Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Latest DoPT Orders 2019 Draft Performance Appraisal Report Rules, 2019

Circulation of draft Central Civil Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2019 - seeking comments of Ministries / Departments

Latest DoPT Orders 2019

REMINDER
No.21011/01/2017 - Estt.A-II
Government of India
Ministry of personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated: 1st November 2019
Subject: Circulation of draft Central Civil Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2019 - seeking comments of Ministries/ Departments

Please refer to this Department's O.M. of even number dated 27.09.2019 circulating the draft Central Civil Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2019 and seeking comments from all Ministries / Departments.

All Ministries / Departments are requested to furnish the comments / suggestions / modifications, if any, on the draft rules, to this Department latest by 15.11.2019 at the e-mail address jayashree.c@nic.in

Also check: DoPT Order: Recording of the Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) for the 2017 - 18 financial year for CSS officers
(Jayashree Chellamani)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India
To
All Ministries / Departments of the Government of India
(As per standard list)

Latest DoPT Orders 2019 Draft Performance Appraisal Report Rules, 2019




Source: DoPT

Demands of Defence Ex-servicemen on OROP requiring immediate action

One Rank One Pension and issues of concern of Defence Veterans needing urgent resolution: IESM writes to MPs

Demands of Defence Ex-servicemen on OROP requiring immediate action


ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP) & ISSUES OF CONCERN OF DEFENCE VETERANS NEEDING URGENT RESOLUTION

Dear Veterans,

Letter to Members of Parliament on the above subject dated 02 Nov 2019 is enclosed herewith for your information widest circulation please.
.
With Regards,

Jai Hind,

Yours Sincerely,

Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd),
Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen &
Chairman Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM)

Dated:  02 Nov 2019

"ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP) & ISSUES OF CONCERN OF DEFENCE VETERANS NEEDING URGENT RESOLUTION"

Dear Members of Parliament,

1.      We wish to bring to your notice that long pending demand of defence fraternity of OROP has not yet been implemented. Hon’ble Prime Minister and President of BJP Sh. JP Nadda have time and again stated at various forums that OROP has been implemented.  With grievously hurt feelings and anguish, we wish to inform you that such statements by our Hon’ble Prime Minister are of serious concern to us.  Had the OROP been implemented as per the definition stated by MoS Sh. Rao Inderjit Singh on 02 Dec 2014 in the parliament, the Ex Servicemen would not have been on the road across the country protesting for the non-implementation of OROP.  On 31 Oct 2019, Ex Servicemen have completed 1600 days of continuous Protest Movement executed peacefully with dignity, respect and in the best traditions of soldiering.

2.      There are serious anomalies in the Govt of India Min of Def Notification No 12 (I)/2014/D (Pen/Pol)-part –II dated 07 Nov 2015 wherein the Govt is purported to have implemented OROP.  The serious anomalies have been brought to the Notice of the Govt on numerous occasions, but these anomalies have not yet been rectified.  Ex-servicemen were forced to approach Hon’ble Supreme Court for grant of full OROP.  Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated 01 May 2019 (copy attached).  Asked the MoD to resolve the anomalies to the extent possible and the next date of hearing was to take place on 06 Aug 2019.  However, the Hon’ble judge hearing the case was busy in hearing Ram Mandir Case and our OROP case hearing was not listed.

3.      In the meantime we had a meeting with Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on 01 Jul 2019 and briefed him about Hon’ble Supreme Court order and requested for the rectification of the OROP anomalies. Hon’ble Raksha Mantri assured us for another meeting after a few days for the resolution of OROP anomalies; however, that meeting has not taken place even after writing to Hon’ble Raksha Mantri a number of times.

4.      During an Election Rally at Chandigarh President of BJP Sh. JP Nadda stated that his Govt had implemented OROP.  The same was denied by Ex-servicemen bodies. To add to our hurt feelings, Hon’ble Prime Minister on 19 Oct 2019 at Rewari in another Election Rally, again stated that his Govt had implemented OROP.  We wish to inform that this is far from truth.  OROP has not been implemented; what has been implement is One Time increase in Pension.  Unless the OROP anomalies are rectified, grant of Full OROP will remain unfulfilled.

5.       We also wish to inform you that equalization of pensions of defence personnel was due with effect from 01 Jul 2019 as per Govt Notification dated 07 Nov 2015, but the same has not yet been carried out. The Govt which had issued the notification has not honored its own order of equalization of Pensions after every five years which became due with effect from 01 Jul 2019. We had through a letter dated 03 Sep 2019 written to Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, copy to Hon’ble Prime Minister and three Chiefs and also forwarded the same letter to Secretary (ESW) requesting for immediate equalization of pensions as notified in Govt Notification dated 07 Nov 2015. MoD, instead of implementing equalization of pensions, ordered another committee whose recommendations have not been made public. The outcome of another, “One Man Judicial Committee (OMJC)” which submitted its report to the Govt on 26 Oct 2016 headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court has neither been made public nor implemented.

6.      We appeal to our elected representative, Hon’ble Members of Parliament to raise our issues of concern in the coming winter session and ask the Govt to grant Full OROP to the defence personnel, a demand which is long pending, though it had been accepted by both NDA and UPA Govts but not yet implemented. Our Hon’ble Member of Parliament, with anguish we wish to say that “any country which does not respect its soldiers is doomed to fail”.

Please grant Justice to Soldiers.

With Regards,

Jai Hind,

Yours Sincerely,

Maj Gen Satbir Singh,
SM (Retd), Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen &
Chairman Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM)
Mobile: 9312404269, 01244110570
Email:satbirsm[@]gmail.com
(Source Via e-mail)

http://ex-servicemenwelfare.blogspot.com

Enrolment of Subscribers under NPS who lost both hands - PFRDA Circular

Enrolment of Subscribers under NPS who lost both hands - PFRDA Circular

PENSION FUND REGULATORY
AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
B-14/A, Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhawan,
Qutub Institutional Area,
Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi-110016
Ph: 011-26517501, 26517503, 26133730
Website: www.pfrda.org.in

CIRCULAR

PFRDA/2019/17/SUP-SG/1

04.10.2019

To,

All Central Government Ministries & Departments/ State Governments
PrAOs, PAOs, CDDOs, NCDDOs – CG Nodal offices
DTAs,DTOs, DDOs – SG Nodal offices
All Central and State Autonomous Bodies
Points of Presence

Subject: Acceptance of CSRF forms or registration under NPS in case of subscriber who has lost both hands

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has received few requests from the Govt Nodal offices, requesting PFRDA to accept the subscriber registration (CSRF) form in case of such subscriber-employees joining under them, who are unable to affix signature on the CSRF form, being due to loss of both hands.

In view of the above and to facilitate the registration of such subscribers under NPS, the Govt Nodal offices/PoPs are advised to accept the subscriber registration (CSRF) form by obtaining the toe impression of the subscriber on the CSRF form. Further, where toe impression of such subscriber who has lost both hands is obtained on the CSRF form, it should be attested by two persons, one of whom should be the official designated to handle NPS related activities in Govt Nodal office/ PoP.

Sd/-
Sumeet Kaur Kapoor
Chief General Manager

Enrolment of Subscribers under NPS who lost both hands - PFRDA Circular


Grant of Dearness relief from 12% to 17% to Railway Pensioners/Family Pensioners effect from 01.07.2019

Grant of Dearness relief from 12% to 17% to Railway Pensioners/Family Pensioners effect from 01.07.2019

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (BHARAT SARKAR)
Ministry of Railways (Rail Mantralaya)
(Railway Board)

PC-VII No: 146
RBE No: 187/2019

File No. PC-VII/2016/1/7/2/3

New Delhi, dated: 31.10.2019

The General Manager/CAOs(R),
All Zonal Railway & Production Units,
(As per mailing list)

Sub: – Grant of Dearness Relief to Railway Pensioners/family pensioners – Revised rate effective from 01.07.2019.

A copy of Office Memorandum No. 42/04/2019-P&PW(D) dated 21.10.2019 of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions (Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare) on the above subject is enclosed herewith for information and compliance. This order shall apply  mutatis Mutandis on Railways also.

2. This issues with the concurrence of Finance Directorate of the Ministry Railways.

3. Hindi version is attached below.

Encl. As above.

(Jaya Kumar G)
Deputy Director, Pay Commission -VII

Grant of Dearness relief from 12% to 17% to Railway Pensioners/Family Pensioners effect from 01.07.2019

Pensioners eligible for Special Allowance - Kerala High Court Judgement

Kerala High Court Judgement dated 15.10.2019 in WP(C) No. 32386 of year 2015 – Inclusion of Special Allowance in calculation of Pension for those who retired from service after 31.10.2012



IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

Pensioners eligible for Special Allowance - Kerala High Court Judgement


PRESENT

THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE ANU SIVARAMAN

TUESDAY, THE 15TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2019 / 23RD ASWINA, 1941

WP(C).No.32386 OF 2015(W)

PETITIONERS:

1 MURALEE MOHANAN K.T
AGED 62 YEARS
S/O.N.GOVINDAN NAIR, HOUSE NO.49/93-B, PADAM
ROAD, ELAMAKKARA, KOCHI-682026.

2 RAMESH KUMAR P.GANGADHARAN
AGED 61 YEARS
S/O.GANGADHARAN, ASHWATHY, 35/2109C, FRIENDSHIP
NAGAR, PALARIVATTOM, KOCHI-682025.

3 L.SACHITHANANDA SHENOY
AGED 60 YEARS S/O.R.LAKSHMANA SHENOY, H.NO.37/2437,
NARAYANEEYAM, VADHYAR ROAD, KALOOR SOUTH,
ERNAKULAM, KOCHI-682017.

4 IBRAHIM MOHAMED HASHIM
AGED 60 YEARS
S/O.MOHAMED HASHIM, 7/709-B. BANOOR HASHIM,
DARUSSALAM ROAD, KOCHI-682002.

BY ADVS.
SRI.ASOK M.CHERIAN
SRI.V.K.PRASAD

RESPONDENTS:

1 CORPORATION BANK
REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN AND MANAGIND
DIRECTOR, HEAD OFFICE, P.B.NO.88, MANGALADEVI
TEMPLE ROAD, PANDESHWAR, MANGALORE-575 001,
KARNATAKA

2 THE TRUSTEE SECRETARY
CORPORATION BANK (EMPLOYEES) PENSION FUND, HEAD
OFFICE, P.B.NO.88, MANGALADEVI TEMPLE ROAD,
PANDESHWAR, MANGALORE-575 001, KARNATAKA

3 UNION OF INDIA
REPRESENTED BY SECRETARY TO BANKING DIVISION,
MINISTRY OF FINANCE, NEW DELHI-110 001.

R1 BY ADV. SRI.VIVEK VARGHESE P.J.
R1 BY ADV. SRI.P.S.GOPINATH CGC
R1 BY ADV. MS.VARGHESE JACOB
R2 BY ADV. MS.VARGHESE & JACOB
R3 BY ADV. SRI.P.S.GOPINATH, CGC

THIS WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) HAVING BEEN FINALLY HEARD ON 19.9.2019, THE COURT ON 15.10.2019 DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING:-

JUDGEMENT

Dated this the 15th day of October, 2019

    Petitioners, who are retired officers of the 1st respondent Bank have approached this Court seeking the following reliefs:-

i. To call for the records leading to Exhibits P5, P5(a), P5(b) and P5(c) and quash the same by issuing a writ in the nature of certiorari as they are violative of the fundamental rights of the petitioners in Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

ii. To declare that the condition mentioned in the note provided to item (6) of Annexure 1 of Exhibit P6 is null and void to the extent it affects the petitioners.

iii. To issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing respondents to revise the basic pension of the petitioners in accordance with the provisions of the Corporation Bank (Employees) Pension Regulations, 1995 by taking into account the Special Allowance introduced in Exhibit P8 as part of pay for the purpose of Basic Pension.

iv. To issue a writ of mandamus directing the 2nd respondent to recalculate the commutation pension of the petitioners on the basis of the revised basic pension by including the special allowance introduced vide Exhibit P6.

v. to issue a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to refund the pension arrears recovered from the petitioners as per Exhibits P5, P5(a), P5(b) and P5(c).

    The 1st petitioner retired from service on 30.11.2013, the 2nd petitioner on 30.11.2014, the 3rd petitioner on 30.01.2015 and the 4th petitioner on 28.2.2015. The petitioners contend that their pension amounts have been substantially reduced when a wage revision was effected, due to the non-inclusion of the special allowance in the calculation of pay for the purpose of basic pension. It is stated that recovery has been effected from the arrears of commuted value of pension due to the petitioners by Exhibit P5 proceedings which is also under challenge.

    Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners and the learned standing counsel appearing for the respondents.

    It is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that Exhibit P2 Pension Regulations are statutory in character. Regulation 2(d) of Exhibit P2 Pension Regulations defines average emoluments as the average of the pay drawn by the employee during the last ten months of his service in the bank. Pay is defined as basic pay including stagnation increments, if any, and all allowances counted for the purpose of making contribution to the Provident Fund and for payment of Dearness Allowance. It is stated that the petitioners had been granted pension, taking note of the average emoluments drawn as provided in Regulation 2(d). It is stated that the pay and allowances as well as the pension of retired employees underwent an enhancement on the basis of Exhibit P6 Joint Note dated 25.5.2015. It is stated that the petitioners had been granted pension and all allowances on the basis of the revised pay scale, but by Exhibit P5 proceedings, it appears that amounts had been recovered from the commutation arrears due to the petitioners. The petitioners were also given a statement of fixation, which revealed that amounts have been recovered from their commutation arrears, since their pension had been reduced due to the fact that the special allowances granted to them as an addition to pay was not reckoned for the purpose of calculating pension. It is stated that the action of the respondents in effecting a pay revision which results in reducing the pension payable to the petitioners, who had already retired from service as on the date of the Joint Note and in deducting amounts from the legally entitled amounts due to the petitioners is completely unwarranted and is arbitrary and unsustainable. The learned counsel for the petitioners would rely on the decision of the Apex Court in State of Rajasthan and others v. Mahendra Nath Sharma [Civil Appeal No.1123 of 2015 and connected cases] to contend that pension is not bounty but a legal right of the petitioners which is accrued to them by virtue of long years of service and as such there can be no recovery from pension. The judgment of the Apex Court in Bank of Baroda and another v. G.Palani and others (Civil Appeal No.5525/2012 dated 13.02.2018) is also relied on.

    A counter affidavit has been placed on record by the respondents. It is contended therein that the petitioners had retired from service on 30.11.2013, 30.11.2014, 30.01.2015 and 28.2.2015 respectively. It is stated that payment of pension is regulated by Exhibit P6 wage revision accord signed by Indian Banks Association and the Officers Associations. It is stated that a writ petition filed challenging one of the conditions of the Joint Note is not maintainable in view of the fact that the Joint Note is the result of a series of consultations and negotiations between the Banks and the Employees Association and it has to be seen as a package deal and cannot be challenged on piece-meal basis. It is stated that neither the Indian Banks’ Associations nor the Unions or Associations who had participated in the negotiations and had entered into the Joint Note are parties to the writ petition. It is contended that the decision of the Apex Court in G.Palani‘s case has no application, since in the instant case, there is no deduction from any amounts due to the petitioners under any statute and deduction is on account of the specific provision contained in the Joint Note. It is further stated in paragraphs 30 and 31 of the counter affidavit which read as follows:-

    It is submitted here that the pay structure of the employees of PSBs’ are fixed based on the Settlement arrived on time to time. The settlement arrived in the year 2015 is called 10th bipartite settlement/ Joint Note date 25.5.2015 same is applicable for 1.11.2012 to 31.10.2017. Before this settlement, the writ petitioners were drawing salary/pension from the Bank based on this settlement/Joint Note dated 27.4.2010. Hence, once the 10th bipartite settlement/Joint Note dated 25.5.2015 was entered, based on the PSBs’ were required to recalculate the salary/pensions based on the 10th bipartite settlement dated 25.5.2015.

    Based on the recalculation, the Bank has paid more amount as pension to the petitioners however the petitioners were eligible for arrears in commutation. Hence the difference amount was recovered from the arrears commutation and the petitioners got arrears on salary/commutation as mentioned in reply to para 6 of writ petition.“

    The learned standing counsel would place reliance on the decision of the Apex Court in Union Bank of India and others v. United Bank of India Retirees, Welfare Association and others [2016 KHC 6432] to contend that the Apex Court has held that a Joint Note is a package deal and it would be impossible to hold certain parts as good and accepted, while finding other parts to be bad. An interference made by the High Court in one of the provisions of a Joint Note with regard to applicability of dearness relief was found to be bad and was reversed by the Apex Court.

    I have considered the contentions advanced. The essential challenge raised in the writ petition is against the provision in the Joint Note to the extent it is contrary to the provisions of the pension regulations. The Apex Court in United Bank of India’s case (supra) has considered the applicability of a Joint Note in the case of workmen governed by the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act and held that the Note being a package deal, the petitioners who are governed by the provisions of the Note cannot challenge a specific provision thereof, while enjoying the special benefits granted by the Note.

    However, in Bank of Baroda v. G.Palani and others, the Apex Court drew a distinction where the aggrieved employees are officers who retired from the Bank in question. It was held that the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 are not applicable to such officers. It was held that the Pension Regulations framed under Section 19 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970 are statutory in character. In the circumstances, in view of the definition of average emoluments at Regulation 2(d), Pay at Regulation 2(s) and the provision for calculating pension at Regulation 35, it was held that employees are to be paid pension as provided in the Regulations and no reduction from the same is possible, relying on the provisions of a Joint Note, which has no statutory force, unless the Regulations are appropriately amended. It was held in paragraph 28 of the judgment as follows:-

“28. Thus joint note/agreement could not have been in derogation of the existing statutory Regulations and regulation 2(s)(c) could not have been given retrospective effect. It is also apparent from the decisions of this Court in P.Sadagopan vs.Food Corporation of India [(1997) 4 SCC 301], that executive instructions cannot be issued in derogation of the statutory Regulations. The settled position of law is that no Government Order, Notification or Circular can be a substitute of the statutory rules framed with the authority of law. In Dr.Rajinder Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors (2001) 5 SCC 482, this Court had reiterated that the settled position of law is that no government order, notification or circular can be a substitute of the statutory rules framed with the authority of law. In K.Kuppuswamy & Anr.v. State of Tamil Nadu (1998) 8 SCC 469, this Court has observed that statutory rules cannot be overriden by executive orders or executive practice. Merely because the Government had taken a decision to amend the rules, does not mean that the rule stood obliterated. Till the rule is amended, the rule applies.”

The amendment to Regulation 2(s) of the Pension Regulations was struck down as arbitrary and repugnant to Regulation 2(d), 35 and 38(1) and (2).

    In the above view of the matter, I am of the opinion that the prayers sought for in the writ petition are liable to be allowed. The petitioners are entitled to pension in terms of the Pension Regulations especially Regulation 2(d) and 35 thereof. The respondents are directed to revise the basic pension of the petitioners in accordance with the provisions of the Corporation Bank (Employees) Pension Regulation, 1995 by taking into account the Special Allowances introduced in Exhibit P6 as part of pay for the purpose of Basic Pension. There will be a direction to the 2nd respondent to recalculate the commutation pension of the petitioners on the basis of the revised basic pension by including the special allowance introduced vide Exhibit P6 and to refund the pension arrears recovered from the petitioners as per Exhibits P5. P5(a),P5(b) and P5(c). The necessary shall be done within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment.

The writ petition is ordered accordingly.

Sd/-
Anu Sivaraman, Judge
Kerala High Court Judgement dated 15.10.2019 in WP(C) No. 32386 of year 2015 – Inclusion of Special Allowance in calculation of Pension for those who retired from service after 31.10.2012

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

PRESENT

THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE ANU SIVARAMAN

TUESDAY, THE 15TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2019 / 23RD ASWINA, 1941

WP(C).No.32386 OF 2015(W)

PETITIONERS:

1 MURALEE MOHANAN K.T
AGED 62 YEARS
S/O.N.GOVINDAN NAIR, HOUSE NO.49/93-B, PADAM
ROAD, ELAMAKKARA, KOCHI-682026.

2 RAMESH KUMAR P.GANGADHARAN
AGED 61 YEARS
S/O.GANGADHARAN, ASHWATHY, 35/2109C, FRIENDSHIP
NAGAR, PALARIVATTOM, KOCHI-682025.

3 L.SACHITHANANDA SHENOY
AGED 60 YEARS S/O.R.LAKSHMANA SHENOY, H.NO.37/2437,
NARAYANEEYAM, VADHYAR ROAD, KALOOR SOUTH,
ERNAKULAM, KOCHI-682017.

4 IBRAHIM MOHAMED HASHIM
AGED 60 YEARS
S/O.MOHAMED HASHIM, 7/709-B. BANOOR HASHIM,
DARUSSALAM ROAD, KOCHI-682002.

BY ADVS.
SRI.ASOK M.CHERIAN
SRI.V.K.PRASAD

RESPONDENTS:

1 CORPORATION BANK
REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN AND MANAGIND
DIRECTOR, HEAD OFFICE, P.B.NO.88, MANGALADEVI
TEMPLE ROAD, PANDESHWAR, MANGALORE-575 001,
KARNATAKA

2 THE TRUSTEE SECRETARY
CORPORATION BANK (EMPLOYEES) PENSION FUND, HEAD
OFFICE, P.B.NO.88, MANGALADEVI TEMPLE ROAD,
PANDESHWAR, MANGALORE-575 001, KARNATAKA

3 UNION OF INDIA
REPRESENTED BY SECRETARY TO BANKING DIVISION,
MINISTRY OF FINANCE, NEW DELHI-110 001.

R1 BY ADV. SRI.VIVEK VARGHESE P.J.
R1 BY ADV. SRI.P.S.GOPINATH CGC
R1 BY ADV. MS.VARGHESE JACOB
R2 BY ADV. MS.VARGHESE & JACOB
R3 BY ADV. SRI.P.S.GOPINATH, CGC

THIS WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) HAVING BEEN FINALLY HEARD ON 19.9.2019, THE COURT ON 15.10.2019 DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING:-

JUDGEMENT

Dated this the 15th day of October, 2019

    Petitioners, who are retired officers of the 1st respondent Bank have approached this Court seeking the following reliefs:-

i. To call for the records leading to Exhibits P5, P5(a), P5(b) and P5(c) and quash the same by issuing a writ in the nature of certiorari as they are violative of the fundamental rights of the petitioners in Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

ii. To declare that the condition mentioned in the note provided to item (6) of Annexure 1 of Exhibit P6 is null and void to the extent it affects the petitioners.

iii. To issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing respondents to revise the basic pension of the petitioners in accordance with the provisions of the Corporation Bank (Employees) Pension Regulations, 1995 by taking into account the Special Allowance introduced in Exhibit P8 as part of pay for the purpose of Basic Pension.

iv. To issue a writ of mandamus directing the 2nd respondent to recalculate the commutation pension of the petitioners on the basis of the revised basic pension by including the special allowance introduced vide Exhibit P6.

v. to issue a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to refund the pension arrears recovered from the petitioners as per Exhibits P5, P5(a), P5(b) and P5(c).

    The 1st petitioner retired from service on 30.11.2013, the 2nd petitioner on 30.11.2014, the 3rd petitioner on 30.01.2015 and the 4th petitioner on 28.2.2015. The petitioners contend that their pension amounts have been substantially reduced when a wage revision was effected, due to the non-inclusion of the special allowance in the calculation of pay for the purpose of basic pension. It is stated that recovery has been effected from the arrears of commuted value of pension due to the petitioners by Exhibit P5 proceedings which is also under challenge.

    Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners and the learned standing counsel appearing for the respondents.

    It is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that Exhibit P2 Pension Regulations are statutory in character. Regulation 2(d) of Exhibit P2 Pension Regulations defines average emoluments as the average of the pay drawn by the employee during the last ten months of his service in the bank. Pay is defined as basic pay including stagnation increments, if any, and all allowances counted for the purpose of making contribution to the Provident Fund and for payment of Dearness Allowance. It is stated that the petitioners had been granted pension, taking note of the average emoluments drawn as provided in Regulation 2(d). It is stated that the pay and allowances as well as the pension of retired employees underwent an enhancement on the basis of Exhibit P6 Joint Note dated 25.5.2015. It is stated that the petitioners had been granted pension and all allowances on the basis of the revised pay scale, but by Exhibit P5 proceedings, it appears that amounts had been recovered from the commutation arrears due to the petitioners. The petitioners were also given a statement of fixation, which revealed that amounts have been recovered from their commutation arrears, since their pension had been reduced due to the fact that the special allowances granted to them as an addition to pay was not reckoned for the purpose of calculating pension. It is stated that the action of the respondents in effecting a pay revision which results in reducing the pension payable to the petitioners, who had already retired from service as on the date of the Joint Note and in deducting amounts from the legally entitled amounts due to the petitioners is completely unwarranted and is arbitrary and unsustainable. The learned counsel for the petitioners would rely on the decision of the Apex Court in State of Rajasthan and others v. Mahendra Nath Sharma [Civil Appeal No.1123 of 2015 and connected cases] to contend that pension is not bounty but a legal right of the petitioners which is accrued to them by virtue of long years of service and as such there can be no recovery from pension. The judgment of the Apex Court in Bank of Baroda and another v. G.Palani and others (Civil Appeal No.5525/2012 dated 13.02.2018) is also relied on.

    A counter affidavit has been placed on record by the respondents. It is contended therein that the petitioners had retired from service on 30.11.2013, 30.11.2014, 30.01.2015 and 28.2.2015 respectively. It is stated that payment of pension is regulated by Exhibit P6 wage revision accord signed by Indian Banks Association and the Officers Associations. It is stated that a writ petition filed challenging one of the conditions of the Joint Note is not maintainable in view of the fact that the Joint Note is the result of a series of consultations and negotiations between the Banks and the Employees Association and it has to be seen as a package deal and cannot be challenged on piece-meal basis. It is stated that neither the Indian Banks’ Associations nor the Unions or Associations who had participated in the negotiations and had entered into the Joint Note are parties to the writ petition. It is contended that the decision of the Apex Court in G.Palani‘s case has no application, since in the instant case, there is no deduction from any amounts due to the petitioners under any statute and deduction is on account of the specific provision contained in the Joint Note. It is further stated in paragraphs 30 and 31 of the counter affidavit which read as follows:-

    It is submitted here that the pay structure of the employees of PSBs’ are fixed based on the Settlement arrived on time to time. The settlement arrived in the year 2015 is called 10th bipartite settlement/ Joint Note date 25.5.2015 same is applicable for 1.11.2012 to 31.10.2017. Before this settlement, the writ petitioners were drawing salary/pension from the Bank based on this settlement/Joint Note dated 27.4.2010. Hence, once the 10th bipartite settlement/Joint Note dated 25.5.2015 was entered, based on the PSBs’ were required to recalculate the salary/pensions based on the 10th bipartite settlement dated 25.5.2015.

    Based on the recalculation, the Bank has paid more amount as pension to the petitioners however the petitioners were eligible for arrears in commutation. Hence the difference amount was recovered from the arrears commutation and the petitioners got arrears on salary/commutation as mentioned in reply to para 6 of writ petition.“

    The learned standing counsel would place reliance on the decision of the Apex Court in Union Bank of India and others v. United Bank of India Retirees, Welfare Association and others [2016 KHC 6432] to contend that the Apex Court has held that a Joint Note is a package deal and it would be impossible to hold certain parts as good and accepted, while finding other parts to be bad. An interference made by the High Court in one of the provisions of a Joint Note with regard to applicability of dearness relief was found to be bad and was reversed by the Apex Court.

    I have considered the contentions advanced. The essential challenge raised in the writ petition is against the provision in the Joint Note to the extent it is contrary to the provisions of the pension regulations. The Apex Court in United Bank of India’s case (supra) has considered the applicability of a Joint Note in the case of workmen governed by the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act and held that the Note being a package deal, the petitioners who are governed by the provisions of the Note cannot challenge a specific provision thereof, while enjoying the special benefits granted by the Note.

    However, in Bank of Baroda v. G.Palani and others, the Apex Court drew a distinction where the aggrieved employees are officers who retired from the Bank in question. It was held that the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 are not applicable to such officers. It was held that the Pension Regulations framed under Section 19 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970 are statutory in character. In the circumstances, in view of the definition of average emoluments at Regulation 2(d), Pay at Regulation 2(s) and the provision for calculating pension at Regulation 35, it was held that employees are to be paid pension as provided in the Regulations and no reduction from the same is possible, relying on the provisions of a Joint Note, which has no statutory force, unless the Regulations are appropriately amended. It was held in paragraph 28 of the judgment as follows:-

“28. Thus joint note/agreement could not have been in derogation of the existing statutory Regulations and regulation 2(s)(c) could not have been given retrospective effect. It is also apparent from the decisions of this Court in P.Sadagopan vs.Food Corporation of India [(1997) 4 SCC 301], that executive instructions cannot be issued in derogation of the statutory Regulations. The settled position of law is that no Government Order, Notification or Circular can be a substitute of the statutory rules framed with the authority of law. In Dr.Rajinder Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors (2001) 5 SCC 482, this Court had reiterated that the settled position of law is that no government order, notification or circular can be a substitute of the statutory rules framed with the authority of law. In K.Kuppuswamy & Anr.v. State of Tamil Nadu (1998) 8 SCC 469, this Court has observed that statutory rules cannot be overriden by executive orders or executive practice. Merely because the Government had taken a decision to amend the rules, does not mean that the rule stood obliterated. Till the rule is amended, the rule applies.”

The amendment to Regulation 2(s) of the Pension Regulations was struck down as arbitrary and repugnant to Regulation 2(d), 35 and 38(1) and (2).

    In the above view of the matter, I am of the opinion that the prayers sought for in the writ petition are liable to be allowed. The petitioners are entitled to pension in terms of the Pension Regulations especially Regulation 2(d) and 35 thereof. The respondents are directed to revise the basic pension of the petitioners in accordance with the provisions of the Corporation Bank (Employees) Pension Regulation, 1995 by taking into account the Special Allowances introduced in Exhibit P6 as part of pay for the purpose of Basic Pension. There will be a direction to the 2nd respondent to recalculate the commutation pension of the petitioners on the basis of the revised basic pension by including the special allowance introduced vide Exhibit P6 and to refund the pension arrears recovered from the petitioners as per Exhibits P5. P5(a),P5(b) and P5(c). The necessary shall be done within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment.

The writ petition is ordered accordingly.

Sd/-
Anu Sivaraman, Judge

Merging of Postmaster Cadre (Grade-I, II & III) with General Line (LSG, HSG-II & HSG-I)

Merging of Postmaster Cadre (Grade-I, II & III) with General Line (LSG, HSG-II & HSG-I)

No. 25-19/2018-PE-I
Government of India
Ministry of Communications
Department of Posts
(PE-I Section)

Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi — 110001

Dated: 31st October, 2019

ORDER

This is in continuation of this office Order of even number dated 10.07.2019, which was regarding merger of Postmaster Cadre (Grade-I, II & III) with General line (LSG, HSG-II & HSG-I). In para 3 of merger Order dated 10.07.2019, it was stated that instructions for merger of identified Postmaster Grade POs with other POs shall be issued separately in due course of time.

2. In this regard, this to mention that the Committee constituted to examine the issues relating to the Postmasters Cadre had observed that consequent upon restructuring of Group-C posts of General line, Post Offices earlier headed by LSG officials are now being headed by HSG-II officials. Similarly, Post Offices earlier headed by HSG-II officials are now being headed by HSG-I officials. Therefore, the Committee recommended that the Post Offices currently being headed by Postmaster Grade-I and Postmaster Grade-II may be headed by HSG-II and HSG-I officials respectively after merger. Post Offices currently being headed by Postmaster Grade-III may be headed by HSG-I.

3. Further, this is to mention that the Postmasters Cadre was created/introduced by carving out posts from the existing General Line posts of LSG, HSG-II, and HSG-I and designating them as Postmaster Grade-I, Postmaster Grade-II and Postmaster Grade-III to preferably head HOs, MDGs, offices identified for CBS, major delivery office and major LSG SOs located in prime locations. Now, the Postmaster Cadre (Grade-I, II & III) stands merged with General Line (LSG, HSG-II & HSG-I) and there is a single unified cadre of General Line having LSG, HSG-II & HSG-I level posts.

4. Therefore, the Post Offices which were being headed by Postmaster Grade-I officials should be headed by HSG-II officials, Post Offices which were being headed by Postmaster Grade-II officials should be headed by HSG-I officials and Post Offices which were being headed by Postmaster Grade-III should be headed by HSG-I. However, no new post of HSG-II/HSG¬I has been created for the purpose.

5. Therefore, it is requested to upgrade the posts of SPMs of Postmaster Grade-I POs to HSG-II, by downgrading equal number of SPM posts of Triple Handed POs and other norm based LSG posts in POs (which were upgraded to HSG-II after Cadre Restructuring of Group C posts) to LSG status. The posts of Postmaster Grade-I (Now LSG) may be redeployed/diverted to Triple Handed POs/LSG posts in POs which shall be downgraded to LSG status for this purpose.

6. Similarly, the posts of SPMs of Postmaster Grade-II POs may be upgrade to HSG-I, by downgrading equal number of HSG-I posts which were upgraded to HSG-I level from HSG-II level after Cadre Restructuring of Group- C posts, preferably in the following order:-


(i) By downgrading the HSG-I posts available as Dy. PM/APM/AD etc. in the bigger POs where there is more than one HSG-I posts.

(ii) By downgrading other HSG-I posts available in any other Unit/Office having more than one HSG-I posts.

(iii) At last, if sufficient number of posts are not available by exercising above two options, some HSG-I POs may be downgraded to HSG-II level which were upgraded to HSG-I level after Cadre Restructuring of Group C posts.

7. Further, the all the Postmaster Grade-III POs may be designated as HSG-I POs, as the Postmaster Grade-III and HSG-I were same level posts.

8. All the Postmaster Grade POs shall be de-identified and re-designated as per the guidelines given above.


Merging of Postmaster Cadre (Grade-I, II & III) with General Line (LSG, HSG-II & HSG-I)

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