The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the contempt proceedings against Delhi University Vice Chancellor, the University Grants Commission and the HRD Ministry in the matter concerning payment of monthly pension under General Provident Fund (GPF) to some 300-odd teachers from around 72 colleges.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta granted stay on the proceedings initiated against them by the Delhi High Court which had in August, 2016 ordered that the retired faculty be covered under the GPF pension scheme.
These teachers had in 1987 opted to continue with cumulative provident fund (CPF), which is paid as lump sum at the time of retirement. The high court ordered that they be now covered under GPF which provides a monthly pension.
Appearing for Delhi University, senior advocate Aman Sinha argued that the “Respondent employees had consciously chosen CPF scheme over GPF and after availing benefit for 30 years to turn around ask for GPF would be legally impermissible against the Judgments of Supreme Court on this issue.”
Sinha also argued that such action will encourage similar demands from large number of Govt employees who have chosen CPF decades back & would play havoc with the system.
Mr Sinha informed that the high court had directed DU, UGC and the HRD ministry to deposit around Rs 50 Crore by July 19 failing which action would be taken against alleged contemnors
The bench has now asked the employees who have been claiming cover under GPF to file their response.
In 1987, the UGC had issued a memorandum stating that the pension scheme for DU teachers will be changed to a monthly scheme and money would be deducted from their salaries towards a GPF, unless teachers opted for a CPF.
A time of five months was granted to all teachers to submit in writing what they wanted to opt – GPF or CPF. Anyone who did not expressly opt for CPF was considered to have moved to GPF.
The faculty who had come to the high court was the one which had chosen CPF. However, on 11 occasions, DU granted opportunities to the faculty to shift to GPF if they so desired but the notices never came to the notice of the aggrieved teachers.
In year 2010, the faculty moved high court seeking the relief. A single judge bench denied them the same but the Division bench of high court reversed the findings.