DU bound to challenge HC order on pension issue: VC

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New Delhi, Aug 22: Following an official memorandum from the Department of Pensions& Pensioners Welfare, Delhi University Vice Chancellor has said the varsity is bound to challenge the recent High Court order allowing the staff to avail GPF scheme even if they have not opted for it.

"The MHRD on July 7 had forwarded an Office Memorandum dated June 23, 2014 issued by the Department of Pensions & Pensioners Welfare, directing that those persons who continued to remain in CPF after the cut-off date in 1987 are to be treated as those who exercised a 'deemed option' to continue in CPF and therefore not entitled to pensions," VC Dinesh Singh said in an open letter to the varsity staff.

"As a result of this direction by the Government, the University is bound to file an appeal to challenge the High Court order," he added.

The decision to challenge the HC judgement was taken at the varsity's Executive Council (EC) Meeting on August 14 and has been attracting criticism from the teachers as an anti-employee move.

In 1987, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued an official memorandum stating that the pension scheme for DU teachers would be changed to a monthly scheme and money would be deducted from employees' salaries for payment towards a "general provident fund (GPF)" unless they opted for a "cumulative provident fund (CPF)", which is paid as a lump sum at the time of retirement.

UGC had allowed teachers five months -- between May and September 1987 -- to give their decision in writing. DU, however, granted several extensions for teachers to change their options.

The high court, in a judgement this April, allowed the staffers to avail of the benefits even if they had not opted for the scheme.

A single-judge bench of high court had divided the petitioners into three categories -- those who exercised the CPF option after the deadline, those who exercised it within the deadline and those who did not exercise the option at all.

On May 27, DU had constituted a task force chaired by the treasurer for suggesting ways for implementation of the HC judgement. However, on recommendations of task force the EC decided to challenge the judgement.

"Those who chose not to avail the options then, but after nearly 20 years petitioned the Court to declare these options granted by the University as invalid, are now covered by the new Office Memorandum on the basis of which the University is bound to challenge this order in the Court," the VC said.

PTI

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