Court Once Again Slaps Union Bank and IBA for Framing A Policy Denying 2nd Pension Option to Compulsory Retired Bankers
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In one of the latest judgments in the case of D.Kalaichelvan (Petitioner) vs. Union Bank of India (Respondents), Madras High Court has once again slapped the top management of Union Bank of India and IBA for framing policies in contravention of the Pension Regulations 1995, which are statutory in nature. This is a blot on the HR policies of banks which are mainly guided by the misinformed IBA top brass, who take anti-employee stand just to please their bosses, so that they can enjoy the luxurious life even after retirement at the age of 60 years, from the banking service.
In the past also we have exposed the anti-employee attitude of IBA on number of occasions where they have given wrong suggestions to Banks and asked the top management to drag the cases upto Supreme Court, though they were well aware that their arguments are faulty and will not stand the scrutiny of the Courts. Their attitude has been to drag the senior citizens to the extent where number of them die during their fights in the Courts.
The worst part of this whole fight is the attitude of the leaders of UFBU, who have never supported the senior citizens who have meager resources to fight their cases in the Courts. Rather UFBU leaders have indirectly supported the bank management and IBA in such cases. Recently, one of the ex-AIBOC official has gone to Court against the GoI’s decision to appoint MDs by an open competition from private and public sector officials. Why he never bothered about the fate of the retired bankers who are running from pillar to post to get 2nd Pension Option and for 100% DA neutralization. There is strong perception among the bankers that this ex-AIBOC official had filed PIL for motivated personal issues. Lot of people would have come to support him even in this fight, if he had ever fought for bankers after the last BPS. Now, everybody is treating the PIL by him to be only motivated to get a foothold as he has been uprooted by another set of leaders in PNB. For last 5 years, no UFBU leader has filed or fought any Court case on the obnoxious clauses introduced by IBA in its circular of 2nd Pension option. Inspite of all the Court judgments favouring the retired bankers, neither UFBU leaders nor IBA top brass has felt ashamed for doing injustice to senior citizen.
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Coming back to the present case, the Court in its verdict has concluded and directed the Bank the following:-
“Consequently direct the respondent to grant pension to the petitioner in terms of Union Bank of India (Employees) Pension Regulation, 1995 from 27.11.2009 along with arrears and interest @ 18% p.a.”
I was stunned to read the above para as the judgment clearly shows how the Court was anguished with the stand of the Bank (which is based on the overall policy directions given by IBA) in denying PENSION. This is clear from allowing the petitioner the pension from 27.11.2009 (that is with retrospective effect) and pay him the interest at the rate of 18% p.a. I have rarely seen the judgements where Court penalies the banks to pay interest @ 18%. This is a kind of penal interest and seems to have been granted as Court must have been very angry with the attitude of Bank / IBA policies, which they frame keeping in mind their own whims and fancies. Who knows still IBA / Union Bank may go to Supreme Court to satisfy their personal egos and teaching a lesson to half dead senior citizens.
In an article in March 2015, under the heading “UFBU Leaders Needs to Discuss Matters Relating to Retirees With Retired Banker Groups”, I have clearly mentioned as follows:-
“The above demands (i.e. demand of 2nd pension option to left over bankers, 100% DA neutralization) are absolutely genuine and has legal sanctity and needs to be implemented without fail. If UFBU sticks to its guns, there is no reason that IBA will not agree for these two demands. Thus, with minimal efforts, UFBU can take credit for getting the above two demands met by IBA. In case IBA refuses to concede any of these demands, UFBU should clearly mention that it reserves it right to go to Court on behalf of the retirees as it perceives that denial of these two demands is illegal”.
For those people who are interested to know exactly the reasons for allowing this retrospective pension to compulsory retired bankers, I am giving below the quotes from the judgment, which are of great importance:-
“Union Bank of India issued circular no.5690 dated 27 August 2010. The Circular has to be read in the light of the Pension Regulations, 1995. The circular is only for the purpose of giving another option to join the scheme. The pension scheme remained the same viz., is none other than Union Bank of India (Employees) Pension Regulations, 1995, which provides for compulsory retirement pension.
Even though Clause 7 of the circular restricted the benefits of those who retired voluntarily in terms of regulation 19, the fact remains that pension regulation has not been amended correspondingly. Therefore, as on today, there is a valid regulation providing for pension to the compulsory retirees.
In case the Bank is of the view that pension should be restricted to those who have retired voluntarily, they should make corresponding amendment to the pension regulations.
The Pension Regulations, 1995, is statutory in nature. The circular was issued only pursuant to the said regulation. The circular cannot override the provisions of the regulations. It was only to give one more option to the employees, the circular was issued. The circular cannot therefore restrict the benefits of option to a set of employees notwithstanding existence of the regulation which provides for pension even to compulsorily retired employees.
The petitioner is entitled to certain service benefits on account of his compulsory retirement. In fact, in the earlier round of litigation, this Court made it very clear that the petitioner should not lose benefits which accrued to him for the service rendered by him, till the date of compulsory retirement. Such being the case, the Bank was not correct in incorporating Clause 7 for the purpose of denying benefits to compulsorily retired employees. I am therefore of the view that Clause 7 should be quashed insofar as it restricts option to join the pension scheme by compulsorily retired employees”.
Full judgement can be read / downloaded by Clicking Here
Are UFBU leaders now listening the voice of retired bankers ? They must ensure that IBA now gives the due share to retired bankers.
P.S : We are grateful to Mr R K Pathak from Pune, who keeps us updated on this issue. He has informed that with a view to foil the attempt of Union Bank of India of filing WA against the said order before Division Bench Madras High Court, he had through Mr. B.G.Raithatha, General Secretary of Union Bank Retired Employees Association and there counter part in Tamilnadu & Mr. T.Vinayak established the contact with Petitioner and advised to file Caveat before the Division Bench of Madras High Court, before Bank files WA and pleads for stay to the order dated 01/04/2015.