Sunday, 9 February 2020

Supreme Court Judgement - Reservations to SC and ST in promotions

Supreme Court Judgement - Reservations to SC and ST in promotions

Non-Reportable

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

Civil Appeal No. 1226 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 23701 of 2019]

Mukesh Kumar & Anr.

…. Appellant(s)

Versus

The State of Uttarakhand & Ors.

…. Resondent(s)

WITH

JUDGMENT

L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.
  1. The Controversy in the above Appeals pertains to the reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in promotions in the posts of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in Public Works Department, Government of Uttarakhand.
  2. The Uttar Pradesh Public Services (Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes) Act, 1994 (for short “the 1994 Act”) provided for reservation in public services and posts in favour of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes of citizens. Section 3(1) of the said Act stipulated reservation at the stage of direct recruitment. According to Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act, the Government Orders providing reservation for appointment to public posts filled up by promotion which were existing on the date of commencement of the 1994 Act shall continue till they are modified or revoked. After the formation of the State of Uttarakhand in 2001, the Uttar Pradesh Public Services (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Caste Reservation) Act, 1994 was made applicable to the State of Uttaranchal by a Notification dated 30.08.2001 with a modification in the percentage of reservations. 21% reservation for Scheduled Castes was modified to 19% and 2% for Scheduled Tribes was increased to 4%. Likewise, 21% reservation provided in the 1994 Act for Other Backward Classes was altered to 14%.

    Also check: MACP ON PROMOTIONAL HIERARCHY – MACP Supreme Court Order – Heard & Reserved – Order dated 23 Jan 2020
  3. A Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad in Mukund Kumar Shrivastava v. State of U.P.1 upheld the validity of Rule 8-A of the Uttar Pradesh Servants Government Seniority Rules, 1991 (for short “the Seniority Rules”) which dealt with consequential seniority of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Later, in Prem Kumar Singh v. State of U.P.2, another Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench held that the judgment in Mukund Kumar Shrivastava (supra) is per incuriam and not a binding precedent. In Prem Kumar Singh’s case (supra), the High Court declared Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act and Rule 8-A of the Seniority Rules unconstitutional. While declaring the correctness of the judgments of the High Court, this Court by its judgment in Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation v. Rajesh Kumar3 held that Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act is unconstitutional insofar as it is contrary to the dictum in M. Nagaraj & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.4
  4. The challenge to Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act, as extended to the State of Uttarakhand, was upheld by the High Court of Uttarakhand in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal & Others v. State of Uttarakhand & Others5. Relying upon the judgment of this Court in U.P. Power Corporation (supra), the High Court of Uttarakhand declared Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act unconstitutional and directed that no promotion can be given by the State by taking recourse to Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act. The application filed for review of the judgment in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal (supra) was dismissed. By way of implementation of the judgment of the High Court dated 06.07.2011 in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal (supra), a committee was constituted by the Government of Uttarakhand for collection of quantifiable data relating to the backwardness of the reserved communities in the State of Uttarakhand and the inadequacy of their representation in public posts.
  5. On 05.09.2012, the State Government decided that all posts in public services in the State shall be filled up without providing any reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. All Government Orders to the contrary were superseded by the proceeding dated 05.09.2012. Mr. Gyan Chand who was working as Assistant Commissioner (Civil), State Tax and belonging to Scheduled Caste Community filed a Writ Petition for quashing the proceeding dated 05.09.2012. The High Court by its judgment dated 01.04.2019 struck down the proceeding dated 05.09.2012 as being contrary to the law declared by this Court in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India & Ors.6 and Jarnail Singh & Ors. v. Lachhmi Narain Gupta & Ors.7 While referring to the judgments of this Court in M. Nagaraj (supra) and Jarnail Singh (supra), the High Court held that Article 16 (4) of the Constitution in an enabling provision. The High Court observed that it is not necessary for the State Government to collect quantifiable data regarding representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in State services or regarding their backwardness before providing reservation in their favour in promotion posts. The High Court was of the opinion that the judgment in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal (supra) related to the constitutional validity of Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act alone and the Notifications pertaining to reservation in promotion in favour of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were not set aside. The Appeals arising out of Civil Appeal @ S.L.P.(Civil) No.25508 of 2019 and Civil Appeal @S.L.P. (Civil) @ Diary No.39572 of 2019 have been filed assailing the judgment of the High Court dated 01.04.2019.
  6. Vinod Kumar and three others belonging to the Scheduled Castes working in the Public Works Department, Government of Uttarakhand filed a Writ Petition in the High Court of Uttarakhand seeking a direction to the Respondent therein to prepare a separate list of eligible candidates as per Rule 5 of the Uttarakhand Promotion by Selection (on posts outside the purview of Public Service Commission) Eligibility Rules, 2003 and to prepare a separate list for each category of eligible candidates of General, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotion to the post of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in Public Works Department. A further direction to the State Government was sought to hold a departmental promotion committee for promotion to the posts of Assistant Engineers after providing reservation to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in accordance with the Government Orders dated 30.08.2001, 31.08.2001 and 17.02.2004 by which reservation was provided in promotion. The Writ Petition was disposed of by the High Court on 15.07.2019 with a direction to the State Government to implement reservations in promotion by promoting only members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in future vacancies to maintain the quota earmarked for the said categories. Civil Appeals @ S.L.P.(Civil) No. 23701 of 2019 and Civil Appeal @ S.L.P. (Civil) No.22640 of 2019 are challenging the judgment dated 15.07.2019.
  7. In the meanwhile, the Respondents in Writ Petition (Civil) No.117 of 2019 i.e. the State of Uttarakhand filed an application for review of the judgment dated 01.04.2019. The High Court realized that it committed an apparent error in its judgment dated 01.04.2019, while deciding the Writ Petition by referring to the judgment of this Court in Jarnail Singh (supra). The High Court clarified that the State Government is obligated to collect quantifiable data regarding inadequacy of representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in state services before providing reservation in promotion. The High Court clarified that it is not necessary for the State Government to collect data regarding backwardness of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the light of the direction of this Court in Jarnail Singh (supra). The High Court also observed that the State is not obligated to provide reservation in promotions to members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as Article 16(4-A) of the Constitution is an enabling provision. However, reservation can be provided by the State Government only after collecting data regarding inadequacy of representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in state services. As such, the High Court directed the State Government to collect quantifiable data regarding inadequacy of the representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Government services which would enable the State Government to take a considered decision on providing or not providing reservation. The State Government was directed to take a decision whether to provide reservation or not only after considering the data relating to the adequacy or inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the services of the State within a period of four months from the date of receipt of the judgment. Aggrieved by the order dated 15.11.2019 passed in Review Petition in W. P. (S/B) No.117 of 2019, the Civil Appeal @ S.L.P.(Civil) No.27715 of 2019, Civil Appeal @ S.L.P.(Civil) No.28039 of 2019, Civil Appeal @ S.L.P. (Civil) No.27735 of 2019 and Civil Appeal @ S.L.P.(Civil) No. 28947 of 2019 have been filed.
  8. Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the Appellants in SLP (C) No. 25508 of 2019, Mr. Mukul Rohtagi and Mr. P.S. Narsimha, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the State of Uttarakhand contended that there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in appointments or promotions to public posts. There is no constitutional duty on the part of the State Government to provide reservations. Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) are merely enabling provisions. On 15.09.2012, the State of Uttarakhand, after due consideration, decided that there shall be no reservation in promotions. They relied upon the judgment of the High Court of Uttarakhand in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal (supra) by which Section 3 (7) of the 1994 Act was declared unconstitutional. It was submitted by them that the State Government has not brought any law in terms of the judgment of this Court in M. Nagaraj & Ors. (supra). It was urged by the learned Senior Counsel that there is no necessity for collection of any quantifiable data after the Government has taken a decision not to provide reservations. The collection of data, according to them, is required only to justify a decision to provide reservation. It was also submitted by them that according to a judgment of this Court in Suresh Chand Gautam v. State of U.P.8 no direction can be given by the Court to the State Government to collect quantifiable data on the basis of which a decision to provide reservation should be taken. They placed reliance on the judgment of this Court in M. Nagaraj & Ors. (supra) to argue that the State is not bound to make reservations.
  9. On the other hand, Mr. Kapil Sibal, Mr. Dushyant Dave and Mr. Colin Gonsalves, learned Senior Counsel and Dr. K.S. Chauhan, learned counsel, appearing for the reserved category employees submitted that the State cannot refuse to collect quantifiable data regarding the adequacy or inadequacy of representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public services. They submitted that there is an obligation on the State to provide reservations in promotions for upliftment of the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as mandated by Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution of India. The right to equality of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes cannot be defeated by the State Government by not discharging its constitutional obligation of implementing Article 16 (4) and 16 (4- A) of the Constitution. They urged before this Court that according to the law laid down by this Court, the State has a duty to decide not to provide reservations only after the State is satisfied that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are adequately represented in public posts on the basis of quantifiable data. According to them, Suresh Chand Gautam (supra) was not correctly decided and needs reconsideration. It was also submitted on behalf of the reserved category candidates that a Committee was constituted by the Government of Uttarakhand to collect quantifiable data regarding the adequacy of representation of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes in public posts in accordance with the judgment of this Court in M. Nagaraj (supra). According to the report submitted by the Committee, there is inadequate representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government services in the State of Uttarakhand. The said report was approved by the State Cabinet. It was contended by the learned counsel that the State Government was duty bound to provide reservations on the basis of the data that was collected by the Committee.
  10. The central point that arises for our consideration in these appeals is whether the State Government is bound to make reservations in public posts and whether the decision by the State Government not to provide reservations can be only on the basis of quantifiable data relating to adequacy of representation of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  11. Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) do not confer fundamental right to claim reservations in promotion9. By relying upon earlier judgments of this Court, it was held in Ajit Singh (II) (supra) that Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) are in the nature of enabling provisions, vesting a discretion on the State Government to consider providing reservations, if the circumstances so warrant. It is settled law that the State Government cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts10. Similarly, the State is not bound to make reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotions. However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing inadequacy of representation of that class in public services. If the decision of the State Government to provide reservations in promotion is challenged, the State concerned shall have to place before the Court the requisite quantifiable data and satisfy the Court that such reservations became necessary on account of inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in a particular class or classes of posts without affecting general efficiency of administration as mandated by Article 335 of the Constitution11.
  12. Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) empower the State to make reservation in matters of appointment and promotion in favour of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes ‘if in the opinion of the State they are not adequately represented in the services of the State’. It is for the State Government to decide whether reservations are required in the matter of appointment and promotions to public posts. The language in clauses (4) and (4-A) of Article 16 is clear, according to which, the inadequacy of representation is a matter within the subjective satisfaction of the State. The State can form its own opinion on the basis of the material it has in its possession already or it may gather such material through a Commission/Committee, person or authority. All that is required is that there must be some material on the basis of which the opinion is formed. The Court should show due deference to the opinion of the State which does not, however, mean that the opinion formed is beyond judicial scrutiny altogether. The scope and reach of judicial scrutiny in matters within the subjective satisfaction of the executive are extensively stated in Barium Chemicals v. Company Law Board12, which need not be reiterated13.
  13. On the basis of the settled law of this Court pertaining to the scope of Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution, we proceed to determine the correctness of the judgments of the High Court. As noted above, the judgment of the High Court in Writ Petition No.117 of 2019 is to the effect that the proceeding dated 05.09.2012 issued by the Government of Uttarakhand by which it was decided to fill up the promotional posts or vacancies without providing reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was struck down. It was held by the High Court that the notifications that were issued by the Government of Uttarakhand, providing for reservations, continued to operate. A direction was issued by the High Court that reservation in promotion in favour of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes can be made by the State Government without having quantifiable data regarding the backwardness of the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes or the adequacy of their representation in the Government services.
  14. The application filed for review of the judgment in Writ Petition No.117 of 2019 was decided by a judgment dated 08.11.2019 by the High Court. Realising the error committed in its judgment dated 01.04.2019, the High Court modified the judgment by holding that according to the decision of this Court in Jarnail Singh v. Lachhmi Narain Gupta14, the State was obligated to collect quantifiable data regarding the inadequacy of representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public services. The High Court observed that Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution are enabling provisions, and the State Government is not obligated to provide reservations in promotion in favour of members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The High Court expressed its opinion that reservation in promotion to public posts can be provided by the State Government only after collecting data regarding the inadequacy of their representation in service. In light of the above, the High Court directed the State Government to collect quantifiable data regarding the adequacy or inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in state services which would enable the State Government to take a considered decision as to whether or not reservation in promotion should be provided in favour of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The collection of quantifiable data was directed to be completed within four months from the date of receipt of the judgment.
  15. The High Court committed an error by striking down the proceeding dated 05.09.2012 by which a decision was taken not to provide reservation in promotions without giving any reasons, except stating that the said decision is contrary to the judgments of this Court in Jarnail Singh and Indra Sawhney (supra). A perusal of the proceeding dated 05.09.2012 would show that the decision taken by the State Government was by way of implementation of the judgment of the High Court of Uttarakhand in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal (supra) by which Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act, relating to the provision of reservation in promotion, was struck down. By its judgment dated 10.07.2012 in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal (supra), the High Court declared Section 3 (7) of the 1994 Act as contrary to the law laid down by this Court in M. Nagaraj (supra). There was a further declaration that no promotion can be given by the State of Uttarakhand by taking recourse to Section 3 (7) of the 1994 Act. However, the State Government was given liberty to bring out another legislation in accordance with the mandate of the Constitution of India, by following the judgment in M. Nagaraj (supra). This Court dismissed the SLP filed against the said judgment. At this juncture, it is relevant to mention that certain notifications were issued after the formation of the State of Uttarakhand by which reservation in promotion to public posts as provided in the State of Uttar Pradesh was adapted with certain modifications. As stated above, the Government of Uttarakhand appointed a Committee for collection of quantifiable data pertaining to the adequacy or inadequacy of representation of the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public services in the State. The Committee submitted its report, according to which the representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is inadequate. The State Cabinet approved the recommendation of the Committee on 12.04.2012. Ultimately, the State Government by a proceeding dated 05.09.2012 decided to set aside all previous Government orders relating to reservation in promotions to Government services in the State. As the Government is not bound to provide reservation in promotions, we are of the opinion that there is no justifiable reason for the High Court to have declared the proceeding dated 05.09.2012 as illegal.
  16. The direction that was issued to the State Government to collect quantifiable data pertaining to the adequacy or inadequacy of representation of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Government services is the subject matter of challenge in some appeals before us. In view of the law laid down by this Court, there is no doubt that the State Government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the Court directing the State Government to provide reservations. It is abundantly clear from the judgments of this Court in Indra Sawhney, Ajit Singh (II), M. Nagaraj and Jarnail Singh (supra) that Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) are enabling provisions and the collection of quantifiable data showing inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public service is a sine qua non for providing reservations in promotions. The data to be collected by the State Government is only to justify reservation to be made in the matter of appointment or promotion to public posts, according to Article 16 (4) and 16 (4- A) of the Constitution. As such, collection of data regarding the inadequate representation of members of the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes, as noted above, is a pre requisite for providing reservations, and is not required when the State Government decided not to provide reservations. Not being bound to provide reservations in promotions, the State is not required to justify its decision on the basis of quantifiable data, showing that there is adequate representation of members of the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes in State services. Even if the under-representation of Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes in public services is brought to the notice of this Court no mandamus can be issued by this Court to the State Government to provide reservation in light of the law laid down by this Court in C.A. Rajendran (supra) and Suresh Chand Gautam (supra). Therefore, the direction given by the High Court that the State Government should first collect data regarding the adequacy or inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Government services on the basis of which the State Government should take a decision whether or not to provide reservation in promotion is contrary to the law laid down by this Court and is accordingly set aside. Yet another direction given by the High Court in its judgment dated 15.07.2019, directing that ll future vacancies that are to be filled up by promotion in the posts of Assistant Engineer, should only be from the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheuled Tribes, is wholly unjustifiable and is hence set aside.
  17. The submission made on behalf of the reserved category candidates that the judgment of this Court in Suresh Chand Gautam (supra) needs reconsideration is without substance in view of the findings recorded above. We are in agreement with the decision of this Court in Suresh Chand Gautam (supra) in which it was held that no mandamus can be issued by the Court to the State to collect quantifiable data relating to adequacy of representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public services.
  18. The High Court was not informed about the appointment of a Committee for collection of quantifiable data and the completion of such exercise by the Committee, which was approved by the State Cabinet. However, the State Government took a conscious decision not to provide reservation in promotions. The direction given by the High Court to collect quantifiable data, therefore, is wholly unnecessary as the State is already in possession of the said data.
  19. In view of the aforesaid, the impugned judgments of the High Court in Writ Petition (S/B) No. 351 of 2019, Writ Petition (S/B) No. 117 of 2019 and Review Application No. 389 of 2019 in Writ Petition (S/B) No. 117 of 2019 are set aside.
  20. The Appeals are disposed of accordingly.
……………
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
……………
[HEMANT GUPTA]
New Delhi,
February 07, 2020

Minutes of the meeting with all CPPCs / Govt Divisions SBI on 10.01.2020


Minutes of the meeting with all CPPCs / Govt Divisions SBI on 10.01.2020

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
DEPARTMENT OF EXPENDITURE
CENTRAL PENSION ACCOUNTING OFFICE
TRIKOOT-II, BHIKAJI CAMA PLACE,
NEW DELHI-110066
CPAO/IT &Tech/Master data/14 (Vol-III)/2018-19/176
21 .01.2020

Minutes of the Meeting

Kindly find enclosed the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10.01.2020 at 10:00 AM at Conference Hall of Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO) with all Heads of CPPCs /Government Business Divisions of State Bank of India to review the implementation of 7th CPC pension revision and to discuss other issues under the Chairmanship or Chief Controller (Pension) for information and further necessary action.
Sr. Accounts Officer (IT & Tech)

Minutes of the meeting held on 10.01.2020 with all the Heads of CPPCs/ Government Business Divisions of State Bank of India (SBI) to discuss various issues.

Also check: Revised Rotational Transfer Policy applicable to CSS officers – Latest DoPT Orders 2020

A Meeting was held on 10.01.2020 under the Chairmanship of Chief Controller (Pensions) with the representatives of CPPCs of SBI to discuss the timely payment of revised pension and arrears under 7th CPC and other pension related issues. At the outset, Chief Controller (Pensions) welcomed all the participants and emphasized on the need of timely payment of revised pension and arrears in the accounts of the pensioners by the CPPCs. Agenda items of the meeting were discussed in detail and the following decisions were taken.
List of participants is attached at Annexure-I.
Agenda Item No. 1- Implementation of 7th CPC Pension Revision and its reporting by CPPCs
It has been observed from the reports as on 30th December, 2019 that there are delays in crediting the revised pensions as well as arrears of pensions/family pensions by the CPPCs. As per the reports, there arc many cases which are pending for more than 31 days. CPPC-wise details of the pending cases were handed over to all the representatives. Most of the CPPCs reported that they had already revised and credited pension to the pensioner / family pensioner accounts.
It was informed by the CPPCs that revision of pension cases are pending due to following reasons,
a) Discontinued PPO (more than 3 years.)
b) Non submission of life certificate.
Keeping in view of the above, it was decided that all the CPPCs would :
a) reconcile the scams of revised pension cases provided to them
b) prepare a list of discontinued PPOs and forward it to CPAO.
c) prepare a list of cases in which life certificate is pending along with details of the pensioners and forward it to CPAO.
(Action : CPPCs )

Agenda Item No. 2 - Obtaining KYC from CPPCs for settlement of pending revision cases.

Most of the revisions pertaining to 7th CPC are already done. As per the records of CPAO, 119690 revision of pension cases are still pending as details of some pensioners are not available with either concerned PAO or I lead of Office.
Although KYC details were received from all the CPPCs of Sl:JI, All the CPPCs are req uested to furnish the detail of the KYC detail as and when it is asked by the CPAO.
(Action : CPPCs )

Agenda Item No. 3 - IT related issue w.r.t e-Revision and fresh Pension cases

  • Acknowledgement of SSA
All the CPPCs of SBI were instructed to ensure forwarding the acknowledgement of e-SSA electronically to CPAO at the earliest so that the difference between e-SA forwarded by the CPAO and e-SSA received by the CPPCs could be nullified. CPPCs were also provided the formal for Acknowledgement. All the CPPCs were advised to share their inputs with NIC, CPAO, if any problem is faced.
All the CPPCs were also instructed to acknowledge the receipt of SSA and Physical PPO booklet received by them .
(Action: CPPCs / NIC CPAO)
  • Development of e-PPO Booklet
CPAO is forwarding the e-PPOs received from PFMS to the CPPCs along with physical PPO booklets for making necessary changes in their system. However, the manual PPO booklet is deemed sacrosanct for making payment. It was also intimated in the meeting that physical PPO booklet will be discontinued soon.
All the CPPCs were again requested to make necessary changes in their software accordingly and comments, if any, may please be submitted to CPAO.
(Action: CPPCs)

Agenda Item No.4- Compliace of Internal Audit observations on 7th CPC revisions.

It has been observed that clear and complete compliance reports arc not being submitted by the concerned CPPCs .
All the CPPCs were requested to give full details in their compliance reports of the objection raised by Internal Audit Wing so that the same could be verified and settled. All the CPPCs were also been asked to improve and strengthen their internal control mechanism to avoid re-occurrence of the mistakes pointed out by the Internal Audit Wing of CPAO.
The possibility of providing a utility lo upload the compliance report on the Bank’s login section of CPAOs website will also be explored.
Internal Audit Wing was instructed to prepare an “Audit Manual” under the guidance of Technical Section, CPAO.
(Action: CPPCs , NIC(CPAO), IAW (CPAO) and IT & Technical (CPAO))

Agenda Item No. 5 - Timely commencement of family pension, additional pension & restoration of commuted portion of pension by CPPCs

It has been observed that family pension, additional pension and commuted portion of pension are not timely commenced/restored. Since these issues are regularly discussed in the various meetings i.e. SCOVA Meeting, High Level Meeting, Standing Committee Meeting, etc., all the CPPCs were advised to ensure timely payments.
(Action: CPPCs )

Agenda Item No.6 - Timely submission of Life Certificates :

CPAO is responsible for the disbursement of death/disability pension under NPS­ Additional Relief. First time identification of the pensioners is being done in the Bank branches based on the KYC details available with the CPPCs where the pensioners / family pensioners have opened their pension accounts. CPAO starts the pension payment based on the first time identification report received from CPPCs. These CPPCs branches are also responsible for sending the life certificates of the pensioners / family pensioners to CPAO for the continuation of pension to NPS-AR pensioners, in the month of November as CPAO is the disbursing authority.
However, it is noticed that in many cases, despite submission of life certificates by the pensioners, bank branches have not forwarded the same to CPAO. It has also come to notice of this office that some bank branches are refusing to accept life certificate from NPS-AR pensioner for onward transmission to CPAO.
It was decided that CPAO will send the details of pending life certificates of NPS-AR pensioners to concerned CPPCs with a request to instruct concerned branches to obtain and furnish the life certificate to CPAO in time so that pensioners are not put under any financial hardship.
All the CPPCs were requested to accept life certificate both physically and digitally and promote “jeevan Praman” among pensioners.
Further, CPPCs were once again informed that they should not make payment in NPS-AR cases.
(Action: CPPCs & NPS Section)

Agenda item No .7 - Return of Old PPO by the CPPCs .

Allotment of 12 digits PPO Number
It has been noticed from the CPAO data base that some pensioners are still drawing pension from the old alpha numeric code. These alpha numeric data is reflected in the Payment scroll. CPPC-wise derails were provided to the concerned CPPCs.
It was decided that all the CPPCs will send a scan copy of the PPO for allotment of 12 digit PPO Number.
  • Return of Inactive PPOs.
Pension Payment Orders which are not in operation /inactive may be returned to CPAO for deletion from the CPAO database. It is noticed from the database of CPAO that old PPOs which arc inactive arc not being forwarded by the bank to the CPAO. CPPCs were advised to forward the same to CPAO al the earliest

(Action: CPPCs )

Agenda Item No.8- Submission of e-scrolls and Master Data Reconciliation
  • Submission of e-scrolls
It has been observed that there is slight improvement in submission of e-scrolls by CPPCs.
Details of pending scrolls were shared with the CPPCs and all the CPPCs were instructed to ensure that e- scrolls are updated on a daily basis to CPAO after matching it thoroughly with the pension payments made. The CPPCs should ensure that the date of scroll should be the date of transaction as appearing in the put through statement issued by RBI. Furthermore, if any problem is faced by the CPPCs in uploading the e-scroll, they may contact this office on email addresses mentioned below:-
kumardavinder [at] gmail.in
it [dot] support [dash] cpao[at]gov[dot]in
sraotech67 [at] gmail.com
(Action: CPPCs and NIC)
  • Master Data Reconciliation
Correct and reconciled master data maintained at CPPC level is a must for ensuring correct payment of pension to the pensioners and avoid chances of excess/less/wrong payment of pension. However, many instances have come to the notice of CPAO regarding less/over payment of pension leading to the grievances and court cases by the pensioners. The reason for discrepancy in payment of pension is that CPPCs are not reconciling the master data with the CPAO database regularly. There is inordinate delay in uploading of Master Data by some CPPCs. Some CPPCs have not submitted their Master Data for last 2 years. For updating on Master Data at CPAO level, whenever any value/data in the pension of a pensioner/family pensioner is changed, the same is required to be reported by the bank through Format-F of e-Scroll However, it is noticed that CPPCs are not providing the changed information to the CPAO.
All the CPPCs were instructed to upload Master Data for reconciliation and submit the changed information in Format-F on “quarterly” basis. Furthermore, if any problem is faced by the CPPCs in uploading the master data, they may contact this office on email addresses mentioned below:

kumardavinder [at] gmail.in
it[dot]support [dash] cpao[at]gov[dot]in
sraotech67 [at] gmail.com
(Action: CPPCs and NIC)

Agenda Item No. 9-Discontinuation of BSR Code

At present, BSR code is being used in CPAO to identify bank branches. It has been observed in many cases that Pensioners do not know BSR code of Pension Account Holding Branch and even many bank branches do not know their BSR Code and often misunderstand it with branch code. IFSC is another uniq ue code which can be used to identify individual bank branches and is known to both CPPCs and pensioners.RBI has also given its consent for using IFSC instead of BSR code for identification of Bank Branches.
However, the IFSC from all the CPPCs of SBI have been received. All the CPPCs and GBDs of SBI are requested to send the IFSC of the branches as and when it is asked by the CPAO.
(Action: CPPCs )

Agenda Item No.10- Handing over of SSA to the pensioners by CPPCs

All present, pensioner copy of SSA is being sent to the pensioners through post. References arc being received by pensioners that they are not receiving their SSA copy due to following reasons.
  1. Some pensioners change their addresses after retirement.
  2. Some pensioners/family pensioners are illiterate and they are not well versed with technology to take printout of their SSA from CPAOs website.
All the CPPCs agreed to provide a copy of SSA to the pensioner by the Pension Account Holding Branch on request of the pensioner.
(Action: CPPCs)

Agenda Item No. 11-Pendency of Pensioners’ Grievances for more than 3 months through Web Responsive Pensioners’ Service (WRPS)

It has been observed that many grievances are pending with CPPC, some of which are more than 30 days. CPPCs informed that they had disposed some of the grievances but not updated them under WRPS module.
CPPCs were requested to ensure that all the grievances which are pending with them are disposed of within one month and update the same on the WRPS portal so that pensioners are informed accordingly.
(Action: CPPCs / (NIC) CPAO /Grievance Cell)

Agenda Item No.12- Providing of Payment Details to all the Pensions

As per CPPC guidelines, CPPCs should provide account statement, TDS details, pension slip, the Due and Drawn Statement in respect of each arrear and the Annual Income Statement to the pensioner.
CPPCs were requested to follow the CPPC guidelines and provide the pension slip, breakup of the pension and arrear payments and other information as required to the pensioners.
(Action : CPPCs)

Agenda Item No. 13 - Issues pertaining to Defence Accounts, Deptt. of Telecommunication and Ministry of Railways

Defence Accounts :
a. Acknowledgement of e-PPO by CPPCs
All the CPPCs were suggested lo develop a mechanism for acknowledgement of c· PPOs by CPPCs.
b. Delay in crediting of pension and family pension in the account of the pensioners.
It has been observed from the e scrolls received in the O/o PCDA that some of the CPPCs are crediting pension and Family pension very late in the account of pensioner especially civilian pensioner. All the CPPCs were handed the pendency list and were requested to improve their performance in crediting the pension/ family pension on time.
c. To provide image of PPO for data purification
All the CPPCs were requested in the meeting to provide PPO image to them to facilitate data purification which was agreed to.
d. Attend the meeting as and when it is convened by the PCDA.
All the CPPCs were requested to attend meetings as and when convened by the PCDA

Dept of telecommunication:
a) Recovery of excess and overpayment of pension
b) Return of inactive PPOs
c) Delay in Timely Payment of Pension and Family Pension
d) Reconciliation of Data

Ministry of Railways :-
a) Non-submission of E-scroll on time and Reconciliation thereof.
b) Acknowledgement of e-PPO
(Action: CPPCs)

Agenda Item No.14- Any other points with permission of chair

a) Payment of LTC to the pensioners of UT Chandigarh

The issue of payment of LTC to the pensioners of UT Chandjgarh was raised. The issue is being examined by the Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO).

The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the chair.

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