Delhi High Court recently held that employees of an autonomous body that is funded to its full conformity by the government cannot be compared or treated at par with employees of the central government with respect to pension. The Division Bench comprising of Justices Muralidhar and Talwant Singh ruled that pension benefits under the Civil Services Act cannot be stretched to autonomous bodies without the consensus of the Ministry of Finance.
In the instant case, two writ petitions were filed pleading to extend the Civil Services (Pension) Rules Act, 1972 to Autonomous Bodies whereupon, the Petitioners, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting contended that such Autonomous Bodies are instituted to carry out government functions and the said autonomy is provided to do so in accordance to what they deem fit for the circumstances at hand. Hence, employees of such an Autonomous Body cannot be given the same treatment as central government employees.
It was also contended that the Autonomous Bodies have their own set of pension rules governing them and hence would burden the pockets of exchequer if the Civil Service Pension Rules were to be extended to them. Also, since the Respondent institute was appointed with the condition of entitlement of the benefits given under Contributory Provident Fund Scheme; shift to GPF-cum-Pension Scheme cannot be claimed as a matter of right. The Respondents herein argued that since the Autonomous Body has been funded by the government, they should be considered under Pension Rules. The Court denied all relief to the Respondent in lieu of the CPF Scheme already prevailing and lack of concurrence of the Ministry of Finance to extend the GPF-cum-Pension Scheme.