UNION OF INDIA Vs. S L VERMA
LAWS(SC)-2006-11-172
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on November 28,2006

UNION OF INDIA Appellant
VERSUS
S L VERMA Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

N C BAKSHI VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2014-4-121] [REFERRED TO]
A K SHARMA VS. UOI [LAWS(DLH)-2008-8-152] [REFERRED TO]
MANOJ PANT VS. JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY [LAWS(DLH)-2022-2-233] [REFERRED TO]
SUDHABEN WILLIAMBHAI BARAIYA VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2022-9-1803] [REFERRED TO]
MANSUKH DHANJIBHAI CHHATRALIA VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2020-1-50] [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA VS. ASSOCIATION OF THE EMPLOYEES OF INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MASS COMMUNICATION [LAWS(DLH)-2019-10-58] [REFERRED TO]
KANTA BATRA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2014-4-250] [REFERRED TO]
RAJIV RAIZADA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2021-7-23] [REFERRED TO]
BIR MANI PRASAD SINGH VS. UNION OF INDIA THROUGH CHAIRMAN KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA SANGHATHAN, HEADQUARTER [LAWS(PAT)-2018-4-227] [REFERRED TO]
KRISHNA NARAYANA IYER VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2022-8-1022] [REFERRED TO]
M. BABU, SR. ACCOUNTS OFFICER VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(KER)-2017-6-121] [REFERRED TO]
T.M. SAMPATH VS. SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES [LAWS(SC)-2015-1-87] [REFERRED TO]
UNIVERSITY OF DELHI VS. SHASHI KIRAN [LAWS(SC)-2022-5-37] [REFERRED TO]
M.S. PANWAR VS. CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL [LAWS(RAJ)-2018-1-12] [REFERRED TO]
SHASHI KIRAN AND ORS VS. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS [LAWS(DLH)-2016-8-485] [REFERRED]
ASIM KUMAR PAL VS. INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT, CALCUTTA [LAWS(CAL)-2020-2-194] [REFERRED TO]
UOI VS. AMIT MUKHERJI [LAWS(DLH)-2013-5-233] [REFERRED TO]
INDIAN SCHOOL OF MINES UNIVERSITY TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(JHAR)-2014-3-33] [REFERRED TO]
R.N. VIRMANI VS. UNIVERSITY OF DELHI [LAWS(DLH)-2014-4-249] [REFERRED TO]
ALL ORISSA STATE BANK OFFICERS HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY VS. STATE OF ODISHA [LAWS(ORI)-2020-7-2] [REFERRED TO]
PRAVINCHANDRA MANILAL PATEL VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2007-3-6] [RELIED ON]


JUDGEMENT

S.B. Sinha, J. - (1.)The respondent Nos. 1 to 13 were employees of Bureau of Indian Standards. The said authority was created under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986. Although a statutory authority, it is said to be under the administrative control of Ministry of Consumer Affairs. Respondent Nos. 1 to 13 were members of Contributory Provident Fund Scheme (CPF Scheme). The respondent No. 14 i.e., the Bureau of Indian Standards, which is an Autonomous Body, pursuant to and in furtherance of an Office Memorandum dated 1.5.1987 Issued by the Government of India asked its employees to give their option whether to continue under the Provident Fund Scheme or not. The said Office Memorandum dated 2.5.1987 assumes importance in view of the language used therein to which we intend to immediately advert to. The Office Memorandum is prefaced with calling for repeated options in the past asking the employees to switch over to the pension scheme. It was mentioned that such option had been asked for on 6.6.1985. The Central Government notices that despite the same, some of the employees still continued in the CPF Scheme. It further notices the recommendations of the Fourth Central Pay Commission to the effect that CPF beneficiaries in service on 1.1.1986 would be deemed to have switched over to the pension scheme on that date unless they specifically opt out to continue under the CPF Scheme. It is not in dispute that the said recommendations of the Fourth Central Pay Commission had been accepted by the Central Government and the same is applicable to the employees of the respondent No. 14. Bureau of Indian Standards. Paragraph 3 and paragraph 3.2 of the said Office Memorandum read as under:
All CPF beneficiaries, who were in service on 1.1.1966 and who are still in service on the date of issue of these orders will be deemed to have come over to the Pension Scheme.

The employees of the category mentioned above will, however, have an option to continue under the CPF Scheme, if they so desire. The option will have to be exercised and conveyed to the concerned Head of Office by 30.9.1987 in the form enclosed if the employees wish to continue under the CPF Scheme. If no option is received by the Head of Office by the above date the employees will be deemed to have come over to the Pension Scheme.

(2.)Pursuant to and in furtherance of the said Scheme of the Central Government, the respondent No. 14 made a Regulation known as "Bureau of Indian Standards (Terms and Condition of Service of Employees Regulation, 1988)", Regulation 16 thereof reads as under:
16 Pension- The Employees shall be governed by the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972: provided that the employees who had specifically elected to be governed by the Contributory Provident Fund Rules, (India), 1962, immediately before the date of commencement of these regulations shall continue to be governed under the Contributory Provident Fund Scheme.

(3.)Despite the clear intent and purport of the said Office Memorandum dated 1.5.19S7, the respondent Nos. 1 to 13 herein continued to be treated as if they had still been continuing under the CPF Scheme. The Central Government as also the respondent No. 14. Bureau of Indian Standards have proceeded on some legal misconception that it was obligatory on the part of the said employees to give a positive option for the said purpose. For the first time on 2.2.1999, the respondent No. 14 requested the Union of India for grant of another chance to the respondents to switch over to pension scheme stating that they purported to have exercised their option for CPF Scheme on the cut off date.


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