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Supreme Court on 2nd September dismissed the SLP of Union of India seeking to implement contributory pension scheme on 151 BSF constables in Union of India & Ors. v Tanaka Ram & Ors.

A petition for issuance of writ of Mandamus was filed before the Delhi High Court by 151 Constables of the Border Security to extend to them the benefit of the Old Pension Scheme in accordance with the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972. Although they cleared the written test and the medical examination in November, 2003 itself they were issued call letters for joining only in February, 2004. The joining date issued to them was 20th February 2004. The Contributory Pension Scheme was introduced on 22nd December, 2003 and was to be implemented with effect from January, 2004.

A similar recruitment process was carried out in Hoshiarpur, Punjab for candidates in Punjab and Haryana where again the medical examination of candidates was completed on 7th November, 2003. However in their cases the appointment orders were issued on 17th December, 2003 itself directing them to report at the STC, BSF, Hoshiarpur on 30th December, 2003.

The New Pension Scheme was monetarily less beneficial than the Old Pension Scheme. Those who had been offered letters of appointment on 17th December, 2003 were covered by the Old Pension Scheme whereas those candidates like the Petitioners whose letters of offers of appointment were issued only in February, 2004 were deprived of the benefit of the Old Pension Scheme. A batch of the Petitioners who were selected pursuant to a Sub-Inspector (DE), Central Police Organisation (CPO) Examination 2002 and were also deprived of the benefit of the Old Pension Scheme on account of the delay on the part of the Respondents in issuing the appointment orders. They had filed WP (C) No. 3834/2013 (Parmanand Yadav v. Union of India) in this Court. By a judgement dated 12th February, 2015 the apex court had allowed the said writ petition.

In other words, the BSF itself has accepted that the benefit of the decision in Parmanand Yadav (supra) and the option to continue the Old Pension Scheme should be extended to all those who had been selected in the exam conducted in 2003 but were only issued call letters in January or February, 2004. For the above reasons, Centre was directed by the HC to extend the benefit of the Old Pension Scheme to all the Petitioners in the present petitions and pass consequential orders.

Supreme Court did not find any reason to intervene in the High Court’s order and consequently dismissed the petition for special leave to appeal.

— India Legal Bureau

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