Elevator Employees' Union S. Reg &
Ors Vs. Union of India & Ors  Insc 559
(11 November 2003)
Babu & K.G. Balakrishnan
S.L.P.(C) Nos.11823-11825/97, 962/98, 13161/98, 204-205/99, W.P. (C) Nos.
612/97, 372/98, 412/98, 379/98, 570/98, 544/98, 591/98, 651/98, 56/99, 690/98,
152/99, 354/99, 266/99, 428/99, 486/99, 378/2000, I.A.Nos.2-3 in W.P.(C)
No.490/99, T.C. (C) Nos.10/98, 13/98, 14/98, 15/98, 16/98, 17/98, 18/98, 19-
20/98,52/98, 26/98, 27/98, 28/98, 29/98, 31-33/98, 34/98, 35/98, 36/98, 39/98,
41/98, 42/98, 43/98, 44/98, 45/98, 46/98, 47/98, 48/98, 49/98, 50/98, 51/98,
53/98, 54/98, 56/98, 57/98, 58/98, 59/98, 60/98, 61/98, 62/98, 2/99, 3/99,
4/99, 5/99, 6/99, 7/99, 11-12/99, 14/99, 50/99, 51/99, 52/99, 53/99, 54/99,
55/99, 57/99, 58/99, 21/2000 and 22/2000, T.P. (C) Nos.514/98, 775/98, 759/98,
575- 584/98, 900/98, 903/98, and 359/99] RAJENDRA BABU, J.:
benefits such as provident fund, gratuity and pension schemes have been common
in Government establishments. Such schemes were also introduced for the
employees by certain enlightened employers. In addition to such benefits, the
Industrial Disputes Act also makes statutory provisions of compensation on the
termination of the service of an employee by way of retrenchment, on transfer
or closure of an undertaking. Such social security measures have introduced an
element of stability and protection in the midst of stress and strains of
modern industrial life. As observed by the National Commission on Labour-Social
Security, the concept of 'social security' is based on human dignity and social
justice. The underlying idea being that, social security measures would allow a
citizen who has contributed or is likely to contribute to his country's welfare
should be given protection against certain hazards.
provision of provident fund has been recognised as a term of condition of
employment of industrial workmen. Legislative measures have also imposed the
requirements of provident fund on the employers and employees statutorily. But
in respect of industries to which the statutes do not apply, the provident fund
schemes are being worked out by collective bargaining on certain principles.
was treated in the early stages of industrial adjudication as a gift of payment
gratuitously made by an employer to his employees at his pleasure and the
workman had no right to claim it. But in course of time it came to be treated
as a term of employment and the industrial adjudication started treating it as
a reward paid to the workman for good, efficient, faithful and meritorious
service rendered by them to the employer for a fairly substantial and long
period intended to help workmen after retirement on superannuation, death,
retirement, physical incapacity, disability or otherwise.
pension is also a measure of security for old age, inability and death of the
bread-winner. The provident fund is not an adequate cover for the contingencies
of death and inability.
scheme of pension is different in scope and content from a scheme for provident
fund and a scheme for gratuity. A provident fund scheme postulates a certain
amount of contribution by the employer and equivalent amount of contribution by
the employee, payable on his retirement or death. A pension is a periodic
payment of a stated sum. However, these schemes have common objectives to
achieve efficiency, orderly and humane elimination from industry of
superannuated or disabled employees.
to 1952, there was no provision or obligation cast upon the employers or
employees to organise any post service or retiral support. In the year 1952,
the Employees' Provident Fund Act, 1952 was enacted, which has since been
renamed as 'the Employees' Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act,
1952' [hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'], which provides for a system of
provident fund compulsorily on contributory basis by the employer and employees
jointly to begin with in a modest manner and thereafter enlarged gradually over
the period. The contribution was initially at the rate of Rs. 6.25% of wages,
later raised to 8.33% in 1988, to 10% from May 1977 and subsequently to 12%
from 1997. Accumulations in the said Provident Fund together with interest were
payable to employee at retirement or to the nominee or legal heir of the
employee in case of death. The employee could also partially withdraw from the
Provident Fund during employment for specified purposes.
year 1971, family pension scheme was introduced by amending the Act, providing
for payment of family pension only in the event of death of the member while in
service and refund of contribution with nominal interest in lump sum to member
on retirement or leaving the job. Contribution @ 2.33 per cent from provident
fund and the Central Government contribution @ 1.16 per cent [total 3.5 per
cent] contribution support for financing the scheme was introduced.
year 1976, a deposit linked insurance scheme was introduced providing for lump
sum insurance benefit linked to provident fund accumulation additionally upon
death of the member while in service with a ceiling limit initially at
Rs.10,000/- and raised from time to time to Rs.60,000/-. In this scheme, there
was no contribution by the employees. Additional contribution of employer was
to the extent of @ 0.5 per cent and by the Central Government to the extent of
0.25 per cent for financing the scheme. However, the Central Government
contribution ceased with effect from November 1995. The validity of the this
Scheme was challenged before this Court in Mafatlal Group Staff Association
& Ors. vs. Regional Commissioner Provident Fund & Ors., 1994 (4) SCC
58, on the ground that retiral benefits under the Scheme were very meagre and
did not match the contribution of employees to the Fund. However, the challenge
year 1995, a comprehensive family pension scheme has been introduced replacing
the family pension scheme of 1971. The pension scheme is funded by diversion of
8.33% employer's share in the Provident Fund and contribution of the Central
Government was @ 1.6 per cent totally 9.5%. Assets and liabilities of ceased
family pension fund was taken over by the new scheme and family pension fund as
on 15.11.1995 forms the initial corpus of the pension fund and all
accumulations to Provident Fund upto 15.11.1995 remain intact and likewise the
employees' contribution to the Provident Fund remains untouched.
balance of 1.67% employer's share of contribution to Provident Fund will
continue to be part of the Fund. The salient features of the scheme are :
payment for life to member on superannuation or retirement and in the event of
becoming totally and permanently invalid during employment period;
family pension payment upon death of the member irrespective of death occurring
while in service, away from employment or after retirement as a pensioner;
for commutation of pension upto 1/3rd by member and also return of capital on
option formula basis.
of the scheme necessitated the amendment of the Act.
6A and 6B of the Act which were being inserted by Act 61 of 1971 with effect
from 23.4.1971 stood completely modified by Act 25 of 1996 with effect from
16.11.1995. The said provisions and the consequent pension scheme introduced
which came into force from 16.11.1995 are under challenge before us in these
proceedings. Main challenge is to the Employees' Provident Funds &
Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act, 1996 and the Employees' Pension
Scheme, 1995, as unreasonable, arbitrary and discriminatory inasmuch as existing
benefits from the Provident Fund have been depleted to a great extent by
diversion of 8.33% employer's share and pension payable under the new scheme is
far below the accruals in the pension fund. Such challenge was made in the High
Courts of Madras, Kerala and Karnataka in a batch of cases.
against those said orders passed by the High Courts are filed. Several writ
petitions filed before the High Courts are sought to be transferred to this
Court by filing the Transfer Petitions some of which have been allowed. Some of
the employers have also filed petitions or appeals before us as their
applications for grant of exemption from the operation of the pension scheme
have been rejected by the respective Regional Provident Fund Commissioners or by
the concerned Governments.
three High Courts are of the uniform view that the scheme framed by the
Government impugned herein is reasonable and rejected the contentions to the
contrary. The line of reasoning adopted by them is that there is no excessive
delegation under the Act and it cannot also be said that there is lack of
proper statutory guidelines in the statute by the legislature to the executive
in the matter of formulation of the pension scheme. They adverted to the
provisions contained in Section 6A of the Act, which indicate clearly the
objectives and policy of the legislation and the broad basis and outlines as
also the core and frame of the pension scheme delineated in Section 6A of the
Act itself and Schedule III to the Act and, therefore, that contention deserves
to be rejected. They further noticed that the obligation to lay the scheme, as
soon as it is formulated, before each House of Parliament is a further
safeguard in the matter of delegated legislation.
charge of arbitrariness and unreasonableness of the impugned provisions of the
Act and the Scheme is on the ground that the pension scheme introduced is not
profitable to the employees and subscribers and there is no proper equitable
return to the subscriptions or contributions made to their account inasmuch as
the return which employees received by way of interest on the contribution to
the statutory provident fund was much higher than the return which the
employees may receive under the impugned Pension Scheme. Apart from the denial
of benefits arising out of the employers' share of contribution to the
employees that the employees had no vested rights over the contributions made
by the employers and this aspect was considered by this Court in Mafatlal Group
Staff Association's case (supra) wherein it was observed that courts should
also bear in mind that the Government have to keep in mind the cost of totality
of the benefits that accrue under the Scheme and the employees cannot insist
that they are entitled to the entire return to be calculated on the basis of
the interest which accrues on the contributions to the provident fund. The
questions concerning the volume, and extent of benefits arising to at old age
by way of old age pension when the bread winner of the family dies and at what
rate the same should be given are matters of policy over which the State and
the Legislature should be allowed a liberal latitude to achieve the ultimate
goal of effectively implementing the various social security and social
fact that a particular pattern of these schemes prevailed at a particular point
of time is not to be viewed as a matter of any vested right in any one for the
continuance forever of such pattern so as to constitute an embargo for all
times in future on the power of the State and the Legislature to introduce
innovations and undertake/overhauling and reorientation of the existing schemes
in the best possible manner as the Legislature proposes by adjusting equities
and rights to achieve the ultimate goal of social security and insurance in the
form of old age pension and other benefits. The High Courts also noticed that
the provident fund scheme when it was initially introduced was only a step
towards the ultimate goal of providing a social welfare scheme to protect the
workers and the members of their families not only during the period of
employment but even after superannuation as also at times of calamities in the
family resulting in the loss of bread winner. Thus they concluded that if the
State as a matter of policy considered that the stage to have reached for
implementation of a pension scheme which was ambitious goal towards social
welfare security measure to be achieved, it is not for the courts to weigh the
propriety of the scheme with microscopical examination and determine whether
there is any distinction or discrimination to find loopholes to annihilate the
same even at the threshold without allowing a trial to be made even to gain and
reform further for better advantage of the experience in the process. The High
Courts also rejected the contention that there is deprivation of right to
property and benefits. The impugned scheme had visualised for family pension
under the provisions of the impugned Act and The Employees Pension Fund Scheme
1995 and they provide a process by which the social need of securing a kind of
insurance to the employees during old age and at other occasions such as loss
of the bread winner of the family. It is only an alternative or modification of
the scheme that has been introduced earlier and cannot be termed as depriving
the rights of a party. The High Courts felt that it is not for the court to
weigh in golden scales and to impose the view of the courts so that the scheme
as prepared is not on a proper hypothesis and found that the contentions in
this regard to be baseless.
question where certain exemptions have been claimed by certain managements had
not been disposed of the same was directed to be disposed of expeditiously. We
are broadly in agreement with the view of the High Courts.
High Court of Kerala merely adverted to various averments in the matter and
disposed of the matter. The Karnataka High Court basically followed the
decision of the High Court of Madras in the case of Ashok Leyland Employees' Union vs. Union of India, in W.P.Nos. 17208/95 etc., and
placed very heavy reliance on the decision of this Court in Mafatlal Group
Staff Association's case [supra] and did not set out any fresh reasoning in the
course of its order.
to the validity of the provisions in the Act are not in serious challenge and
we accept the view of the High Courts in this regard.
of the learned counsel who appeared in the case insisted that this Court should
hold an enquiry as to the correctness or otherwise of the rival contentions and
particulars furnished by the parties to arrive at a conclusion whether there is
a broad correspondence between what employees contribute and what they get in
return. Placing reliance on Mafatlal Group Staff Association's case [supra], it
is contended that it is the statutory duty of the respondents to ensure that
both the contributions by the employees and the benefits flowing to them must
be broadly commensurate and actuarial appraisal done on the part of the
respondents not being satisfactory in the light of the materials supplied by
the petitioners or the appellants, we have been called upon to institute an
enquiry into the matter and decide the same. The stand of the respondents in
this regard is that the petitioners/appellants have picked and chosen
paragraphs, observations and comments out of context without referring to the
preceding and the concluding portions of the paragraph of the relevant
observation of the Report which contain the conclusions and recommendations and
which conclusions and recommendations are not adverse. Therefore, they
submitted that these contentions should not be accepted.
main contention advanced on behalf of the petitioners is on the basis of
certain observations made by this Court in Mafatlal Group Staff Association's
case (supra). In that case, this Court was concerned with the scope and effect
of Employees' Family Pension Scheme, 1971 framed under Section 6A of the Act.
The Staff Association contended before this Court that the manner in which the
scheme was being operated was in effect prejudicial to the employees inasmuch
as the amount collected from them was far in excess of the benefits occurring
to them. The other side having contradicted this argument, this Court, without
examining the correctness of the data on which the parties have placed reliance
for their arguments, held that the conclusion should be drawn by taking an
overall view of the scheme and not by taking separate instances. A direction
was, however, given for ensuring a broad correspondence between contribution
made by the employees and the benefits made available to the employees. This
Court stated that in view of the conflicting versions put forth before the
Court, it was noticed that the facts and figures and particulars furnished by
the parties are in serious dispute. Each of the parties had furnished their own
separate facts and figures and this Court adverted to the statement made in
C.A.5159/93 in which it was stated as follows:
rates are so designed as to ensure that the employee gets back the amount of
his own contribution with certain additional amount of interest.
amount of contribution by the employer and the Central Government and interest
of employees' contribution is retained and utilised to provide payment of other
two benefits, namely, monthly family pension fund and life assurance benefit,
to the widows or minor sons or unmarried daughters of those unfortunate members
who die prematurely during employment. Thus the entire amount of contributions
to the family pension fund is utilised for giving benefits to the member of the
fund himself or to his destitute surviving family members in case of his death
in one of the aforesaid four ways and no part of it is utilised for any other
this Court observed as follows:
it is not possible for us to embark upon an enquiry into the correctness or
otherwise of the rival statements and particulars furnished by the parties, the
fact remains which we should emphasise that there should be a broad
correspondence between what the employees contribute and what they get in
return. We have already expressed ourselves on this aspect while dealing with
the plea of discrimination, which we do not think it necessary to repeat here.
The benefits to be provided to them under the several schemes should broadly
approximate to and be commensurate with what they contribute. This is what
clause 34-D of pension scheme provides, in particular sub-clause (2) thereof.
worded as an enabling provision, it contains a salutary and an obligatory
principle which the Government should always keep in view.
agree, as already emphasized hereinbefore, that no conclusions should be drawn
by taking any single instance and that the matter must be decided taking an overall
view, yet the inescapable test remains, viz., there must be a broad
correspondence between what the employees pay and what they and their families
get ultimately. It cannot be that while the Fund accumulates, the employees and
their families decay. The scheme is one conceived in their interest and for
their benefit and it should prove so in practice. It is the statutory duty of
the respondents to ensure that both the contributions by employees and the
benefits flowing to them must be broadly commensurate. Since actuarial
appraisal is done every three years, as provided by the statutory scheme
itself, we are sure that the observations made herein will be kept in mind and
necessary adjustments made." The whole case turns on the observations made
by this Court in Mafatlal Group Staff Association's case (supra) and the effect
thereof. We must not forget that the Act provides for framing of appropriate
schemes and that power is given to the Government. This Court will not examine
the Scheme framed by the Government as if it is an appeal, but if the return
obtained by the families of the employees pursuant to such scheme is such that
the contribution of the employees is substantially high and the return is
negligible, then an inference can be drawn that such scheme results in
arbitrariness. It is only in the context of testing the validity of the scheme
with reference to Article 14, the observations by this Court have been made in Mafatlal
Group Staff Association's case (supra) to which we have adverted to.
Act is a social welfare legislation to "provide for the institution of
Provident Fund, Pension Fund and Deposit Linked Insurance Fund for employees in
factories and other establishments." If the legislation is not patently
arbitrary, this Court will not monitor implementation of such policy unless the
same is discriminatory or arbitrary. Since the Scheme is for the welfare of
employees, the same cannot be held to be violative of the Constitution.
learned counsel made detailed reference to different tables in the Scheme and
submitted that if similar amount is invested in Term/Fixed Deposits the same
would earn more. This approach cannot be accepted for the Scheme that is
similar to what was considered and approved by this Court in Mafatlal Group
Staff Association's case (supra) and hence does not require detailed
examination. But what we have to bear in mind is unless this Court can
definitely say that there is a great difference between the contributions made
by the employees and the return to their families which will amount to a kind
of deprivation. The monies meant for family pension scheme are diverted from
the Provident Fund Scheme which represents equal contributions of employees and
employers, to which certain amount is added by the Government also because such
a scheme subserves a social purpose. It cannot be stated that each and every
employee must get back not only what he contributes and the contributions of
the employees and the Government put together because the scheme provides for
provision in relation to employees dying before retirement or before attaining
the age of 60 years or in certain cases when an employee sustains injuries or
is otherwise not employed. Hence, it is not possible to hold that the Scheme
provides for exorbitant contribution with negligible return. The grievance that
the Scheme is discriminatory as between the daughters and sons marrying before
the age of 25 years and as between the widows and widowers in the event of
their marriage or remaining unmarried has also been taken care of. The
Respondents have taken steps to remove this anomalies and hence no further
consideration is required on this aspect. Thus, the grievance of discrimination
or arbitrariness on account of attracting the wrath of Article 14 cannot be
sustained and hence, we cannot interfere with the Scheme framed by the
contention that the opinion survey report does not support the Government's
claim for demand of pension by majority of employees' pension fund subscribers
and that the members were happy with the provident fund scheme, may not be
accurate. The Report states "finally, the members would also like to have
the security of some protective umbrella to maintain the intrinsic value of
their savings, which is otherwise eroded by the effects of inflation". It
further states that:
While there is a need to continue the provident fund scheme, a mandatory
pension scheme should also be introduced due to, among other reasons, the
emergence of nuclear families, increase in longevity and the use of the
provident fund accumulations to meet periodic family responsibilities in favour
of the younger generation. A pension scheme, most importantly, will lead to a
degree of intergenerational transfer between those who toiled yesterday for
what we have attained today and from those who benefit today, and will benefit
tomorrow, from the investments made yesterday." The next contention that
the actuarial liability for ceased Employees' Family Pension Scheme, 1971 has
been assessed at Rs.1605 crores only by the Actuary upon value of the said fund
on 15.11.1995, corpus accretion of the fund was Rs.8,419.54 crores for the year
1994-95 and the fund thus accumulated much more than the liability requirement
and hence the benefit was not commensurate with the contribution quantum
collected as also that the surplus has been taken over by the new fund
depriving the outgoing members of the ceased scheme. The actuarial liability of
Rs.1605 crores indicated in the valuation report as on 15.11.1995 represents
the liability for payment of family pension only payable under the ceased
scheme as clearly indicated in the report itself. Pension was payable under the
old Family Pension Scheme of 1971 only in the event of member's death while in
service vide para 28 of the ceased scheme, which numbered around 1.70 lakhs and
the remaining surviving members on leaving the job upon retirement or otherwise
were entitled for retirement-cum-withdrawal benefit payment in lumpsum as per
provisions contained in para 32 of the ceased Employees' Family Pension Scheme,
balance amount of corpus primarily covered the said retirement-cum- withdrawal
benefit liability and not the surplus contribution and hence the allegation of
deprivation is, therefore, factually incorrect. Upon introduction of Employees'
Pension Scheme, 1995 the corpus and membership of the ceased Employees' Family
Pension Scheme, 1971 have been carried over to the new pension scheme of 1995
with benefit of pensionary entitlement to the said members against their
membership in the ceased Employees' Family Pension Scheme, 1971 period lieu of
retirement-cum-withdrawal benefit vide provisions contained in para 12(3)(b) of
the new pension scheme of 1995. Thus corpus along with its liability has been
merged with the pension fund. The amount of actual surplus that was noticed by
the Actuaries as indicated in the analysis contained in the said report has
already been allowed as additional pension relief to the respective Family
Pension Scheme pensioners.
next contention urged is that analysis of member movement indicated in the
value report suggests very small percentage of persons deriving the benefit of
pension on superannuation in view of cases of exit on retirement prior to
superannuation age or voluntary retirement at younger age of cessation. The
scheme contemplates payment of pension benefit to the members as under:
pension on attaining the age of 58 years;
retirement pension on leaving the job before attaining the age of 58 years but
not before 50 years of age;
pension without any eligibility requirement and age bar.
addition to the above, the member on leaving the service before becoming
entitled for pension payment is entitled for following benefits vide para 14 of
Withdrawal benefit as per Table D if the member leaves the service on attaining
the age of 58 years without putting in 10 years eligible service.
In case of leaving the service before attaining the age of 58 years without
putting in eligible period of service entitling pension, the member has the
option of either obtaining the scheme certificate and retaining the membership
for adding future entitlement or avail the withdrawal benefit and quit the
membership of the scheme.
event member obtains a scheme certificate he retains his membership and remains
covered for pensionary benefit to the family in case of his death. As such,
every member and all family members dependent upon the member are entitled for
either pensionary or withdrawal benefit and no one is left with no benefit at
all as alleged.
next contended that the Panel of Actuaries was not allowed to do the
revaluation of the Fund. Paragraph 1.2.4 of the report reads as under:
During the discussions leading to appointment of the panel and in the first
meeting of the panel held on 28.4.1998 Shri A.N.Roy, Addl. CPFC (Pension) had
clarified that the panel was not required to carry out re-valuation and panel's
opinion was wanted based on and in respect of the FVR. However, it was agreed
that relevant approximate calculations and analysis of supplementary data will
be needed so as to form basis of panel's conclusions. All such data/information
was agreed to be supplied and for the sake of convenience it was arranged that
all the work, analysis of data, secretarial etc. will be carried out in the
office of Shri Liyaquat Khan. The work of the panel and conclusions arrived at
are accordingly based on analysis of necessary data and study of relevant
material duly provided by the office of Shri A.N.Roy, Addl. CPFC (Pension) and
EPFO Actuary Shri Bhudev Chatterjee." If the aforesaid paragraph is read
in totality, the criticism is belied.
question of outgo for pension under the 1971 Scheme need be paid from public
account accretions and not from the current receipts depleting the pension
fund, it was submitted that the action on the recommendations has already been
initiated by EPFO. On reference made by the Ministry of Labour the matter is
under actual consideration of the Ministry of Finance.
petitioners/appellants next contended that there has been inconsistency in
membership position indicated from annual report for 1996-97 and it was pointed
out that in the Valuation Report :
data was made available and that representative character of sample data could
not be verified;
of Government contribution to pension fund in public account is notional than
from EPFO actuary on exemption applications be encouraged in processing the
exemption cases and disposal accelerated.
rightly clarified by the respondents, the figure of 1,87,24,000 reported for
the period ending 31.3.1995 as per Annual Report is the total membership of the
provident fund and in respect of ceased Employees' Family Pension Scheme the
membership as on 15.11.1995 is 1,63,81,000 and the balance represents the
number of provident fund members who did not opt for and joined the old family
pension scheme of 1971. There is thus no inconsistency as regards the membership
position as alleged by the petitioners/appellants.
clear that the report while referring to certain difficulties in the working of
the scheme during initial growing period has noticed operational limitations.
the panel of actuaries on being satisfied endorsed the valuation result and the
Government announced a raise of 4% in the pension payment. At any rate these
difficulties do not constitute a legal challenge to the validity of the scheme.
Government makes its contribution on an annual basis by crediting its
contribution to the public account as per statutory provision. Deposit in
public account is an investment and earns interest at the rate decided by the
Government at the relevant time. It is, therefore, incorrect to say that the
Government contribution is notional only.
submitted that investment in PSU bonds and State Government securities of
States with poor fiscal States like those of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh raises
doubt about its soundness. However, inasmuch as the relevant investments are
done as per statutory provision, there is no substance in this contention.
question that the actuary has assumed higher rate of interest earning in
developing the scheme and the interest rates are falling substantially endangering
sustainability of the fund position and that the Actuary has already cautioned
as to the possible reduction in pension relief quantum in future years due to
reduction in interest earning. Inasmuch as vagaries in interest rate was
considered by the Actuary at the time of formulation of the Scheme and
necessary cushion provided to take care of such contingencies, the matter need
not be examined further. The scheme is successful and solvent which is apparent
from successive valuation reports and the fact that in every consecutive year a
raise has been given and is being given.
(C) No. 22316/1997, 962/1998, 204-205/1999 and 13161/1998 Employees' Writ
Petitions challenging the validity of Employees Provident Fund and
Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act 1996 and Employees' Pensions Scheme,
1995 were dismissed by the High Court and their claims for exemption from the
Scheme were also rejected. The High Court also observed that the dismissal of
the Writ Petitions shall not stand in the way of the managements concerned
approaching the competent authorities for according exemption from the scheme
by satisfying such authorities with particulars relating to their own scheme
and substantiating that such benefits on the whole are not less favourable to
the employees than the benefit provided under the Act or the Family Pension
Scheme relating to employees in any other similar establishment.
uphold the view taken by the High Courts and dismiss these petitions.
(c) 11823-11825/1997 This special leave petition has been filed by the Union of
India. Writ Petition filed by the Employees challenging the validity of
Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act 1996 and
Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995 are pending in the Calcutta High Court. The
Division Bench of the High Court directed to maintain status quo regarding
implementation of the Employees Pension Scheme limited to the establishments
who are respondents before the High Court in the Writ Petitions.
petition is against interim order. In the light of the orders made by us above,
it is unnecessary to give any particular direction since this petition has now
become infructuous and shall stand disposed of. The High Court of Calcutta is
directed to disposed of the same in accordance with the orders made by us.
(C) No. 612/97, 570/98, 56/99, 152/99, 266/99, 428/99, 490/99, 378/2000, T.C.
No. 15/98, 4/99, 11-12/99, 514/98, 29/98, 31/98, 32/98, 33/98, 56/98, 61/98,
51/99, 57/99 (1) Validity of the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous
Provisions (Amendment) Act 1996 and Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995 has been
challenged by the employees/unions.
light of the orders made by us above, the validity of the schemes is upheld.
Excepting in the establishment concerned in T.C. 15/98, all other concerned
establishments have their own Pension Schemes.
Petition No. 490/99 is filed by the management of ONGC Limited. The management
adopted its own scheme called "Post Retirement and Death in Service
Benefit Scheme" and sought exemption from Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995.
The exemption has been rejected by the Government. The management has prayed
for exemption from operation of Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995.
establishments which have their own Pension Schemes apply to the concerned
authorities, the concerned authorities shall examine the same in the light of
what we have stated above.
writ petitions and transferred cases are disposed of accordingly.
(C) 544/98 and 651/98 Writ Petition 544/98 has been filed by the management of
Centre for Women Development Studies and Writ Petition 651/98 has been filed by
the management of Machine Tools (India) Ltd. wherein validity of the Employees'
Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act 1996 and Employees'
Pension Scheme, 1995 has been challenged.
view of the orders made by us above, the validity of the scheme is upheld.
These writ petitions are dismissed accordingly.
Nos. 372/98, 379/98, 412/93, 591/98, 690/98, 486/99, 354/99, T.C.Nos.10/98,
13/98, 14/98, 16/98, 17/98, 18/98, 19/98, 20/98, 26/98, 27/98, 28/98, 34/98,
35/98, 36/98, 39/98, 41/98, 42/98, 43/98, 44/98, 45/98, 46/98, 47/98, 48/98,
49/98, 50/98, 51/98, 52/98,53/98, 54/98, 57/98, 58/98, 59/98, 60/98, 62/98,
2/99, 3/99, 5/99, 6/99, 7/99, 14/99, 50/99, 52/99, 53/99, 54/99, 55/99, 58/99,
21/2000, 22/2000, T.P.(C) Nos. 575-584/98, 759/98, 775/98, 900/98, 903/98,
359/99 Validity of the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions
(Amendment) Act, 1996 and Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995 has been challenged
by the Employees/Unions.
view of the orders made by us above, the validity of the scheme is upheld.
These writ petitions and transferred cases are dismissed accordingly.
of the Transfer Petitions shall stand dismissed.
some of the petitions and transferred cases, the question raised, in addition
to the validity of the schemes which we have now upheld, is as regards the
exemption claimed by them on the basis that the schemes framed in the
respective establishments are better than the schemes available under the Acts.
have perused the orders made by the concerned authorities and have found that
they have not taken into consideration the necessary facts which require to be
considered in a matter of this nature. Therefore, we set aside all those orders
whether affirmed by the High Courts or not in writ proceedings and remit the
same to the concerned authorities for fresh disposal in accordance with law
after giving due opportunity to all parties concerned.
cases and petitions shall stand dismissed, except those in which claim is made
with respect to exemption and they are allowed to the extent indicated herein.