Ecircular No.DK/24 17-05-2018
We informed you just a day prior that the judgment in the Banks DR case was listed to be delivered by the SC yesterday (16-5-2018). The judgment came and has not brought joy to the Bank Retirees prior to 1-11-2002. In their case the formula for calculating DR , which was hitherto on a graded basis , was changed to one single rate compensating the price- rise to the extent of 100% from 1-11-2002 for retirees, prospectively from that date. The Pre- Nov -2002 Retirees felt aggrieved and went to Court. The High Court of Calcutta gave a favourable Order saying such differences in rates between retirees separated by time was discriminatory.
The United Bank of India, whose employees had gone to Court , went in appeal to SC and this judgment covers that result, which unfortunately overturned the Calcutta HC judgment. Some grounds spelt out were:
1. The Pre-2002 (Nov) Retirees were governed by a Bi-partite settlement between Employees and the Banks and the tapering DR formula applied in their case was clearly part of that settlement, so it will stay;
2. Bi-partite settlements are a package agreed between two parties, and one party cannot now pick out bits from it to ask for change;
3. Those who had retired prior to Nov 2002 were not parties to the later , 8th Bi-partite settlement and so what changes came up in that settlement cannot be asked for on a selective basis.
4. The SC in its judgment also pointed out that the difference between the two types of DR in any case, was not substantial.
But our pre-97 Retiree members ,need not be unduly worried because, we already have an Interim Relief granted by SC, which is a tacit admission that there is a point in our favour. The Delhi HC judgment against which we have gone in SLP to SC , has also admitted to the point about Discrimination as far as the DR matter of pre-1997 retirees is concerned.
Ours was not a bi-partite settlement spelling out basis for DR compensation as it is in the case of Bank retirees of pre 2011. In fact the judgment here in the Banks' case refers to the DS Nakara case and re-states .....'this division which classifies pensioners into two classes, is not based on any rational principle, and if the rational principle is the one of dividing pensioners with a view to giving something more to persons otherwise equally placed, it would be discriminatory".
It is still unfortunate that the Pre 2002 Bank retirees have been denied the benefit of the 100% DR compensation principle, under the argument that they are separated by two different Bi-partite settlements, which cover their terms of benefits.
I have only breezed through the 41 page SC judgment, so kindly passed on by our friend S K Mazumdar of Kolkatta, so quickly. If there are big omissions or errors in what is stated here, they may be pointed out so that we would make the corrections.
With Greetings D.Krishnan