is
25
Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976.    The Bank
sought   exemption   from   EPFS   under   Section   17(1)(b)   and   from
EDLIS   under   Section   17(2A).     The   fate   of   exemption   and   its
consequence may not be relevant so far as the present dispute
raised in the instant proceedings is concerned, at the same time, it
is being specifically stated that the appellant Bank did not seek any
exemption from the operation of Employees’ Pension Scheme after
16th November, 1995.
34. Learned counsel further states that, in the interregnum, since
the  appellant  Bank failed to  deposit its due contributions, first
under the Family Pension Scheme and later under the Employees
Pension Scheme for the period commencing from 1st April 1989 to
31st  March   2015   and   from   April   2015   to   June   2017,   separate
proceedings were initiated under Section 7A followed with damages
under   Section   14B   and   interest   under   Section   7Q   and   final
assessments  have  been  made after  affording  opportunity  to  the
appellant Bank.  Pursuant thereto, money has been deposited but
that has nothing to do with the pension scheme introduced by the
Bank which can only be understood as supplementary and not
26
substitutionary for the reason that the Bank Pension Scheme did
not   provide   for   dependent’s   pension,   children’s   pension   or
withdrawal benefits and such benefits are designed only under the
Employees Pension Scheme 1995 introduced under the provisions
of the Act 1952.  
35. Mr. Gurminder Singh, learned senior counsel for the serving
employees submits that that as per the pension scheme introduced
by  the  appellant  Bank,  the  employees  have  to  make  their  own
contribution and looking to the depleting strength of the serving
employees,   their   contribution   is   being   utilized   for   payment   of
pension to the retired employees and bank is throughout harping
upon the plea that because of financial distress, it is not possible
for the Bank to continue with the pension scheme any more and
that is the reason for which the pension scheme was withdrawn by
the Bank at a later stage and that affects the interest of the serving
employees whose entire employees’ contribution is being utilized
against the payment of pension to the retirees and consistently,
there is a shortfall of employer’s share of in­service employees and
this practice if being continued any more, by the time the serving
27
employee will retire, they will not be able to get pension despite they
have undertaken their contribution while in service.
36. The indisputed fact according to the learned counsel is that
the retirees are being paid their pension under the Bank pension
scheme at  the cost of the serving employees and it affects the
interest of the serving employees which is being jeopardized.
37. Learned counsel in alternate further submits that the class of
the employees either retired/serving should be dealt with the same
standards/yardsticks and one retiral scheme should be followed for
all   the   employees   regardless   of   the   fact   that   whether   they   are
serving or retired and it will be unjust if the Bank pension scheme
is allowed to continue at the cost of serving employees which would
deprive them of their right to pension introduced by the Bank to
which they are otherwise entitled for under the law.
38. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and with
their assistance perused the material available on record.
39. The facts are not in dispute that the respondents are the
retired employees and members of the Punjab State Cooperative
28
Agricultural Development Bank Limited, Chandigarh and they were
earlier   the   members   of   the   Employees   Provident   Fund   Scheme
under the Act 1952.  The scheme was being duly adhered to and
necessary   contributions   were   made   over   by   the   employees   and
employer Bank.  Later on, with the recommendation of the Punjab
Pay Commission, regarding introducing the pension scheme, the
Administrator of the appellant Bank vide its Resolution dated 22nd
June, 1989 decided to implement the recommendations of the State
Government and as a consequence thereof, the pension scheme for
the employees and Officers in the Rules 1978 was introduced with
effect from 1st April 1989.
40. Accordingly, the Rules 1978 were amended and Rule 15(ii) was
introduced authorizing the Board of Directors to formulate pension
scheme   with   the   prior   approval   of   the   Registrar   Cooperative
Societies, Punjab.   Pursuant thereto, the amendment was made
with   an   option   that   such   of   the   employees   who   opt   for   the
rules(pension scheme) shall be covered by these rules.  At the given
time,   such   employees   who   do   not   opt   for   these   rules   shall   be
governed by Act, 1952.
29
 41. Indisputedly,   all   the   respondent   employees   were   given   the
option to become member of the pension scheme on being retired
from service and they continued to derive the benefit of pension
after they had opted continuously until the year 2010 and only
thereafter, the litigation started when the appellant Bank stopped
making payment of pension in terms of the Bank pension scheme.
Although   the   Bank   pension   scheme   will   not   apply   in   cases   to
employees employed on or after 1st  January 2004.   Later on, the
Bank took a decision by deleting Rule 15(ii) of pension scheme by
an amendment dated 11th March, 2014 and that became the cause
of grievance of the employees in questioning the action of the Bank
by approaching the Courts for ventilating their grievance.
42. The question that emerges for consideration is as to what is
the concept of vested or accrued rights of an employee and at the
given time whether such vested or accrued rights can be divested
with retrospective effect by the rule making authority.  
43. The   concept   of   vested/accrued   right   in   the   service
jurisprudence   and   particularly   in   respect   of   pension   has   been
30
examined by the Constitution Bench of this Court in  Chairman,
Railway Board and Others(supra) as follows:­
“11. On the basis of the said decision of the Full Bench of the
Tribunal, other Benches of the Tribunal at Bangalore, Hyderabad,
Allahabad, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Madras and Ernakulam have passed
orders   giving   relief   on   the   same   grounds.   These   appeals   and
special leave petitions have been filed against the decision of the
Full Bench and those other Benches of the Tribunal. Some of these
matters were placed before a Bench of three learned Judges of this
Court on 28­3­1995 on which date the following order was passed:
“Two questions arise in the present case, viz., (i) what is the
concept   of   vested   or   accrued   rights   so   far   as   the   government
servant is concerned, and (ii) whether vested or accrued rights can
be taken away with retrospective effect by rules made under the
proviso to Article 309 or by an Act made under that article, and
which of them and to what extent.
We find that the Constitution Bench decisions in Roshan Lal
Tandon v. Union of India (1968) 1 SCR 185; B.S. Vadera v. Union of
India  (1968) 3 SCR 575 and State of Gujarat v. Raman Lal Keshav
Lal Soni (1983) 2 SCC 33  have been sought to be explained by two
three­Judge   Bench   decisions   in K.C.   Arora v. State   of   Haryana
(1984) 3 SCC 281 and K. Nagaraj v. State of A.P. (1985) 1 SCC 523
in   addition   to   the   two­Judge   Bench   decisions   in P.D.
Aggarwal v. State   of   U.P. (1987)   3   SCC   622   and K.
Narayanan v. State  of   Karnataka 1994 Supp (1) SCC 44. Prima
facie,   these   explanations   go   counter   to   the   ratio   of   the   said
Constitution Bench decisions. It is not possible for us sitting as a
three­Judge Bench to resolve the said conflict. It has, therefore,
become   necessary   to   refer   the   matter   to   a   larger   Bench.   We
accordingly refer these appeals to a Bench of five learned Judges.”
31
44. This Court, after taking note of the earlier view on the subject
further held in  Chairman,  Railway  Board  and  Others(supra)as
under:­
“20. It can, therefore, be said that a rule which operates in futuro
so as to govern future rights of those already in service cannot be
assailed on the ground of retroactivity as being violative of Articles
14 and 16 of the Constitution, but a rule which seeks to reverse
from an anterior date a benefit which has been granted or availed
of, e.g., promotion or pay scale, can be assailed as being violative
of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution to the extent it operates
retrospectively.
24. In many of these decisions the expressions “vested rights” or
“accrued rights” have been used while striking down the impugned
provisions which had been given retrospective operation so as to
have   an   adverse   effect   in   the   matter   of   promotion,   seniority,
substantive   appointment,   etc.,   of   the   employees.   The   said
expressions have been used in the context of a right flowing under
the relevant rule which was sought to be altered with effect from
an anterior date and thereby taking away the benefits available
under the rule in force at that time. It has been held that such an
amendment having retrospective operation which has the effect of
taking away a benefit already available to the employee under the
existing rule is arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of the rights
guaranteed under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. We are
unable to hold that these decisions are not in consonance with the
decisions in Roshan Lal Tandon   (1968) 1 SCR 185, B.S. Vedera
(1968) 3 SCR 575 and Raman Lal Keshav Lal Soni (1983) 2 SCC
33.
25. In these cases we are concerned with the pension payable to
the  employees  after  their  retirement.  The  respondents  were   no
longer   in   service   on   the   date   of   issuance   of   the   impugned
notifications. The amendments in the rules are not restricted in
their application in futuro.  The amendments apply to employees
who had already retired and were no longer in service on the date
the impugned notifications were issued.
32
33. Apart from being violative of the rights then available under
Articles 31(1) and 19(1)(f), the impugned amendments, insofar as
they have been given retrospective operation, are also violative of
the rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution
on the ground that they are unreasonable and arbitrary since the
said amendments in Rule 2544 have the effect of reducing the
amount of pension that had become payable to employees who had
already   retired   from   service   on   the   date   of   issuance   of   the
impugned notifications, as per the provisions contained in Rule
2544 that were in force at the time of their retirement.”
      (emphasis supplied)
45. Later, in U.P. Raghavendra Acharya and Others(supra), the
question   which   arose   for   consideration   was   that   whether   the
appellants who were given the benefit of revised pay scale with
effect from 1st  January, 1996 could have been deprived of their
retiral benefits calculated with effect therefrom for the purpose of
calculation of pension.  In that context, while examining the scheme
of the Rules and relying on the Constitution Bench Judgment in
Chairman,   Railway   Board   and   Others(supra),   this   Court
observed as follows:­
“22. The State while implementing the new scheme for payment of
grant of pensionary benefits to its employees, may deny the same
to a class of retired employees who were governed by a different set
of rules. The extension of the benefits can also be denied to a class
of employees if the same is permissible in law. The case of the
appellants, however, stands absolutely on a different footing. They
had   been   enjoying   the   benefit   of   the   revised   scales   of   pay.
Recommendations have been made by the Central Government as
also the University Grant Commission to the State of Karnataka to
33
extend the benefits of the Pay Revision Committee in their favour.
The pay in their case had been revised in 1986 whereas the pay of
the employees of the State of Karnataka was revised in 1993. The
benefits of the recommendations of the Pay Revision Committee
w.e.f.   1­1­1996,   thus,   could   not   have   been   denied   to   the
appellants.
30. In Chairman, Rly. Board v. C.R. Rangadhamaiah (1997) 6 SCC
623, a Constitution Bench of this Court opined : 
“33.   Apart   from   being   violative   of   the   rights   then
available   under   Articles   31(1)   and   19(1)(f),   the
impugned   amendments,   insofar   as   they   have   been
given retrospective operation, are also violative of the
rights   guaranteed   under   Articles   14   and   16   of   the
Constitution on the ground that they are unreasonable
and arbitrary since the said amendments in Rule 2544
have the effect of reducing the amount of pension that
had become payable to employees who had already
retired from service on the date of issuance of the
impugned   notifications,   as   per   the   provisions
contained in Rule 2544 that were in force at the time
of their retirement.”
31. The appellants had retired from service. The State therefore
could not have amended the statutory rules adversely affecting
their pension with retrospective effect.”
46. Later, in Bank of Baroda and Another(supra), the question
arose with respect to the employees who retired or died while in
service on or after 1st April 1998 and before 31st October, 2002 to
whom benefits were vested and accrued could be deprived of their
retiral benefits.  In this context, while taking note of the view relying
34
on   the   Constitution   bench   Judgment   in  Chairman,   Railway
Board and Others(supra), this Court observed as under:­
“29. Thus, in our opinion, the Regulations which were in force till
2003, would apply with full force and as a matter of fact, the
amendments   made   in   it   by   addition   of   Explanation   (c)   in
Regulation 2(s) did not have the effect of amending the Regulations
relating   to   pension,   as   contained   in   Regulation   38   read   with
Regulations   2(d)   and   35   of   the   Regulations   of   1995.   Even
otherwise,   if   it   had   the   effect   of   amending   the   pay  and   perks
‘average emoluments’, as specified in Regulation 2(d), it could not
have   operated   retrospectively   and   taken   away   accrued   rights.
Otherwise also, it would have been arbitrary exercise of power.
Besides, there was no binding statutory force of the so called Joint
Note   of   the   Officers’   Association,   as   admittedly,   to   Officers’
Association even the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act were not
applicable and joint note had no statutory support, and it was not
open to forgo the benefits available under the Regulations to those
officers who have retired from 1.4.1998 till December 1999 and
thereafter, and to deprive them of the benefits of the Regulations.
Thus, by the Joint Note that has been relied upon, no estoppel said
to   have   been   created.   There   is   no   estoppel   as   against   the
enforcement of statutory provisions. The Joint Note had no force of
law and could not have been against the spirit of the statutory
Regulations and the basic service conditions, as envisaged under
the Regulations framed under the Act of 1970. They could not have
been tinkered with in an arbitrary manner, as has been laid down
by   this   Court   in   Central   Inland   Water   Transport   Corporation
Limited & Anr. vs. Brojo Nath Ganguly & Anr., (1986) 3 SCC 156 &
Delhi Transport Corporation vs. D.T.C. Mazdoor Congress, (1991)
Supp.1 SCC 600.”
47. The exposition of the legal principles culled out is that an
amendment having retrospective operation which has the effect of
taking away the benefit already available to the employee under the
existing rule indeed would divest the employee from his vested or
35
accrued rights and that being so, it would be held to be violative of
the rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.
48. In the instant case, the Bank pension scheme was introduced
from 1st April 1989 and options were called from the employees and
those who had given their option became member of the pension
scheme and accordingly pension was continuously paid to them
without fail and only in the year 2010, when the Bank failed in
discharging its obligations, respondent employees approached the
High   Court   by   filing   the   writ   petitions.     The   Bank   later   on
withdrawn the scheme of pension by deleting clause 15(ii) by an
amendment dated 11th  March, 2014 which was introduced with
effect from 1st April, 1989 and the employees who availed the benefit
of pension under the scheme, indeed their rights stood vested and
accrued to them and any amendment to the contrary, which has
been   made   with   retrospective   operation   to   take   away   the   right
accrued to the retired employee under the existing rule certainly is
not   only   violative   of   Article   14   but   also   of   Article   21   of   the
Constitution.
36
49. It may also be noticed that there is a distinction between the
legitimate expectation and a vested/accrued right in favour of the
employees.     The   rule   which   classifies   such   employee   for
promotional,   seniority,   age   of   retirement   purposes   undoubtedly
operates on those who entered service before framing of the rules
but it operates in futuro.  In a sense, it governs the future right of
seniority, promotion or age of retirement of those who are already in
service.
50. For the sake of illustration, if a person while entering into
service, has a legitimate expectation that as per the then existing
scheme of rules, he may be considered for promotion after certain
years of qualifying service or with the age of retirement which is
being prescribed under the scheme of rules but at a later stage, if
there is any amendment made either in the scheme of promotion or
the age of superannuation, it may alter other conditions of service
such scheme of rules operates in futuro.  But at the same time, if
the   employee   who   had   already   been   promoted   or   fixed   in   a
particular pay scale, if that is being taken away by the impugned
scheme of rules retrospectively, that certainly will take away the
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vested/accrued   right   of   the   incumbent   which   may   not   be
permissible   and   may   be   violative   of   Article   14   and   16   of   the
Constitution. 
51. The   judgment   on   which   learned   counsel   for   the   appellant
Bank has placed reliance in the case of  Marathwada   Gramin
Bank   Karamchari   Sanghatana  and   Another(supra), the issue
under   consideration   was   with   respect   to   provident   fund.     The
Marathawada Gramin Bank had floated a provident fund scheme
built   on   better   rates   of   contributions   than   the   rates   mandated
under   the   employees   provident   fund   scheme.   Hence,   the   better
scheme of provident fund was statutorily recognized by grant of
exemption under Section 17(1).  Later, Marathawada Gramin Bank
discontinued its provident fund scheme for financial unviability,
and reverted to rates mandated under paragraph 26 of the EPFS.
The Bank later declined to exercise its voluntary contribution under
Para 26 of the scheme after the exemption was declined and that
came   to   be   upheld   by   this   Court   which   may   not   be   of   any
assistance to learned counsel for the appellant in the instant case.
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52. So far as the judgment in State of Himachal Pradesh and
Others(supra) is concerned, it was a case where apart from the
scheme under the provisions of Act 1952, the State of Himachal
Pradesh   framed   another   scheme   for   the   Himachal   Pradesh
Corporate Sector Employees Pension(Family Pension, Commutation
of Pension and Gratuity) Scheme, 1999.  It was made operational
with effect from 1st April 1999 but before the rights to the employees
could be vested/accrued, it was repealed on 2nd  December, 2004.
The question arose whether such contingent right vested with the
employee on their having once opted under 1999 scheme was at all
be   binding   or   irrevocable   despite   being   repealed   by   a   later
notification dated 2nd December, 2004.  In that context, this Court
observed that it was not the case of the right which accrued to the
employee and in that context, the repealing notification was upheld
by this Court.
53. In  State   of   Rajasthan(supra),   it   was   a   case   where   the
University   which   was   an   autonomous   body   created   under   the
provisions   of   the   Act   by   its   Resolution   introduced   the   pension
scheme, without taking recourse of the fact that the Resolution of
39
the Board of the Management of the University can be enforced only
with prior approval from the Chancellor, i.e., the Governor of the
State in terms of Section 39 of the Act and it was never approved by
the Chancellor, in absence whereof, such resolution of the Board of
Management   was   unauthorized   and   was   not   open   to   be
implemented.   In the given circumstances, this Court was of the
view that in absence of the mandate of Section 39 being complied
with, the Board of Management of the University was not justified in
introducing the scheme of pension.
54. So far as the submission made by learned counsel for the
appellant   about   the   financial   distress   of   the   appellant   Bank   to
justify the impugned amendment to say that it may not be possible
to continue the grant of pension any more is concerned, suffice to
say,   that   the   rule   making   authority   was   presumed   to   know
repercussions of the particular piece of subordinate legislation and
once the Bank took a conscious decision after taking permission
from   the   Government   of   Punjab   and   Registrar,   Co­operative,
introduced the pension scheme with effect from 1st  April 1989, it
can be presumed that the competent authority was aware of the
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resources   from   where   the   funds   are   to   be   created   for   making
payments to its retirees and merely because at a later point of time,
it was unable to hold financial resources at its command to its
retirees,   would   not   be   justified   to   withdraw   the   scheme
retrospectively detrimental to the interests of the employees who not
only  became member  of  the  scheme  but  received their  pension
regularly   at   least   upto   the   year   2010   until   the   dispute   arose
between the parties and entered into litigation.
55. In our view, non­availability of financial resources would not
be a defence available to the appellant Bank in taking away the
vested rights accrued to the employees that too when it is for their
socio­economic security.  It is an assurance that in their old age,
their periodical payment towards pension shall remain assured. The
pension which is being paid to them is not a bounty and it is for the
appellant to divert the resources from where the funds can be made
available to fulfil the rights of the employees in protecting the vested
rights accrued in their favour.
56. So far as the submission made by the serving employees is
concerned, they have no locus to question.  At the same time, their
41
apprehension   as   being   projected   to   this   Court   is   completely
misplaced for the reason that employer/employees contribution is
being provided under the employees pension scheme(EPS) of the Act
1952 which is made applicable to the serving employees and they
are entitled to get pension in terms of the provisions of the Act
1952.  So far as their complaint regarding payment of contribution
is concerned, it is in no manner going to be adjusted for payment of
pension   to   retirees/respondents,   who   are   entitled   to   get   their
pension in terms of the pension scheme of which they are members
and it is for the appellant Bank to reserve the resources and make
payment to the retired employees seeking pension to the scheme in
vogue   when   they   became   members   and   took   benefits   pursuant
thereto.
57. Before we part with the judgment, we cannot be oblivious of
the situation that the complaint of the employees that they are not
being   paid   their   pension   since   2013,   at   the   given   time   few
employees   have   been   given   benefit   of   one   time   settlement   as
introduced by the Bank as an interim measure which was subject
to their rights being preserved, in the pending litigation, taking
42
grievance   of   the   either   party   into   consideration,   the   financial
constraints of the Bank and the rights of the employees who are
entitled to get pension under the bank pension scheme, we consider
appropriate to observe that so far as the arrears towards element of
pension   to   which   the   retired   employees   are   entitled   for,   the
appellant Bank is at liberty to pay arrears towards pension upto
31st December, 2021 in 12 monthly instalments in the next one year
by   the   end   of   December,   2022   and   those   employees   who   have
accepted payment under one time settlement at a given point of
time, what is being paid to them is always open for adjustment
against   arrears   of   their   due   pension.     Still   if   arrears   remain
outstanding, the same shall be paid in 12 monthly instalments. At
the same time, each of the employee who is member of the Bank
Pension scheme must get pension to which he/she is entitled from
the month of January 2022 as admissible under the law.  
58. So far as the complaint of the appellant Bank regarding orders
passed under Section 7A, Section 14B and Section 7Q of the Act
1952 for the period April 1989 to March 2015 and for April 2015 to
June 2017, copies of which has been placed on record is concerned,
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are not the subject matter of challenge in the instant proceedings, it
will   be   open   for   the   appellant   to   take   legal   recourse,   if   being
aggrieved in the appropriate proceedings available under the law.
59. Consequently, the appeals fail and are accordingly dismissed
with observations indicated above.
60. Pending applications, if any, stand disposed of.
………………………….J.
(AJAY RASTOGI)
…………………………..J.
(ABHAY S. OKA)
NEW DELHI
JANUARY 11, 2022
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Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले

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