CAT holds entitled aggrieved constables selected before Dec 2009 to Old Pension Scheme

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Srinagar: Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has held entitled to old pension scheme several policemen who were selected in 2009 as constables but their formal orders were issued only after December 31 of the year due to delay in verification and other prerequisites.

“We find force in the submissions made by counsel for applicants and hold that since the applicants are not at fault for their delay in formal joining, they cannot be discriminated against vis-à-vis their counterparts who could join prior to 01.01.2010,” a bench of the Tribunal comprising Ms Harvinder Kaur Oberoi, Member (J), and Dr Chhabilendra Roul ,Member (A) said.

Several aggrieved candidates had approached the Tribunal through their counsel Lone Altaf with the contention that they were entitled to Old Pension Scheme.

The applicants before the CAT submitted that  they were selected in response to an advertisement notice of 7 February 7, 2009 issued by the Director General of Police J&K whereby applications were invited from eligible candidates for the post of constable.

They said that vide order dated 26 September 2009 the competent authority accorded approval for selection of the candidates as constables and as per the list, their names also figure in it.

All the selected candidates, they said, were directed to report to the Dy Inspector General of Police IRP Kashmir Range at Armed Police Complex Zewan Srinagar, for document verification.

The appointment orders, they said, were, subsequently, issued to them and others who joined the department immediately. Since then they have been discharging their duties with the police department.

While the applicants contended that their formal appointment orders were issued after December 31, 2009 which caused them great prejudice as it made them ineligible for Old Pension Scheme, they said they were governed by SRO 400 dated 24.12.2009, which otherwise was not applicable to them.

The submitted that they were similarly situated to others who are governed by the unamended pension rules as the process of selection was one and such other candidates were also selected through the same appointment process.

Such action of the authorities, they said, was violative of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution.

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