Monday, July 28, 2014

Bank Cannot Stop Pension Payment

VRS does not bar pension

 


The Supreme Court has ruled that employees of 


public sector State Bank of Patiala who accepted a 


voluntary retirement scheme are entitled to pension


 if they had worked for 20 years. Similar cases from 


other public sector banks also have been quoted in


 the judgment to assert the right of the retiring 


staff. In this case, State Bank of Patiala vs Pritam 


Singh, the bank challenged several orders of the 


high court which had ordered payment of pension


. The apex court dismissed all of them citing the 


pension regulations for public sector banks.



Read Important Court Decisions.In This Link



Service matter - VRS scheme 2000 - Pension Who completed 20 years of service are entitled to the benefit of Regulation 29 by the date of VRS - Regulations 28 , 29 and Regulation 18 of the Pension Regulations, 1995 - High court relying on earlier DB bench judgement of Punjab National Bank dismissed the writ petition as the employees who took voluntary service not completed the requisite period for granting pension -basing on that judgment Bank filed this appeal - Apex court held that Regulation 18 of the Pension Regulations, 1995 provides that if broken period is more than six months, it shall be treated as one year. 

Therefore, all the respondents-writ petitioners having completed more than 19 years and 6 months of service in the Bank, they are to be treated to have completed 20 years of service. The aforesaid question was neither raised nor decided in the case of ‘Bank of Baroda’ or ‘Bank of India’. 

In view of the aforesaid fact, the appellant-Bank cannot derive the benefit of the decision of this Court in Bank of Baroda as the employees who were parties before the Court in the said case had not completed 20 years of service. As per the decision of this Court in Bank of India, the respondents-writ petitioners having completed 20 years of service are entitled to the benefit of Regulation 29.

In view of the finding recorded above, the appeals do not have merit in reference with the impugned judgment,they are, accordingly, dismissed. No costs. = STATE OF BANK OF PATIALA … APPELLANT VERSUS PRITAM SINGH BEDI & ORS. … RESPONDENTS = 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41751

   Service matter - VRS scheme 2000 - Pension  Who completed  20  years  of  service  are entitled to the benefit of Regulation 29 by the date of VRS - Regulations 28 , 29 and Regulation 18 of  the  Pension  Regulations,  1995 -  High court relying on earlier DB bench judgement of Punjab National Bank dismissed the writ petition  as the employees who took voluntary service not completed the requisite period for granting pension -basing on that judgment Bank filed this appeal - Apex court held  that  Regulation 18 of  the  Pension  Regulations,  1995  provides  that  if broken period is more than six months, it shall  be  treated  as  one  year. Therefore, all the respondents-writ petitioners having completed  more  than 19 years and 6 months of service in the Bank, they  are  to  be  treated  to have completed 20 years of  service.  The  aforesaid  question  was  neither raised nor decided in the case of ‘Bank of Baroda’ or ‘Bank of India’. In view of the aforesaid fact, the appellant-Bank  cannot  derive  the benefit of the decision of this Court in Bank of  Baroda  as  the  employees who were parties before the Court in the said  case  had  not  completed  20 years of service. As per the decision of this Court in Bank  of  India,  the respondents-writ petitioners  having  completed  20  years  of  service  are entitled to the benefit of Regulation 29.In view of the finding recorded above, the appeals do not  have  merit in reference with the impugned judgment,they  are,  accordingly,  dismissed. No costs. =



 A number of employees  who  were  allowed  to  retire  from  the  Bank
pursuant to  scheme  called  State  Bank  of  Patiala  Voluntary  Retirement
Scheme, 2000(herein  after  referred  to  as  the  “Scheme”)  introduced  by
Circular dated 20th January, 2001, and had completed  more  than  19  and  ½
years of service, in whose favour pension was not released by  the  Bank  in
accordance with the State Bank of Patiala (Employees)  Pension  Regulations,
1995 (hereinafter referred  to  as  the  “Regulations,  1995”).  They  moved
before the High Court for direction to  the  Bank  and  its  authorities  to
release pension in their favour in accordance with the  Scheme. =  

The High Court by the impugned judgment referring to earlier  Division
Bench decision of the High Court in Dharam  Pal  Singh  v.  Punjab  National
Bank, 2008 (1) PLR 745 held that the pension was  payable  under  Regulation
28 and that Regulation 29 will not apply. 
The Division  Bench  of  the  High Court further held as follows:
           “12.  A perusal of the Regulation 28 shows that on attaining the
           age of superannuation specified in  Regulations  or  settlements
           pension is payable. The age of superannuation has been laid down
           in Service Regulations which is said to  be  60  years  now  and
           earlier it was 58 years.  But  under  the  Voluntary  Retirement
           Scheme, which according to the writ petitioners will be  at  par
           with Settlement, the requirement is 15 years of  service  or  40
           years of age, which admittedly the writ petitioners  had.  Under
           Regulation 32 of the pension is payable on premature  retirement
           on account of orders of the Bank if the employee  was  otherwise
           entitled  to  pension/superannuation  on  that  day.  Read  with
           Regulations 14 and 28, the said age is 10 years and if read with
           the Scheme, it is 15 years of age or 40 years of service and  in
           either case the employees were covered by  the  pension  scheme.
           The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that Regulation  29  relating  to
           voluntary retirement was not  applicable.  Thus,  contention  on
           behalf of the Bank that Regulation  29  applied  and  therefore,
           pension payable only after 20 years service cannot be accepted.”=

Apex court held that

The respondents completed more than 10 years of service  in  the  Bank
on the date of  retirement;  therefore,  they  fulfill  the  requirement  of
qualifying service as per Regulation 14.
23.   It has not been disputed by appellant-Bank  that  the  respondents  in
all the appeals have completed much more than 19 years 6 months  of  service
in the Bank. For example, respondent No.1-Prakash Chand in  C.A.  No.173  of
2010 had joined the Bank on 4th May, 1981 and relieved on 31st March,  2001.
Thus, he had completed 19  years,  10  months  and  28  days  of  qualifying
service on the date of relieving from service.
24.   Regulation 18 of  the  Pension  Regulations,  1995  provides  that  if
broken period is more than six months, it shall  be  treated  as  one  year.
Therefore, all the respondents-writ petitioners having completed  more  than
19 years and 6 months of service in the Bank, they  are  to  be  treated  to
have completed 20 years of  service.  The  aforesaid  question  was  neither
raised nor decided in the case of ‘Bank of Baroda’ or ‘Bank of India’.
25.   In view of the aforesaid fact, the appellant-Bank  cannot  derive  the
benefit of the decision of this Court in Bank of  Baroda  as  the  employees
who were parties before the Court in the said  case  had  not  completed  20
years of service. As per the decision of this Court in Bank  of  India,  the
respondents-writ petitioners  having  completed  20  years  of  service  are
entitled to the benefit of Regulation 29.
26.   In view of the finding recorded above, the appeals do not  have  merit
in reference with the impugned judgment,they  are,  accordingly,  dismissed.
No costs.

2014 – JULY. PART – HTTP://JUDIS.NIC.IN/SUPREMECOURT/FILENAME=41751


                                                             REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                       CIVIL APPEAL NO.  172  OF 2010

STATE OF BANK OF PATIALA                      … APPELLANT

                                   VERSUS

PRITAM SINGH BEDI & ORS.                      … RESPONDENTS

WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO.173 OF 2010,
CIVIL APPEAL NO.177 OF 2010
CIVIL APPEAL NO.178 OF 2010
CIVIL APPEAL NO.179 OF 2010
CIVIL APPEAL NO.180 OF 2010
CIVIL APPEAL NO.186 OF 2010
CIVIL APPEAL NO.187 OF 2010
CIVIL APPEAL NO.1916 OF 2011



                               J U D G M E N T


Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, J.

      All these appeals have been preferred by the  State  Bank  of  Patiala
(hereinafter referred to as “Bank”)against different  judgments  and  orders
passed by Punjab and Haryana High  Court  at  Chandigarh  but  since  common
issues were involved they  were  heard  together  and  disposed  of  by  the
impugned common judgment.
2.    A number of employees  who  were  allowed  to  retire  from  the  Bank
pursuant to  scheme  called  State  Bank  of  Patiala  Voluntary  Retirement
Scheme, 2000(herein  after  referred  to  as  the  “Scheme”)  introduced  by
Circular dated 20th January, 2001, and had completed  more  than  19  and  ½
years of service, in whose favour pension was not released by  the  Bank  in
accordance with the State Bank of Patiala (Employees)  Pension  Regulations,
1995 (hereinafter referred  to  as  the  “Regulations,  1995”).  They  moved
before the High Court for direction to  the  Bank  and  its  authorities  to
release pension in their favour in accordance with the  Scheme.  By  one  of
the judgments dated 22nd October, 2008, learned Single  Judge  of  the  High
Court allowed  the  writ  petitions  preferred  by  some  of  the  aggrieved
employees (respondents) in C.A. No.172 of 2010 and directed to  pay  pension
in their favour. Against the said order the Bank  preferred  LPA  No.312  of
2008 before the Division Bench, which by the  impugned  judgment  dated  9th
January, 2009 dismissed the  LPA  and  affirmed  the  order  passed  by  the
learned Single Judge. The said impugned judgment  dated  9th  January,  2009
passed in LPA No.312 of 2008 is under challenge in C.A.No.172 of 2010.
      Some other similarly situated employees who had  completed  more  than
19 and ½ years of  service  and  retired  persons  to  Voluntary  Retirement
Scheme also preferred similar writ petitions  which  were  allowed.  Against
the  respective  judgments  Bank  filed  different  LPAs  which  were   also
dismissed by different orders in view of the  judgment  dated  9th  January,
2009. Against the judgments which have followed the  earlier  decision,  the
rest of the civil appeals have been preferred by the Bank.
3.    The High Court by the impugned judgment referring to earlier  Division
Bench decision of the High Court in Dharam  Pal  Singh  v.  Punjab  National
Bank, 2008 (1) PLR 745 held that the pension was  payable  under  Regulation
28 and that Regulation 29 will not apply. The Division  Bench  of  the  High
Court further held as follows:
           “12.  A perusal of the Regulation 28 shows that on attaining the
           age of superannuation specified in  Regulations  or  settlements
           pension is payable. The age of superannuation has been laid down
           in Service Regulations which is said to  be  60  years  now  and
           earlier it was 58 years.  But  under  the  Voluntary  Retirement
           Scheme, which according to the writ petitioners will be  at  par
           with Settlement, the requirement is 15 years of  service  or  40
           years of age, which admittedly the writ petitioners  had.  Under
           Regulation 32 of the pension is payable on premature  retirement
           on account of orders of the Bank if the employee  was  otherwise
           entitled  to  pension/superannuation  on  that  day.  Read  with
           Regulations 14 and 28, the said age is 10 years and if read with
           the Scheme, it is 15 years of age or 40 years of service and  in
           either case the employees were covered by  the  pension  scheme.
           The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that Regulation  29  relating  to
           voluntary retirement was not  applicable.  Thus,  contention  on
           behalf of the Bank that Regulation  29  applied  and  therefore,
           pension payable only after 20 years service cannot be accepted.”




      The view taken by  the  learned  Single  Judge  was  affirmed  by  the
Division Bench and the LPA was dismissed.
4.    Learned counsel for the appellant-Bank  referred  to  Regulations  13,
28,29, 32 and Clause 3 of State Bank of Patiala Voluntary Retirement  Scheme
and submitted as follows:
           “(a)  Regulation 14 which refers to qualifying  service  is  not
           applicable in view of the judgment of this Hon’ble Court in  the
           case of PNB vs. Dharam Pal;


           (b)   Clause 3 of the SBP VRS would not apply for pension, as it
           speaks  of  eligibility   for   applying   under   the   Scheme,
           particularly, in view of the judgment of this Hon’ble  Court  in
           the case of Bank of India (supra);


           (c)   Regulation 32 which relates to premature retirement  would
           also not apply as the retirement of  employee  was  not  on  the
           orders of the Bank in public interest,  by  way  of  punishment,
           further SBP VRS was not by way of a settlement.


           (d)   Thus it  is  only  Regulation  29  “pension  on  voluntary
           retirement” which would be applicable for granting  pension,  in
           case of those applying under SBP VRS.


           (e)   In case it is  held  that  SBP  VRS  is  not  a  voluntary
           retirement in accordance with Regulation 29, then it would  mean
           that  the  respondent  employees  have  not  retired,   as   per
           Regulation 2(y), not covered under Pension Regulations and hence
           not entitled for pension.”



5.    On the other hand, following submissions  were  made  by  the  learned
counsel for the respondents:
           i)    All the respondents have completed  more  than  19  and  ½
           years of service but less than 20 years in the Bank,  therefore,
           they are entitled to treat the broken year  as  one  year  under
           Regulation  18.  Therefore,  in  view  of  Regulation  18,   the
           respondents should be treated to  have  completed  20  years  of
           service.
           ii)   The respondents are entitled for pension under  Regulation
           32 otherwise also the respondents are entitled to  pension  even
           under Regulation 29.”


6.    Learned counsel for the appellant-Bank  relied  on  the  decisions  of
this Court in Bank of Baroda vs. Ganpat Singh Deora, 2009 (3)  SCC  217  and
Bank of India vs. K. Mohandas and others, 2009(5)  SCC  313.  On  the  other
hand, according to the counsel for the  respondents,  the  present  case  is
different than the decisions in Bank of Baroda (supra)  and  Bank  of  India
(supra) as the respondents are guided by Regulations 18, 28, 29  and  32  of
the State Bank  of  Patiala  (Employees)  Pension  Regulations,  1995  which
varies from the provisions of the other Banks.
7.    In the present case the question arises for consideration  is  whether
under the State Bank of Patiala (Employees) Pension  Regulations,  1995  the
respondents are entitled for pension.
8.    Similar question was considered  by  this  Court  in  Bank  of  Baroda
(supra). In the said case Bank of Baroda employees were retired pursuant  to
Bank of Baroda Employees Voluntary Retirement Scheme,  2001.  However,  they
had not completed 20 years of  service;  therefore,  they  were  denied  the
benefit of pension under their Pension Regulations, 1995. In the  said  case
this Court noticed Regulation 28 of Bank of Baroda  Pension  Regulations  as
it stood prior to the amendment made on  2nd  January,  2004  which  was  as
follows:
               “28.Superannuation pension.—Superannuation pension shall  be
           granted to an employee who has retired on his attaining the  age
           of  superannuation  specified  in  the  Service  Regulations  or
           settlements.”

9.    This  Court  also  noticed  the  amended  Regulation  28  in  Bank  of
Baroda(supra) which was published in the Gazette of India  on  2nd  January,
2004 and provides as follows:
               “28.Superannuation pension.—Superannuation pension shall  be
           granted to an employee who has retired on his attaining the  age
           of  superannuation  specified  in  the  Service  Regulations  or
           settlements:


              Provided that, with effect from 1-9-2000 pension  shall  also
           be granted to an employee who opts to  retire  before  attaining
           the age of superannuation, but after  rendering  service  for  a
           minimum period of 15 years in terms of any scheme  that  may  be
           framed for such purpose by the Board with the  approval  of  the
           Government.”

10.   Having noticed the aforesaid provisions and Regulation 29 of the  Bank
of Baroda Pension Regulation which is peri materia, similar one, this  Court
in view of the fact that the respondents of said Bank had not completed  the
required length of qualifying service as provided  under  Regulation  28  of
Regulations, 1995, held that the respondents were not eligible  for  pension
under the Pension Regulation, 1995 of the Bank of Baroda.

11.    Subsequently,  similar  provisions  of  different   Bank   fell   for
consideration before a Bench  of  this  Court  in  Bank  of  India  (supra),
referring to the scheme and different provisions which  are  almost  similar
to the present one held as under:

              “33. What was, in respect of pension, the  intention  of  the
           banks at the time of bringing out VRS  2000?  Was  it  not  made
           expressly clear therein that  the  employees  seeking  voluntary
           retirement will be eligible  for  pension  as  per  the  Pension
           Regulations? If  the  intention  was  not  to  give  pension  as
           provided in Regulation 29 and  particularly  sub-regulation  (5)
           thereof, they could have said so in the Scheme itself. After all
           much thought had gone into the formulation of VRS  2000  and  it
           came to be framed after great deliberations. The only  provision
           that could have been in mind while providing for pension as  per
           the  Pension  Regulations  was  Regulation  29.  Obviously,  the
           employees, too, had the benefit of Regulation 29(5) in mind when
           they offered for voluntary retirement as  admittedly  Regulation
           28, as was existing at that time, was  not  applicable  at  all.
           None of Regulations 30 to 34 was attracted.


              37. The amendment to Regulation 28 can, at best, be  said  to
           have been intended to cover  the  employees  with  15  years  of
           service or  more  but  less  than  20  years  of  service.  This
           intention is reflected from  the  communication  dated  5-9-2000
           sent  by  the  Government  of  India,   Ministry   of   Finance,
           [pic]Department of Economic Affairs (Banking  Division)  to  the
           Personnel Advisor, Indian Banks’ Association.


              39. Two things immediately become noticeable  from  the  said
           communication. One is that as per Regulation 29 of  the  Pension
           Regulations, 1995, an employee  can  take  voluntary  retirement
           after 20 years of qualifying service  and  become  eligible  for
           pension. The other thing is that the Scheme  provides  that  the
           employees with 15 years of service or 40 years of age  shall  be
           eligible to take voluntary retirement under the Scheme and under
           Regulation 29, the employees having rendered 15 years of service
           or completed 40 years of age  but  not  completed  20  years  of
           service shall not be [pic]eligible for  pensionary  benefits  on
           taking voluntary retirement under the Scheme.


              40.  The  use  of  the  words   “such   employees”   in   the
           communication is referable to employees having rendered 15 years
           of service but not completed 20 years of service and, therefore,
           it was decided to bring an amendment in the Regulations so  that
           the employees having not completed 20 years’ service do not lose
           the benefit of pension. The amendment in Regulation  28,  as  is
           reflected from the afore referred communication, was intended to
           cover the employees who had rendered 15 years’ service  but  not
           completed 20 years’ service. It was not intended  to  cover  the
           optees who had  already  completed  20  years’  service  as  the
           provisions contained in Regulation 29 met that contingency.


              46. The precise effect of the Pension  Regulations,  for  the
           purposes of pension, having been made part  of  the  Scheme,  is
           that  the  Pension  Regulations,  to  the  extent,   these   are
           applicable, must be read into the Scheme.  It  is  pertinent  to
           bear in mind that interpretation clause of VRS 2000 states  that
           the words and expressions used in the Scheme but not defined and
           defined in the rules/regulations shall  have  the  same  meaning
           respectively assigned to them under the  rules/regulations.  The
           Scheme does not define the expression “retirement” or “voluntary
           retirement”. We have, therefore, to fall back on the  definition
           of “retirement” given in Regulation  2(y)  whereunder  voluntary
           retirement under Regulation 29 is considered to  be  retirement.
           Regulation 29 uses the expression  “voluntary  retirement  under
           these Regulations”. Obviously, for the purposes of  the  Scheme,
           it has to be understood to mean with necessary changes in points
           of details. Section 23 of the Contract Act has no application to
           the present fact situation.


              48. It is true that validity and legality  of  Regulation  28
           has not been put in issue. It was apparently not  done  because,
           according to the employees, amended Regulation 28 although  made
           retrospective could not have affected the concluded contract. We
           have  already  indicated  above  as  to  how  the  amendment  in
           Regulation 28 in the year 2002 with effect from  1-9-2000  could
           not have  applied  to  the  optees  under  the  Scheme  who  had
           completed service of 20 years. Lack of challenge  to  Regulation
           28 by the employees is, therefore, not very material. It is  not
           correct to say that by taking recourse  to  Regulation  29,  the
           amendment to Regulation 28 is rendered otiose.


              50. It is true that VRS 2000 is a complete package in  itself
           and contractual in nature. However, in that package, it has been
           provided that the optees, in addition to ex gratia payment, will
           also be eligible to other benefits inter alia pension under  the
           Pension  Regulations.  The  only  provision   in   the   Pension
           Regulations at the relevant time during  the  operation  of  VRS
           2000 concerning voluntary retirement was Regulation 29 and  sub-
           regulation (5) thereof provides for  weightage  of  addition  of
           five years to qualifying service for pension to those optees who
           had completed  20  years’  service.  It,  therefore,  cannot  be
           accepted that  VRS  2000  did  not  envisage  grant  of  pension
           benefits under Regulation  29(5)  of  the  Pension  Regulations,
           1995, to the optees of 20 years’ service along with  payment  of
           ex gratia.


              51. The whole idea in bringing out VRS 2000 was to right size
           workforce which the banks had not been able to  achieve  despite
           the fact that the statutory Regulations provided  for  voluntary
           retirement to the employees having completed 20 years’  service.
           It was for this reason that VRS 2000 was made  more  attractive.
           VRS  2000,  accordingly,  was  an  attractive  package  for  the
           employees to go in for as they were getting special benefits  in
           the form of ex gratia  and  in  addition  thereto,  inter  alia,
           pension under the Pension Regulations which  also  provided  for
           weightage of five years of qualifying service for  the  purposes
           of  pension  to  the  employees  who  had  completed  20  years’
           service.”

12.   In the said case of Bank of India  (supra),  this  Court  noticed  the
observation made by this Court in the case of Bank  of  Baroda  (supra)  but
distinguished the same with the following observation:
              “61. The observations made by this Court in Bank  of  Baroda,
           (2009) 3 SCC 217, which have been quoted above and  relied  upon
           by  the  banks  in  support  of  their  contention  have  to  be
           understood in the factual backdrop, namely,  that  the  employee
           had completed only 13 years of service and, was not eligible for
           the pension under the Pension  Regulations,  1995  and  for  the
           benefit of addition of five years to  qualifying  service  under
           Regulation 29(5), an employee must have completed  20  years  of
           service. The question therein was not identical in form with the
           question here to be decided.


              62. The following observations in Bank of  Baroda(supra)  are
           significant: (SCC p. 221, para 21)
              “21. … since both the Tribunal as  well  as  the  High  Court
           appear not to have considered or taken note of the fact that the
           respondent was not eligible for pension as he had not  completed
           15 years of qualifying service….”


           63. The decision of this Court in Bank of Barod(supra)is,  thus,
           clearly  distinguishable  as  the  employee  therein   had   not
           completed qualifying service much less 20 years of  service  for
           being eligible to  the  weightage  under  Regulation  29(5)  and
           cannot be applied to  the  present  controversy  nor  does  that
           matter decide the question here to be  decided  in  the  present
           group of matters.”

13.   For determination of the issue,  it  is  desirable  to  refer  to  the
relevant provisions of  the  State  Bank  of  Patiala  Voluntary  Retirement
Scheme, 2001, the background of  such  Scheme  and  relevant  provisions  of
State Bank of Patiala (Employees) Pension Regulations, 1995.
14.   Pursuant to Government  of  India,  Indian  Banks  Association  advice
different Banks introduced Voluntary Retirement Scheme including  the  State
Bank of Patiala Voluntary Retirement Scheme, 2000 introduced  by  the  Bank,
by its Circular No. Per/VRS/48 dated 20th January, 2001.
      Clause 3 of the Scheme prescribed eligibility of voluntary  retirement
as follows:
           “Clause 3:
           Eligibility
           The scheme will be open to all permanent employees of the  Bank,
           except those specifically mentioned as ‘ineligible who have  put
           in 15 years of service or have completed 40 years of age  as  on
           31st December, 2000. Age will be reckoned on the  basis  of  the
           date of birth as entered in service record.


                 While calculating the period of service, absence, which is
           reckoned as service, will be excluded.


                 If an officer, who has not completed  mandatory  rural  or
           semi-urban assignment  (either  wholly  or  partly)  submits  an
           application for retirement under SBP VRS  before  approving  his
           case, his  promotions  would  stand  withdrawn  if  confirmation
           subsequent to promotion is subject to completing such  mandatory
           service.”


15.   Apart from  ex  gratia  which  were  offered  under  the  Scheme,  the
following other benefits were prescribed therein:
           “Clause 7:
           Other benefits
                 i) Gratuity as payable under the extant instructions on the
                    relevant date.


                ii)  Provident  Fund  contribution  as  per  SBP  Employees’
                    Provident Rules as on relevant date.


               iii) Pension or Bank’s contribution to Provident Fund as  the
                    case may be as per rules applicable on the relevant date
                    on the basis of actual years of service rendered.
                                  xxx   xxx  xxx   xxx”


16.   The respondents who had completed more than 19 and ½ years of  service
applied for and were allowed to Voluntary Retirement Scheme aforesaid.  They
have been paid most of the benefits but pensionary benefits  were  not  paid
to them. Therefore, they had to move before the High Court.
17.    State Bank of  Patiala  (Employees)  Pension  Regulations,  1995  are
applicable to full time employees  of  the  Bank.  Regulation  2(w)  defines
qualifying service and 2(y) defines retirement, they are as follows:
           “2(w) “qualifying service” means the service rendered  while  on
           duty or otherwise which shall be  taken  into  account  for  the
           purpose of pension under these regulations;


           2(y)  “retirement” means cessation from Bank’s service:-


                    a) on attaining the age of superannuation  specified  in
                       –Service Regulations of Settlements;


                    b) on voluntary retirement in accordance with provisions
                       contained in regulation 29 of these regulations;


                    c) on premature retirement by the Bank before  attaining
                       the  age  of  superannuation  specified  in   Service
                       Regulations or Settlement;”




18.   Chapter IV  relates  to  qualifying  service.  Regulation  14  defines
qualifying service as under:
           “14.Qualifying Service-
                  Subject  to  the  other  conditions  contained  in  these
           regulations, an employee who has rendered a minimum of ten years
           of service in the Bank, on the date of his retirement or on  the
           date on which he is deemed to have  retired  shall  qualify  for
           pension.”

      For the purpose of qualifying  service,  under  the  said  Chapter  IV
Regulation 18 prescribes broken period of service of less than one  year  as
under:
           “18.Broken period of service of less than one year-
                 If the period of service of an  employee  includes  broken
           period of service is less than one year,  then  if  such  broken
           period is more than six months, it shall be treated as one  year
           and if such broken period is six months  or  less  it  shall  be
           ignored.”




19.   Chapter  V  relates  to  Classes  of  Pension  (Classes  of  Pension).
Regulation 28 deals with superannuation pension as under:

           “28.Superannuation Pension-

                 Superannuation pension shall be granted to an employee who
           has retired on his attaining the age of superannuation specified
           in the Service Regulations or settlements.”




20.   Regulation 29 relates to Pension  on  Voluntary  Retirement,  relevant
portion of which reads as under:

           “29.Pension on Voluntary Retirement-

                  1) On or after the Ist day of November, 1993, at any time
                     after  an  employee  has  completed  twenty  years  of
                     qualifying service he may, by writing to the competent
                     authority retire from service;

                     Provided that this sub-regulation shall not  apply  to
                     an employee who is on deputation  or  on  study  leave
                     abroad unless after having been transferred or  having
                     returned to India he has resumed charge of the post in
                     India and has served for a period of not less than one
                     year:

                     Provided further that this  sub-regulation  shall  not
                     apply to an employee who seeks retirement from service
                     for being absorbed permanently in an  autonomous  body
                     or  a  public  sector  undertaking   or   company   or
                     institution body, whether incorporated or not to which
                     he is on deputation at the time of  seeking  voluntary
                     retirement.

                     Provided that this sub-regulation shall not  apply  to
                     an  employee  who  is  deemed  to  have   retired   in
                     accordance with clause (1) of Regulation 2.”

                             xxx  xxx   xxx  xxx
                 (5)    The  qualifying  service  of  an  employee  retiring
                       voluntarily under this regulation shall be  increased
                       by a period not exceeding five years, subject to  the
                       condition that the total qualifying service  rendered
                       by such employee shall not in any case exceed  thirty
                       years and it does not take him  beyond  the  date  of
                       superannuation.”


21.   For premature retirement pension  one  may  refer  to  Regulation  32,
which reads as under:
           “32. Premature Retirement Pension
                 Premature retirement Pension may be granted to an employee
           who, -


              a) has rendered minimum ten years of service;


              b) retires from service on account of orders of  the  Bank  to
                 retire prematurely in the public  interest  for  any  other
                 reason specified in service regulations or  settlement,  if
                 otherwise he was entitled to such pension on superannuation
                 on that date.”

      Regulation  33  deals  with  an  employee  compulsorily  retired  from
service as a penalty and which is not applicable in the present case.
22.   The respondents completed more than 10 years of service  in  the  Bank
on the date of  retirement;  therefore,  they  fulfill  the  requirement  of
qualifying service as per Regulation 14.

23.   It has not been disputed by appellant-Bank  that  the  respondents  in
all the appeals have completed much more than 19 years 6 months  of  service
in the Bank. For example, respondent No.1-Prakash Chand in  C.A.  No.173  of
2010 had joined the Bank on 4th May, 1981 and relieved on 31st March,  2001.
Thus, he had completed 19  years,  10  months  and  28  days  of  qualifying
service on the date of relieving from service.

24.   Regulation 18 of  the  Pension  Regulations,  1995  provides  that  if
broken period is more than six months, it shall  be  treated  as  one  year.
Therefore, all the respondents-writ petitioners having completed  more  than
19 years and 6 months of service in the Bank, they  are  to  be  treated  to
have completed 20 years of  service.  The  aforesaid  question  was  neither
raised nor decided in the case of ‘Bank of Baroda’ or ‘Bank of India’.

25.   In view of the aforesaid fact, the appellant-Bank  cannot  derive  the
benefit of the decision of this Court in Bank of  Baroda  as  the  employees
who were parties before the Court in the said  case  had  not  completed  20
years of service. As per the decision of this Court in Bank  of  India,  the
respondents-writ petitioners  having  completed  20  years  of  service  are
entitled to the benefit of Regulation 29.

26.   In view of the finding recorded above, the appeals do not  have  merit
in reference with the impugned judgment,they  are,  accordingly,  dismissed.
No costs.


                                                       …………………………………………………J.
                                    (SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)



                                                       …………………………………………………J.
                                           (V. GOPALA GOWDA)

NEW DELHI,
JULY 07,2014.http://freelegalconsultancy.blogspot.in/2014/07/service-matter-vrs-scheme-2000-pension.html

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Court Held Bank Guilty

Bank found wrongly seeking charges for credit card usage-Business Line-28th July 2014

A consumer court in Bangalore has found that a private bank had illegally demanded a huge sum as financial charges from a customer stating that he had exceeded his credit limit while purchasing jewellery.
Complainant Dyamanna H. Kolakar, a resident of KHB Colony, holds a savings account in HDFC Bank Ltd’s Basaveshwaranagar branch.
He had purchased jewellery worth Rs. 73,817 in December 2012 after noticing that the credit limit fixed for his credit card was Rs.75,000. But in January 2013, the bank informed that his credit limit was only Rs.19,000 and demanded a huge sum for exceeding the credit limit. The complainant paid Rs.1.09 lakh, including cess, service tax, and other charges through netbanking. However, the bank demanded another Rs. 24,000. He received several calls demanding payment.
In its order, 1st Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum expressed surprise over the bank’s failure to respond to its notice issued after the complaint was lodged in January this year.
“It is the bounden duty of the bank to address the problems of its customers in the legal way. The notice served on the bank is an opportunity for them to redress the grievance of the customer in a legal way, but the bank, for reasons best known to it, chose not to appear,” said the forum comprising its president Syed Anser Khaleem and member Niveditha J.
“If the bank is negligent in attending the proceedings of courts/forums, how can it attend to grievance of the complainant or its customers,” the forum wondered.
On perusing the records submitted by the complainant, the forum found that the bank’s conduct amounted to ‘deficiency in service’ and directed it not to demand the additional Rs. 24,000 from the complainant and issue a ‘no due certificate’.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bank-found-wrongly-seeking-charges-for-credit-card-usage/article6255016.ece

Virus stealing debit, credit card info prowling online portals-FE

Debit and credit card owners in the country have been alerted by cyber security sleuths against the damaging activities of a virus which attacks Point of Sale (POS) business counters to steal confidential data like card number and passwords.
The virus, of the deadly Trojan/Botnet family, is prowling in the domestic online media and has been identified as 'BrutPOS' by the CERT-In.
CERT-In is the nodal national agency to combat hacking, phishing and to fortify security-related defences of the Indian Internet domain.
"It has been reported that malware variants targeting Point of sale (POS) systems, dubbed "BrutPOS", is spreading. BrutPOS mainly targets windows based system by leveraging web as the main infection vector apart from being downloaded by other malware families," the latest advisory by the agency said.
The advisory added that once the system is infected with the malware, it communicates with its command and control servers to update its status and receive commands or list of IP address range to be scan for RDP servers having weak or default credentials.
Successful RDP brute force attack allows an attacker to execute another malware in the compromised system that steals payment cards data including card holders name, account no, expiration data, CVV code etc from POS systems.
The virus also has tendencies to steal system information such as Operating System details, system configuration etc, the advisory said.
Once the secret data of a credit or debit card is stolen, it can be prone to a hacking or phishing attempts on the virtual currency, thereby incurring financial loss for the account holder.
The POS denotes the cash counter of a shop or a business establishment where a customer or an individual makes online payment (from debit or credit card) after a purchase.
According to existing RBI rules, while debit card owners are required to punch in their secret PIN number before making a payment at these counters, a credit card owner can simply swipe his plastic money to accomplish his transaction at the POS counter.
The agency has also recommended some counter measures to check the activities of this new virus.
Some of them include keeping all POS systems thoroughly updated including POS application software, not allowing administrative access to systems, locking out accounts after N number of incorrect login attemptsm, limiting or eliminating the use of shared or group accounts and ensuring that the networks where POS systems reside are properly segmented from the non-payment network.
The agency has also recommended enabling firewall at gateway or desktop level, not visiting untrusted websites, not downloading or opening of attachments in emails received from untrusted sources or unexpectedly received from trusted users and installing and scanning anti-malware engines and keep them up-to-date.