After 16 years of legal battle, DU teachers win retirement case: The Tribune India

Tribune press service

New Delhi, May 30

After a protracted legal battle spanning 16 years, a group of Delhi University teachers finally won a pension case after the Supreme Court rejected the university’s appeal against a 2017 High Court verdict. Court of Delhi which was in their favour.

Abandoned University Advocacy

The High Court took 18 months to deliver a verdict on an appeal by DU against a 2017 Delhi High Court verdict in favor of the teachers.

Rejecting Delhi University’s appeal, a bench headed by Judge UU Lalit held that the Shashi Kiran batch of cases and the NC Bakshi batch of cases were rightly decided by the Delhi High Court.

“In view of the circumstances recorded, in our view, the decision rendered by the Divisional Bench of the High Court (Delhi) in the Shashi Kiran batch of cases does not call for any interference except to the extent of the guidance recovery of the contribution under the General Provident Fund (GPF) with simple interest of 8% per annum,” the High Court said.

It all started in May 1987, when the central government issued a notification obliging its employees to switch from the old CPF (Fonds de Prévoyance Contributif) to the GPF, unless the employee deliberately and openly chose to remain in the CPF. The university adopted the plan and made it applicable to its employees. Some faculty at the university and affiliated colleges opted to stay at CPF, while others remained evasive. Under the terms of the plan, all employees other than those who deliberately chose to remain in the CPF were deemed to have transferred to the pension plan after the cut-off date.

In 2006, some teachers of Shivaji College petitioned the High Court of Delhi to claim the application of the pension scheme because although the teachers of this college never exercised the option to remain in the CPF, the university refused to treat them as having converted to the pension scheme in accordance with the applicable central government notification as adopted by Delhi University.

The university has repeatedly unilaterally extended the deadline for exercising the option, causing confusion among teachers. “It is possible that at this time frame, some of the employees in the Shashi Kiran caseload may not be interested in moving to the GPF. But an option must be given to them in any way the authorities deem appropriate,” he added.

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