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whether the respondents were entitled, as of right, to one more opportunity to switch-over from the Contributory Provident Fund Scheme of which they were members, to the Pension Scheme and the General Provident Fund Scheme implemented by the appellant with effect from 28th November, 1988? – Apex court held that NO – set aside the High court order = CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7483 OF 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No. 29639 of 2012) Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. .…Appellant versus Dwarka Prasad Koolwal & Ors. …Respondents = 2014 Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41819

whether the respondents were entitled, as of right, to one more  opportunity to switch-over from the Contributory Provident Fund  Scheme  of  which  they were members, to the Pension Scheme and the General  Provident  Fund  Scheme implemented by the appellant with effect from 28th November, 1988? – Apex court held that NO – set aside the High court order =

Broadly speaking, the contention  of  the  respondents  is  that  they  were

unaware of the switch-over option since they were posted in remote areas  of

Rajasthan, while the contention of the appellant is that a large  number  of

opportunities extending over 8  years  were  given  to  the  respondents  to

exercise the switch-over option and that they could not claim any  right  to

any further opportunity to make the switch over.

3.    In our opinion, the contention of the appellant must be  accepted  and

the  impugned  judgment  and  order  dated  17th  May,  2012  accepting  the

contention of the respondents has to be set aside.=

There can be no doubt about  this  proposition  but  when  two

schemes are available to an employee, one  being  the  CPF  Scheme  and  the

other being the Pension Scheme, it is for the employee to choose the  scheme

that he feels more comfortable with and appropriate for  his  purposes.   No

employee can switch over back and forth from one scheme to  another  as  per

his convenience.  Once an employee has chosen to be a part of  a  particular

scheme, he continues to remain a member of that scheme unless an  option  to

switch over to another scheme is given to him.

70.   Insofar as the present appeals are concerned, the respondents who  are

members of the CPF Scheme were  given  several  opportunities  of  switching

over to the Pension Scheme and the GPF Scheme under the Pension  Regulations

and the GPF Regulations respectively but they  chose  not  to  do  so.   The

question whether under these circumstances pension is a bounty or a  charity

becomes completely irrelevant.  The entitlement to pension was available  to

the respondents but they chose not to  avail  the  entitlement  for  reasons

personal to them.  Having taken a decision in this  regard  the  respondents

cannot now raise an argument of pension not being  a  bounty  and  therefore

requiring the RSEB to give  them  another  option  to  switch  over  to  the

Pension and GPF Regulations.

71.   Under the circumstances, we find no merit in the contentions urged  by

the respondents and consequently, the appeals of  the  RSEB  deserve  to  be

allowed.

Civil Appeal No.7503/2014 (Arising out of SLP (C)  No.30577  of  2012  (from

Civil Special Appeal (Writ) No.248 of 2012 in CWP No.13401 of 2008)

72.   In this appeal, it is submitted by learned counsel that the facts  are

slightly different from the rest of the appeals.  It was submitted that  the

writ petitioner had submitted his option on 20th  February,  1996  and  that

was forwarded to the concerned authorities on 6th March, 1996.

73.   By a letter dated 10th April, 1996, the writ petitioner  was  informed

that since his option was conditional, it could not be  accepted.  The  writ

petitioner responded to this by making a representation  dated  20th  April,

1996 to the effect that there was no condition attached to the  exercise  of

option. Nevertheless,  he  clarified  that  the  alleged  condition  may  be

treated as deleted and his option  form  may  be  considered.   However,  it

appears that the option form of the writ petitioner was  not  considered  by

the concerned authorities and that led him to file a writ  petition  in  the

Rajasthan High Court.

Civil Appeal No.7570/2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 9990  of  2013   (from

Civil  Special  Appeal (Writ) No. 237 of 2012 in CWP No. 1079 of 2008)

74.   Learned counsel submitted that the writ petitioner  gave  his  switch-

over option well in time and in fact deductions from  his  salary  had  been

made under the GPF Scheme for several months thereafter.

75.   It appears that the reason for not accepting the option given  by  the

writ petitioner was that he had taken a housing loan under  the  CPF  Scheme

and was requested by a letter dated 18th March, 2000 to  return  the  amount

so that his switch-over option could be considered. Since he  failed  to  do

so, his option was not accepted. The writ petitioner denied receipt  of  the

letter dated 18th March, 2000 and reiterated that deductions had  been  made

from his salary under the GPF Scheme.

Civil Appeal No.7564/2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.  9983  of  2013  (from

Civil Special Appeal (Writ) No.257 of 2012 in CWP No. 12230 of 2009)

76.   It is submitted that the writ petitioner exercised his option in  1996

and that was  forwarded  to  the  competent  authority  by  his  controlling

officer (Executive Engineer at Bhilwara)  by  a  letter  dated  30th  March,

1996. Though the option form was received  well  within  time,  it  was  not

accepted.

77.   The entire facts of these cases are not before us nor has the  learned

Single Judge of the High Court specifically discussed these cases.

78.   Consequently, we are not in a position to give any decision  in  these

cases in view of the absence of full facts. We are  of  the  view  that  the

more appropriate course of action to adopt in  these  matters  would  be  to

remand them to a Single Judge of the High Court for fresh  consideration  on

merits after hearing the writ petitioners and the RSEB.

79.   No other distinct or partially dissimilar case was pointed out  to  us

by any learned  counsel  although  the  learned  Single  Judge  has  made  a

reference to a few of them.

Conclusion

80.   All the appeals are allowed but with no order as  to  costs.   Insofar

as Civil Appeals arising out of SLP (C) No.30577 of 2012,  SLP  (C)  No.9990

of 2013 and SLP (C) No.9983 of 2013 are concerned they  are  remitted  to  a

Single Judge of the High Court for a fresh consideration on merits.

2014 Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41819

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