‘Pension-denied’ DU employees want PM to intervene

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Retired employees of Delhi University (DU) on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to settle the issue of their pension, which is being held back for months, while for some, it has been years.

“Our grievance is that it (DU) is acting arrogantly, in total disregard of the judgements of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Delhi,” wrote the employees in their letter to the Prime Minister.

They said that previous judgements of the two courts, which were in favour of the retirees, asked the university to regularise their pension.

A Delhi High Court double-bench judgement had on August 24 last year upheld a similar ruling from a single-judge bench on April 30, 2014.

The contention has its roots in an order of the central government, dated May 1, 1987, which stated that “all CPF (Contributory Provident Fund) beneficiaries… will be deemed to have come over to the Pension Scheme” from the said date, unless a request is made against joining the scheme until September 30 of the same year.

“The university, however, misinterpreted the order and kept the choice open for employees to switch over to CPF even much after the cut-off date and kept on asking employees through circulars (11 times, until 1999 when it stopped) whether they want pension or CPF.

“This was totally illegal,” Amarnath Gupta, a retired Associate Professor from Shyamlal College of the university and an active member of DUTA Pension Committee, told IANS.

“The employees who chose CPF during this period could not do so, since according to the 1987 central government order, which said all those who did not explicitly intimate the university of their choice of remaining in the CPF before September 30, 1987, automatically came into the pension scheme after that cut-off date,” Gupta said.

Another university professor said he has not received his pension for the last two years.

“The university told me that the pension cannot be given as the matter is sub-judice. I haven’t received my pension since March 31, 2014 when I retired,” Anand Swaroop, an Associate Professor, who taught commerce, told IANS.

Employees complained that even after five months since the high court judgement in August last, the university is yet to start disbursing pension of the employees and has been dilly-dallying since then.

“They are avoiding giving pension to the employees. The university has made a grave mistake in misinforming the employees when it issued those circulars, which it was not empowered to,” said Gupta, who retired in October last year.

Gupta is being asked by the university to settle the matter by taking the full and final retirement amount of Rs 30 lakh, according to the CPF scheme, which he has refused to take and has instead demanded regular pension.

The protestors, rallying under the banners of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) and Delhi University College Karamchari Union (DUCKU), also took out a march to the Vice Chancellor’s office and submitted a copy of the complaint to him.