Supreme Court bars courts from taking up contempt pleas against EPFO

Supreme Court bars courts from taking up contempt pleas against EPFO

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 3

The Supreme Court has restrained courts across India from entertaining contempt petitions against the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and Centre with regard to implementation of judgments that said employees’ pension can’t be capped at Rs 15,000.

This follows the top court’s February 2 decision recalling its order that could have led to higher pension for employees as it had removed the salary ceiling of Rs 15,000 and said it should be proportionate to the last drawn salary.

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“Pending further consideration, no contempt application seeking implementation of any of the orders passed in the aforesaid four categories of matters, shall be taken up by any court,” a Bench headed by Justice UU Lalit said in its February 25 order.

“It is made clear that under no circumstances, the matters shall be adjourned and the matters shall be taken up for hearing on day-to-day basis,” it said.

Posting the matter for further hearing on March 23, the Bench made it clear that no adjournments will be given.

The Kerala High Court had in October 2018 set aside the amendments in the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995, which fixed the maximum pensionable salary at Rs 15,000 per month.

On April 1, 2019, the SC dismissed the appeal filed by the EPFO against the Kerala High Court’s verdict. Both Centre and EPFO filed petitions requesting the top court to review its decision.

The top court had on February 2 allowed the review petitions and decided to reconsider the previous order that permitted grant of provident fund pension proportionate to salary.

The SC is examining afresh the 2018 Kerala High Court judgment required the organisation to pay full pension to retiring employees on the basis of their total salary instead of capping the amount on which a pensioner’s contribution of is calculated at Rs 15,000 a month.

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