“All Retirees Eligible for EPS 95 Higher Pension | Let us Read this”

Judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of 4th November, 2022:

Page No: 44:

  1. We accordingly hold and direct:-

(i) The provisions contained in the Notification No: G.S.R. 609(E), dated: 22nd August, 2014 are legal and valid. So far as “present members” (i.e., those who are members of EPS,’95 as on 4th Novermber, 2022, the date of the Judgement) are concerned, we have read down certain read down certain provisions of the scheme as applicable in their cases and we shall give our findings and directions on these provisions in the sebsequent sub-paragraphs.

Page No: 48:

There was uncertainty as regards the validity of the post amendment scheme, which was quashed by the aforesaid judgements of the three High Courts. Thus, all the employees who did not exercise option but were entitled to do so but could not due to the interpretation on cut-off date by the authorities, ought to be given a further chance to exercise their option. Time to exercise option under Paragraph 11(4) of the scheme, under these circumstances, stall be “extended” by a further period of “four months.” We are giving this direction in exercise of our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

Rest of the requirements as per the amended provision shall be complied with.

Comment: On combined reading of the above two paras, the beneficiary of the Judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of 4th November, 2022, should be an “Employee as on 4th November, 2022”, who not only exercised option under Proviso to Para No: 11(3) as per the judgement of 4th October, 2016 in Sri R.C. Gupta & Others case (especially those who are from Exempted Establishments due to the letter of 31st May, 2017) and also could not further opt under Para No: 11(4) due to the interpretation of the cut-off date by the authorities.

But EPFO extended the benefit of the Judgement of 4th November, 2022, even to those who are on rolls as on 1st September, 2014 and subsequently attained 58 years but before 4th November, 2022.

Page No: 50:

(ix) We agree with the view taken by the Division Bench in the case of R.C. Gupa (supra) so far as interpretation of the Proviso to Paragraph 11(3) (pre-amendment) pension scheme (pension scheme to which employee attained 58 years on or before 31-08-2014 belongs) is concerned. The fund authorities shall the directives contained in the said judgement within a period of eight weeks, subject to our directions contained earlier in this paragraph.

Beneficaries of the Judgement of Sri R.C. Gupta & Others delivered on 4th October, 2016:

(a) Employees who attained 58 years on or before 31-08-2014, who have to exercise option “only” under Proviso to Paragraph 11(3)

(b) Employees on rolls as on 01-09-2014, who can exercise only only under Proviso to Para No: 11(3) and to further opt under Para No: 11(4) which is further requirement for them as on the date of the judgement of 4th October, 2016, as the amendments implemented from 01-09-2014 were under adjudication as on 4th October, 2016 in the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala which delivered its judgement on 12th October, 2018 i.e., after more than 2 years.

Page No: 48

(v) The employees who had retired prior to 1st September, 2014, without exercising any option under Paragraph 11(3) of the pre-amendment scheme have already exited from the membership thereof. They would not be entitled to the benefit of “this” judgement.

Comment: Here the meaning of the word “this” is the judgement of 4th Novembr, 2022 is confined only to amendments implemented w.e.f. 01-09-2014 to which (amendments) those who attained 58 years on or before 31st August, 2014 are noway concerned.

This is the meaning when the above two Paras of the Judgement are read on combination.

Hence those who attained 58 years on or before 31st August, 2014 are entiled to Higher Pension as per the Judgement of 4th October, 2016 in Sri R.C. Gupta & Others which is still “alive” and not challenged by EPFO.

This is the interpretation made by the Employees who attained 58 years on or before 31-08-2014 “including me” soon after the Judgement of 4th November, 2022. But EPFO misinterpreted the Judgement in this case and denied the benefit of Higher Pension.

Now Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Indore, though its Judgement on 6th October, 2023, upheld, despite citing the Judgement of 4th November, 2022 by EPFO before it (Court) that Employees who attained 58 years on or before 31st August, 2014 are entitled for Higher Pension.

Even on Review Petition filed by EPFO, the Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Indore stood its ground and upheld its own judgement of 6th October, 2023 on 11th March, 2024.

G. Srinivasa Rao, Mobile No: 89851 72459 and WhatsApp No: 6300114361

“EPFO can be said to have misintepreted the Judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of Employees who attained 58 years “on or before 31-08-2014”

Judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of 4th November, 2022:

Page No: 44:

  1. We accordingly hold and direct:-

(i) The provisions contained in the Notification No: G.S.R. 609(E), dated: 22nd August, 2014 are legal and valid. So far as “present members” (i.e., those who are members of EPS,’95 as on 4th Novermber, 2022, the date of the Judgement) are concerned, we have read down certain read down certain provisions of the scheme as applicable in their cases and we shall give our findings and directions on these provisions in the sebsequent sub-paragraphs.

Page No: 48:

There was uncertainty as regards the validity of the post amendment scheme, which was quashed by the aforesaid judgements of the three High Courts. Thus, all the employees who did not exercise option but were entitled to do so but could not due to the interpretation on cut-off date by the authorities, ought to be given a further chance to exercise their option. Time to exercise option under Paragraph 11(4) of the scheme, under these circumstances, stall be “extended” by a further period of “four months.” We are giving this direction in exercise of our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

Rest of the requirements as per the amended provision shall be complied with.

Comment: On combined reading of the above two paras, the beneficiary of the Judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of 4th November, 2022, should be an “Employee as on 4th November, 2022”, who not only exercised option under Proviso to Para No: 11(3) as per the judgement of 4th October, 2016 in Sri R.C. Gupta & Others case (especially those who are from Exempted Establishments due to the letter of 31st May, 2017) and also could not further opt under Para No: 11(4) due to the interpretation of the cut-off date by the authorities.

But EPFO extended the benefit of the Judgement of 4th November, 2022, even to those who are on rolls as on 1st September, 2014 and subsequently attained 58 years but before 4th November, 2022.

Page No: 50:

(ix) We agree with the view taken by the Division Bench in the case of R.C. Gupa (supra) so far as interpretation of the Proviso to Paragraph 11(3) (pre-amendment) pension scheme (pension scheme to which employee attained 58 years on or before 31-08-2014 belongs) is concerned. The fund authorities shall the directives contained in the said judgement within a period of eight weeks, subject to our directions contained earlier in this paragraph.

Beneficaries of the Judgement of Sri R.C. Gupta & Others delivered on 4th October, 2016:

(a) Employees who attained 58 years on or before 31-08-2014, who have to exercise option “only” under Proviso to Paragraph 11(3)

(b) Employees on rolls as on 01-09-2014, who can exercise only only under Proviso to Para No: 11(3) and to further opt under Para No: 11(4) which is further requirement for them as on the date of the judgement of 4th October, 2016, as the amendments implemented from 01-09-2014 were under adjudication as on 4th October, 2016 in the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala which delivered its judgement on 12th October, 2018 i.e., after more than 2 years.

Page No: 48

(v) The employees who had retired prior to 1st September, 2014, without exercising any option under Paragraph 11(3) of the pre-amendment scheme have already exited from the membership thereof. They would not be entitled to the benefit of “this” judgement.

Comment: Here the meaning of the word “this” is the judgement of 4th Novembr, 2022 is confined only to amendments implemented w.e.f. 01-09-2014 to which (amendments) those who attained 58 years on or before 31st August, 2014 are noway concerned.

This is the meaning when the above two Paras of the Judgement are read on combination.

Hence those who attained 58 years on or before 31st August, 2014 are entiled to Higher Pension as per the Judgement of 4th October, 2016 in Sri R.C. Gupta & Others which is still “alive” and not challenged by EPFO.

This is the interpretation made by the Employees who attained 58 years on or before 31-08-2014 “including me” soon after the Judgement of 4th November, 2022. But EPFO misinterpreted the Judgement in this case and denied the benefit of Higher Pension.

Now Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Indore, though its Judgement on 6th October, 2023, upheld, despite citing the Judgement of 4th November, 2022 by EPFO before it (Court) that Employees who attained 58 years on or before 31st August, 2014 are entitled for Higher Pension.

Even on Review Petition filed by EPFO, the Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Indore stood its ground and upheld its own judgement of 6th October, 2023 on 11th March, 2024.

G. Srinivasa Rao, Mobile No: 89851 72459 and WhatsApp No: 6300114361