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Yesterday I received a copy of the Order of National Consumer Disputes Rederessal Commission on an Appeal filed by State Bank of Mysore against the decision of State Commission of Karnataka in case of original petition by S K Vidya.
I myself being a Law graduate from Delhi University, have a keen interest in reading such judgments. A full reading of judgments of apex courts like Supreme Court and National level consumer commissions is certainly a great pleasure as it gives lot of insights about the thinking of the petitioners and respondents and as to how to interpret law and read between the lines. Such judgments become milestones for the future references. This case is also likely to be one of such cases.
As one goes through the full judgment, one gets a feeling as to how IBA and Banks are heartless and have raised petty issues in denying 2nd pension option (that too after paying a hefty price for the same) to an officer who has dedicatedly worked for over 25 years. I felt pity while reading the arguments of the Bank which frankly speaking did not have any weight and one can feel were raised just for the sake of harassing the officer in question. I am sure from the heart, even the Advocate of the bank must be aware that he is going to fight a losing battle and must have agreed to take up this case either to merely oblige the bank or get a fee in return. The appeal appears to have been preferred so that matter can be delayed as much as it can be so that officer is harassed to the maximum extent.
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I am sure some of you must be cursing me as to instead of discussing the real topic, I am vetting my anger. I apologize to my readers, but I find it extremely difficult to contain my anger in writing, when I find injustice is done and people are harassed inspite of they being honest and sincere.
I fully agree with the views expressed by Mr. K.K.Ramalingam
in an email received by me through VENKATESH SHRIYAN which inter alia reads
"The Kudos to SK Vidya once again. She has all alone once again fought the
battle and won". Some relevant portions of the judgment are quoted
below. Readers interested in reading full judgment can click on the link
given at the end:-
"..... In the absence of any averment to the effect that the clarification given
by the Indian BanksAssociation (Respondent No.2) is based on any further
consultation held by the Indian BanksAssociation with the workmen unions
regarding denial of the option or non-availability of giving fresh option for
pension scheme of the complainant, the clarificatory letter of 26.8.2010 cannot
provide ground/basis to the petitioner Bank for denying the claim of the
complainant. In any case, it is important to note that the Indian
BanksAssociation itself has not challenged the impugned order by filing a
revision petition against it. 17. In the aforesaid circumstances, we do not see
any illegality, material irregularity or jurisdictional error in the impugned
order which would call for our interference with it. Consequently, the revision
petition fails with the parties bearing their own costs.
(a) IBA has been fully exposed for manipulating the terms of the Joint Note and had done the same intentionally to deny certain section of the retired bankers the right for 2nd Pension option;
(b) UFBU and union leaders who were signatories to the Joint Note etc. failed to take up head on the IBA on this issue, rather at the initial stage they blocked the attempt of retired bankers to fight with IBA in courts. It was only later on, when pressure from this section mounted, that they decided to make a lip service, but never joined the retired bankers in Court cases and expose IBA. This gives a sense that they were hand in glove with IBA and felt that if retired bankers are also given 2nd pension option at this stage, they will get fully exposed.
(c) The recently floated new Union for retired bankers by AIBOC is only a new outfit to collect the monthly / yearly subscription so that their shop can continue even at the expense of retired bankers. This is clear that they have not filed at case against IBA for getting benefits for retired bankers;
(d) IBA has now realized that it is on a weak ground and is likely to lose at all fronts and thus preferred not to challenge the order of the state commission. After creating chaos for Banks and the Retired bankers, it has left its member banks in the lurch to fend themselves in Courts. Although IBA was the signatory but it did not discourage State Bank of Mysore to not file an appeal, but may be have encouraged to linger on the issue so that the people who manipulated the terms get retired and later on no action can be taken. Thus, now IBA may not directly fight the court case but may ask Banks to appeal against such decisions in Supreme Court or try to delay the matters by seeking clarifications and giving different interpretations by paying hefty fees to the lawyers for twisting the facts.
As I am going to close this article, we have received another email confirming that even Karnataka High Court has delivered its judgement favouring 2nd pension option to left over bankers. It appears it will be another hard hitting judgment and will seal the fate of IBA, UFBU and Banks. The details of this judgment will be uploaded soon. (e) can still ontent content content
In the meantime we have also received a copy of the letter dated 25th July, 2012 of Ministry of Finance, advising IBA to withdraw the words "superannuation" and allow 2nd pension option.
In the end I will like to congratulate the bankers who are still waiting for formal orders for 2nd Pension option.