Published on: November 20, 2023 at 17:55 IST
The Allahabad High Court has ruled that an employee’s entitlement to the new General Provident Fund (GPF) Scheme is not defeated by the continued deductions made under the previous Contributory Provident Fund (CPF) Scheme.
The court emphasized that the migration to the GPF Scheme is automatic, and specific evidence, as required by the Office Memorandum, is necessary for an employee to opt to stay under the CPF Scheme.
The bench, consisting of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh and Justice Rajendra Kumar-IV, asserted that the Union of India’s ongoing CPF deductions did not undermine the employee’s substantive right to claim the benefits of the GPF Scheme.
The court highlighted that this legal position arises solely by operation of law, with full enforcement of the legal fiction created by the Office Memorandum.
The case involved a petitioner who, as a Primary Teacher, retired in 2012 and was denied the GPF Scheme’s benefits.
The court noted that migration to the GPF Scheme, as per the Office Memorandum dated 01.09.1988, is automatic for existing employees, unless they exercise the option to remain under the CPF Scheme.
The court stressed the need for specific evidence, such as written duplicates from the employee, to prove the exercise of this option.
The dispute centered on the interpretation of the Office Memorandum, with the court highlighting that the legal fiction created by it is automatic unless the employee provides evidence of choosing the CPF Scheme.
The court rejected reliance on secondary evidence and emphasized that the continued CPF deductions do not override the legal fiction established by the Memorandum.
Referring to Supreme Court decisions and judgments from other High Courts, the Allahabad High Court upheld the employee’s substantive right, emphasizing that the consequence arising from the legal fiction could not be avoided by either party based on the evidentiary rule of acquiescence.
In conclusion, the court dismissed the writ petition, affirming the employee’s right to benefit under the GPF Scheme, and allowed the Union of India to make due deductions contributed under the CPF Scheme while granting GPF Scheme benefits to the respondent.
Case Title: Commissioner Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan v. Central Administrative Tribunal Bench And Another [WRIT – A No. – 20745 of 2019]