IBA Now Plays Another Cunning Act In Their Circular Relating to “Payment of superannuation benefits to employees who were inflicted punishment of Removal from Service or Discharge from Service”
R K Pathak
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IBA is known for entering into agreements with Unions contrary to the provisions of Pension Regulation which does not withstand the judicial scrutiny. The most stinging observation in this regard was made by India’s highest Court, Supreme Court, in Bank of Baroda Vs S K Kool (BANK LEADERS and other bankers who are interested to read this judgment in full can download the same by clicking on the link http://www.allbankingsolutions.com/Wage-Revision/Legal-Cases/BOB-Dec2013-CRS.pdf) at page 11-12, wherein judges commented that “The Bipartite Settlement tends to provide a punishment which gives superannuation benefits otherwise due. The construction by the employer shall give nothing to the employees in any event. Will it not be a fraud Bipartite Settlement? Obviously it would be”.
Do IBA and UFBU and bankers need more evidence than the above harsh comments of Supreme Court that what they concluded in BPS was a fraud on the employees.
Inspite of such a wrath of SC, the banks / IBA still continued its anti labour policy and filed review in SC and the same is clear from the IBA Circular referred above & relevant para is as under:-
“Based on the legal opinion obtained by the Bank, a Review Petition against the Order dated 11.12.2013 was filed by the Bank. In the meanwhile, another similar case pertaining to Mr. Girish Shukla, (SCA 9092/2008) before the High Court of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, the decision dated 15.4.2014 had been pronounced against the Bank based on the decision of Kool’s case. Bank filed SLP before the Supreme Court against the Order dated 15.4.14 so that, subsequently, this case also could be clubbed together with the review / reference petition filed in Kool’s case before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Based at the request of Bank of Baroda to IBA to implead itself in the SLP. As the matter in dispute was having industry-wide ramifications and affecting all PSBs, the managing Committee at its meeting held on 30.5.2014, had acceded to the request of the Bank and IBA impleaded itself in the SLP.
In the meanwhile, the Review Petition in the case of Mr. Kool came up for review before the Supreme Court on 12.11.2014 and the Review Petition was dismissed vide Order dated 12.11.2014. In the matter of Girish Shukla also, the Supreme Court has passed an Order dated 27.4.2015 as under: “In view of the decision of this Court dated 11.12.2013 in Bank of Baroda vs. S K Kool, (dead) through Lrs. & Anr. 2014 (2) SCC 715, we find no merit in these petitions which are accordingly dismissed”.
After dismissal of review petition, a prudent person / organisation (where IBA too is party) should have immediately suo moto advised banks to implement the Judgment of SC universally to all employees who were removed from service, compulsorily retired or discharged from the service. But it did not act immediately. But fearing another back lash from the judiciary, IBA has now issued circular No. CIR/HR &IR/KU/M1/1004 dated June 30, 2015.[Click here to read the contents of this circular sent by IBA to all Bank Chiefs. www.allbankingsolutions.com/Wage-Revision/Legal-Cases/IBA-circular-30062015-Kool-Case.pdf ]
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In this circular dated 30th June, 2015, IBA has cunningly advised as under, which will only lead to another round of litigations and delay for pension to eligible officers under the said categories. In the circular IBA says:
“The matter was placed before the Managing Committee of IBA at its meeting held on 26.6.2015 for discussion. The Committee, after deliberation, suggested that banks which are parties to the Bipartite Settlement dated 10.4.2002/27.5.2002 may consider implementation of the above judgement of the Apex Court and IBA to initiate suitable amendments in Regulation 22 of the Bank Employees’ Pension Regulations, 1995 as far as workmen employees are concerned”.
It is crystal clear from the circular of IBA that IBA was bent upon to issue the above circular as the SLP & review petition filed by BOB in the matter of S K Kool & Girish Shukla have been dismissed.
Now as consequence of the circular of IBA, most of the Banks, without applying mind, will implement these guidelines for award staff only contrary to the fact that SC did not differentiate among the employees as officer and award staff.
However, let me also remind our readers that as per BEPR 1995 (regulation 2 n) "employee" means any person employed in the service of the Bank, whether as a workman on full time work on permanent basis or on part-time work on permanent basis on scale wages or as an officer and who opts and is governed by these regulations, but does not include a person employed either on contract basis or daily wage basis or on consolidated wages;”
Now question arises, if, as proposed by IBA, by amending the regulation 22 “Forfeiture of past service” for workmen employees who were removed from service, compulsorily retired or discharged from the service, will it be legally enforceable against only workmen employees who have been forced to resign in absence of concept of VRS [ as admitted by IBA in its communication to DFS vide their communication dated 06/08/2012] & also in absence of provision of resignation by workmen employees in bipartite settlement? [refer shastry award clause 522]
Attention of IBA [which now people prefer to call as INTELLIGENCE BANKRUPT’S ASSOCIATION] officials is also drawn to following facts in the matter of ANDHRA BANK as under:-
In both the above referred WP, AP High Court directed Andhra Bank to pay the Pension to Petitioners (remember they were officers)
Now, it is fact that Bank had released the pension to Smt. Shivaji Yarasuri vide their communication No.666/03/PEN/01657 dated 12/02/2015. (we are holding the letter of the bank for the time being).
It is needless to mention that judgments of Supreme Court are binding on the lower Courts & State under article 141 of the Constitution of India.
Hope Banks, so called autonomous bodies , which are “ STATE” will follow the judgment of SC to all the employees as defined in regulation 2 n of BEPR and not as interpreted & advised by IBA.
I can only request UFBU members & Retiree organisations to find time to read & act FAST in the matter.
P.S : Similar to 6 a, 6 b, 6c, 6d provision of bipartite settlement on Punishment , regulation 4 H, I, J also provision for officers under Officer Employees’ (discipline and appeal) Regulations, 1976. More over in absence of making specific provision of punishment without superannuation benefit, beneficial interpretation of regulation 4 makes it clear eligibility of SCE all superannuation benefit unless ordered by the disciplinary authority in the order imposing the punishment.
Comments by Rajesh Goyal:
The above article sent by Mr R K Pathak is being published after minor additional inputs, clearly indicates as to how IBA and UFBU conclude agreements which even Supreme Court refers as Fraud on Employees. Now once again the letter sent by IBA to all banks contains paragraphs which are not in line with the essence of the Supreme Court verdicts. This will create different rules for pension for employees and officers.
This is high time that UFBU (specially leaders of officers union) put their foot down and stop IBA in its cunning moves to harass the officers who are being denied pension on flimsy grounds and forced to go to Courts and fight cases with meager means and falling health.
Although 7 days have passed since this circular was issued, but we have yet to read any reactions from UFBU or Officers union. We at AllBankingSolutions.com will be waiting for the response of officer union leaders. They need to take up the issue seriously and not merely complete a formality by sending a letter to IBA.