Mahesh agrawal 0

Discrimination and denial of pension option to voluntary retired bank employees by IBA and Banks under 9th bi partite settlement

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1.VRS scheme is prevailing in some banks as per Officers’ Service Regulations (OSR). The entire regulations contained in OSR are approved by Govt of India through Official Gazette Notifications from time to time based on the modifications effected. In other words, the entire OSRs are permitted/ approved by the Govt of India.Therefore, it is deemed that the Officers who have gone under this VRS scheme have done so as per the Govt guidelines. 02. Joint Note dt 27.04.2010 & IBA Circular dt 10.08.2010: It is very clear that the Govt has consented and accorded sanction for offering one more option for Pension to the Retirees who had not opted earlier.As such all Retirees without any QUALIFICATION are entitled to opt for Pension. 03.It is clear that while obtaining the permission from the Govt, IBA has not included the word “Superannuation” and only under para No 13 it is for the first time IBA used the word “Superannuation”.In effect, IBA has arbitrarily put this word without the permission of the Govt to create avoidable confusion and contradiction to only delay implementation of the pension settlement. IBA without discussing this issue with Officers’ Association has wrongly and arbitrarily incorporated the word “Superannuation” thus violating the sanctity of Joint Note and the Bi-partite settlement and also has misled the Govt as Govt permission is available for implementation of Joint Note dt 27.04.2010.This is nothing but the breach of trust reposed by the Govt /UFBU on IBA. 04.FROM THE PENSION REGULATIONS IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT AN OFFICERS WHO HAVE GONE UNDER VRS SCHEME OF THE BANK HAVING COMPLETED 20 YEARS OF SERVICE ARE ENTITLED FOR PENSION. ALL THE OFFICERS WHO HAVE OPTED FOR VRS AFTER COMPLETING THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE BANK AND DULY COMPLYING WITH THE RULES OF THE BANK HAVE ACTUALLY RETIRED OR SUPERANNUATED. 05. Where Officers under VRS have been reckoned for the purpose of computation of Load Factor by Actuaries:Every employee of the bank either serving or retired as on 31.03.2008 has been reckoned for computing the Load factor and hence VRS optees should be given the opportunity to opt for pension. 06. PROVIDING OPPORTUNITY TO RETIREES UNDER SVRS AND CREATING DISCRIMINATION AMONG RETIREES; As per Joint Note dt 27.04.2010 and IBA circular dt 10.08.2010, opportunity has been provided to Retirees under SVRS to opt for Pension. The ridicule part is that Option is allowed even to those Officers who had just completed only 15 years of service as against the minimum required Pensionable service of 20 years as per Pension Regulation 29. Banks and IBA were generous to launch SVRS in 2001 and allowed Officers to prematurely Retire by offering a very BIG BOOTY of Advance salary for the remaining years of service subject to a maximum of 5 years. Each of the SVRS Retiree at an young age got a huge Purse from the bank that too in 2001 when the value of money was good and the bank Deposit interest rates were good. In respect of already Pension Optees, they got the Double benefit, in terms of 5 years Advance salary by way of Golden shake hand and also started drawing pension from the first day of their Retirement. It meant that, these Retirees got both Salary and Pension for the first 5 years of their Retirement from the very day of their Retirement. WHEREAS BANK AND IBA ARE TRYING TO EXCLUDE HONEST RETIREES WHO HAVE OPTED FOR VRS AS PER BANK SCHEME WITHOUT GETTING EVEN A SINGLE PAISA BENEFIT FROM THE BANK APART FROM NORMAL ENTITLEMENTS. From the above, it is very clear that IBA has taken partisan stand in providing extra benefits to SVRS optees by bending laws to accommodate them and leave out deserving and Legally eligible Retirees. THIS IS HEIGHT OF DISCRIMINATION AND INFRINGMENT ON THE RIGHTS OF RETIREES UNDER VRS AS CONFERRED IN OUR CONSTITUTION. The Discrimination in allowing Pension Options to Retirees have been strongly condemned by several Courts including the Supreme Court in the past in various cases filed by aggrieved Retirees at different points of time and BOTH THE CONCERNED BANK AND IBA HAVE BEEN STRONGLY REPRIMANDED FOR THIS (a). Canara Bank Vs B.M. Ramachandra & others, Judgment by Sri.R.P.Sethi, Hon,ble Chief Justice, High Court, Karnataka on 30.05.1997 “ It is acknowledged principle of interpretation and the rule of construction that if any impugned action is reasonably capable of construction which does not involve the infringement of fundamental rights, that construction must be preferred …….. Applying such a test in the present case it would be seen that if the interpretation sought to be put by the appellants is accepted, the same would amount in violation of fundamental rights of equality as enshrined in Articles 14 and 16. If the construction is assumed in favour of the employees, the SAME WOULD NOT RESULT IN THE VIOLATION OF ANY RIGHT MUCH LESS A FUNJDAMENTAL RIGHT………….. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, and the position of law as noted herein above, it can be safely held that the REGULATIONS WERE INTENDED TO BE MADE APPLICABLE TO ALL THE VOLUNTARILY RETIRED EMPLOYEES NOTWITHSTANDING THE CUT OFF DATE”. “ It is now well settled that Pension is granted in lieu of long service rendered by an employee and considered as deferred portion of compensation for past service. IT CANNOT BE TERMED TO BE A CHARITY OR BOUNTY NOR IS GRATUITOUS PAYMENT SOLELY DEPENDENT UPON THE WHIM OR SWEET WILL OF THE EMPLOYER. In a democratic country like India, its origin is referred to SOCIAL SECURITY plans which are CONSISTENT with the SOCIO ECONOMIC REQUIREMENTS OF THE CONSTITUTION. ………………………………………….” “ It is held that the persons like the writ petitioners were entitled to the pensionary benefits on account of the services rendered by them upon satisfaction of the conditions specified in the Regulations and that grant of such pension was neither a concession nor a charity or bounty”. The Judgments refers to the various cases and a landmark Judgment of Supreme Court is quoted by the Hon,ble Chief Justice while delivering the Judgment as under: A constitutional Bench of Supreme Court in Nakara,s case( D.S.Nakara & others Vs Union of India. “ With the expanding horizons of socio economic justice, the Socialist Republic and Welfare State which the country endeavors to set up and the fact that the old men who retired when the emoluments were comparatively low are exposed to vagaries of continuously rising prices, falling value of rupee, inflationary inputs, BY INTRODUCING ARBITRARY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA THEREBY DIVIDING A HOMOGENEOUS CLASS, THE CLASSIFICATION BEING NOT BASED ON ANY DISCERNABLE RATIONAL PRINCIPLE AND BEING WHOLLY UNRELATED TO THE OBJECTS SOUGHT TO BE ACHIEVED BY GRANT OF LIBERALISED PENSION AND THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA DEVISED BEING THOROUGHLY ARBITRARY…. VIOLATES ARTICLE 14 AND IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND LIABLE TO BE STRUCK DOWN” The Judgment also refers to the All India Reserve Bank Retired Officers Association’s case where the Supreme Court again relied upon Nakara’s case and held that: “ If the choice of the date results in classification or division of members of homogeneous group it would be OPEN TO THE COURT to insist that it be shown that the classification is based on an INTELLIGIBLE DIFFERENTIA and on RATIONAL CONSIDERATION which bears a nexus to the purpose and object thereof. The differential treatment must be justified on the touchstone of Article 14 FOR OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE OFFENSIVE TO THE PHILOSOPHY ENSRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION” 07. IBA’s Clarification to one Bank: Whether IBA is authorized to clarify: As per Joint Note dt 27.04.2010 Para No 13 “ any difference of opinion regarding interpretation of any of the provisions of this Joint Note, the matter will be taken up at the level of IBA and the Officers’ Association for discussion” It is understood that one of the nationalized bank had sought some clarification from IBA about the eligibility for opting for Pension and IBA had reportedly clarified that VRS optees are not eligible. IBA without discussing this matter with Officers’ Association has wrongly clarified as above without reference to either Pension Regulations OR Officers’ Service Regulations and thus discriminated the homogeneous group. Also, IBA has violated the sanctity of Joint Note and the Bi-partite settlement and also has misled the Govt as Govt permission is available for implementation of Joint Note dt 27.04.2010. HENCE THE REPORTED CLARIFICATION GIVEN BY IBA IS ULTRAVIRES THE JOINT NOTE DT 27.04.2010 AND TO BE STRUCK DOWN. FROM A DETAILED ANALYSIS AS ABOVE, IT IS VERY CLEAR AND LEGAL THAT OFFICERS UNDER VRS AS PER OSR BE GIVEN THE OPTION FOR PENSION AS PER JOINT NOTE DT 27.04.2010. Hope you will be kind enough to draw attention of government and IBA for rendering justice to voluntary retired. With regards, Yours faithfully, (M.C.Agrawal) and Thousands of vrs retirees 29-B,Kirti Nagar,Tonk Road,Jaipur-302018 Ph-0141-2712388,m-919462119372 e-mail

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