A long-standing dispute over a pension scheme for Delhi University teachers was put to rest on Wednesday with a judgement of the Delhi High Court.
The court on Wednesday said DU teachers who had opted for a lumpsum pension payment cannot opt for a monthly pension, if they had given their choice in writing to Delhi University within the cut-off date in 1987.
In 1987, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued a memorandum stating that the pension scheme of Delhi University teachers will be changed to a monthly scheme and money would be deducted from their salaries towards a “general provident fund (GPF)” unless teachers opted for a “cumulative provident fund (CPF)”.
The CPF is paid as lumpsum at the time of retirement. The UGC allowed teachers to give their decision in writing within five months — between May 1987 and September 1987. Delhi University, however, granted several extensions for teachers to change their options.
On Wednesday, passing judgement on a group of cases filed by several DU teachers, the High Court bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher held that the extensions granted by Delhi University were invalid, and that teachers who had changed their options after September 1987 could not do so.
“The petitions had created three categories of teachers — those who had given their option to choose CPF before the September cut-off date; those who had changed their option after the cut-off date, and those who had not given any option and had, therefore, by default been given the GPF,” advocate Tanuj Khurana, who represented some of the teachers, said.
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“Those who had initially opted for CPF, but later wanted to change the option were not allowed to do so. There are about 300 teachers, many of them women, who have now been denied the choice to shift to GPF after this judgment,” Khurana said. However, according to Khurana, the judgment also brings relief to a large number of teachers who had chosen CPF after the cut-off date. “They will now get monthly pension,” Khurana said.
While the final order was pronounced on Wednesday, the detailed judgment is expected to be released on Thursday. This will outline the impact the decision will have on various categories of teachers.