Sub: Judgment of the Hon'ble High court of Delhi delivered on 24.08.2016 in the bunch of LPAs No. 410-14/2014 and other 54 LPAs under different numbers up to LPA 780/2014.
- The above mentioned Judgment of the High Court of Delhi in connection with employees of University of Delhi and its affiliated Colleges for switching over from CPF to GPF.
- In this Connection, MHRD's vide O.M. No. F.No.4-38/2014-Desk dated 11th July 2014 enclosing DOP&PW O.M. No. 3/5/2011-P&PW (F) dated 23.6.2014 & Department of Expenditure Note ID No:2(12)/E.V/2012 dated 12.10.2012 (all copies enclosed) directing the University to challenge the Court order in the Apex court in case it was allowed by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi.
- The Executive Council of the University on 14.8.2014 considered the recommendations of Task Force constituted by the Vice-Chancellor and Chaired by Treasurer to examine, on priority basis, all aspects of the judgments delivered by the learned Single Judge in 2014 in respect of WP(C) 1490 of 2006, WP (C) 2036 of 2010 and WP(C) 5631 of 2010 and to suggest the right pathways for ensuring the implementation of decision stemming from the Judgments keeping in view the welfare of the all employees serving as well as retired. The Executive Council of the University resolved to accept the recommendation to file an appeal in the High Court on the lines indicated by the MHRD vide letter No. F.No.4-38/2014-Desk (U) dated 11th July 2014. The DOP&PW O.M. dated 23.6.2014 stated that the MHRD has to challenge the Court order in the Apex Court in case it was allowed by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi.
- Accordingly, The University of Delhi filed an appeal in the Division Bench as against the judgment dated 30.4.2014 of Single judge of the Hon'ble High Court, Delhi under the Category I (N.C.Bakshi batch) & Category III (Virmani batch) vide LPA (Letter of Patents Appeal) No.'s 554/2014 & 555/2014 on the lines indicated by the MHRD vide letter No. F.No.4-38/2014-Desk (U) dated 11th July 2014 and DOP&PW O.M. No. 3/5/2011-P&PW (F) dated 23.6.2014. Similarly, the employees of the various colleges of University of Delhi has also filed an appeal in the Division Bench as against judgment of Single judge of the Hon'ble High Court, Delhi under the Category II (Shashi kiran batch) vide bunch of (58) LPAs under different Nos. from 410/2014 to 780/2014.
- The judgment on various appeals (LPAs) filed by both the University and the employees of the University and its colleges before the Division Bench of the Hon'ble High court of Delhi was reserved on 29.3.2016 and was finally pronounced on 24.8.2016. The operative part of the Judgment of Division bench of Hon'ble High Court of Delhi on the various LPAs filed in connection with employees switching over from CPF to GPF are as under:
In the University's appeal in LPA 554/2014 (University of Delhi Vs N.C. Bakshi & others), the Hon'ble Division Bench said: This court is of the opinion that no infirmity can be found with the approach or reasoning of the learned Single Judge, in allowing the respondents' petitions. The learned Single Judge made a factual analysis, in this category of teaching staff. This chart, prepared for the purpose, and extracted at Para 3.1 of the judgment in this batch (N.C. Bakshi V Union of India WP 5310/2010) shows that all the employees opted for the CPF benefits, after the cut-off date.
It was because of this and the expressed stand of the UGC- and the University that the learned Single Judge concluded that notwithstanding the so called option, exercised in terms of the extensions given, the writ petitioners could not be denied the benefit of the Pension Scheme because they were deemed by the OM of 1.5.1987 to have opted for it, by default. Having regard to these facts, the appellants could not have urged that the benefit of the Pension Scheme should have been denied to these classes of petitioners/teaching staff. Therefore, we are of the opinion that there is no infirmity with the impugned judgment of the learned Single Judge. The University's appeals, therefore, deserve to fail. (Category I).
Category II (Shashi Kiran batch)
The Hon'ble Court held that denying the right to opt to the Pension Scheme in the case of the Shashi Kiran batch (Category II) is unsustainable; it has resulted in arbitrariness. In view of the fore the foregoing reasons, the University's appeals (LPA 554-555/2014) are dismissed. The appeals filed in the Shashi Kiran batch (LPA Nos. 410-414/2014) succeed and are allowed.
Category III (Virmani batch)
The court is of the opinion that the submissions of the University, the appellant, in regard to the Virmani's order, have no force. There is no denial and there can be none- that the nature of the scheme contemplated by the 01.05.1987 notification was to ensure that only those wishing to continue in the CPF scheme had to opt to do so. A default in that regard meant that the employee not filling his option (to continue in CPF) was deemed to have 'come over' or migrated to the Pension Scheme.
This court is of the opinion that the University- and the respondents and relying on contradictory pleas. If they urge that the true interpretation of the 1987 circular meant that anyone not furnishing an option to continue in the CPF scheme is deemed to have opted for the Pension Scheme (as the Virmani group undoubtedly did) there is no way they can succeed on the ground of laches or estoppel. Therefore, we find no infirmity with the learned Single Judge's order, in Vimani's Case (category III).
Considering the above, the matter with regard to CPF-GPF issue has been taken up with the Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD vide University letter No. Fin/Pension Cell/CPF-GPF/Judgment-2016 dated 13th October 2016 as approved by the Hon'ble V.C, for its direction whether to file an appeal in the Apex Court against the order of the Division Bench of the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi or to implement the Judgment.
As directed by the MHRD vide its letter dated 23.1.2017, 18.4.2017, 21.4.2017, 8.5.2017 & 23.5.2017, the University of Delhi has filed the SLP in the Apex court in respect of category I (N.C Bakshi batch) & II (Sashikiran batch as against the judgment of Divisional Bench of Hon'ble High Court of Delhi dated 24.08.2016. Since the University of Delhi has not filed SLP in respect of Category III (Virmani batch), it becomes obligatory on the part of the University to implement the judgment of Divisional Bench of Hon'ble High Court of Delhi dated 24.8.2016 in respect of category III (Virmani batch).
In this connection it is pertinent to mention that the University has finalized only the Gross pension of the petitioners and the respective colleges will calculate the net pension liability up to 30.4.2017 from the date of retirement after adjusting the CPF amount (Employer contribution) along with the 8% simple interest, if any. It is also understood that the respective colleges have already calculated the net pension liability of the petitioners and sent to the UGC to deposit the same to the Hon'ble Court. Further, University vide letter dated 13.7.2017 intimated that the respective colleges may initiate action for releasing of the monthly pension in respect of petitioners of the Category III (Virmani batch) commencing from the month of May 2017 whose gross pension has already been approved by the competent authority of the University.