September 20, 2021

High Court Notice to Punjab on the plea seeking Old Pension for former Zila Parishad teachers

High Court Notice to Punjab on the plea seeking Old Pension for former Zila Parishad teachers
Chandigarh : Upon hearing a Writ Petition filed by Sarbjit Singh, ETT Teacher of Govt.Primary School,Mallian Fakiraan in District Gurdaspur and others, challenging the imposition of New Pension Scheme (NPS) as applicable to post-January 2004 appointees in Punjab upon them,
Justice Mahabir Singh Sindhu of Punjab & Haryana High Court has issued notice of motion to the Finance, Personnel, Education Secretaries of Punjab besides others for 14th December 2021.
Counsel for the petitioners contended that the petitioners ,268 in number, were appointed by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat during the year 2006-07 to be appointed in various Zila Parishads – autonomous bodies on regular basis.Their services were ordered to be governed by Punjab Panchayati Raj Institutions Primary Teachers (Recruitment & Conditions of Services) Rules 2006 and Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Parishads Employees Pension and Provident Fund Rules 2000 which entitles them for the benefit of Contributory Provident Fund Scheme and the pension as admissible to the regular employees under Punjab Civil Services Rules. Owing to a State Policy,the services of petitioners were ordered to be mandatorily merged in the State’s Education Department in the year 2014 with protection to their pay, pension etc. However, on the merger the NPSwas imposed upon them with effect from January 2015 in view of the the State’s policy which provides for NPS on the employees recruited on or after 1st Jan 2004. While doing so another instructions issued by Finance Department on 23rd February 2017 were ignored which provides that the employees recruited prior to 09.07.2012 would be entitled for Old Pension Scheme under Punjab Civil Services Rules. It was contended that since petitioners were appointed in Zila Parishad(s)-an autonomous body hence they were entitled for benefit of Old Pension Scheme and imposition of New Pension Scheme upon them is illegal, unjust and against Government Instructions issued on February 23rd February 2017.