New Delhi: The benefit of Old Pension Scheme (OPS) in accordance with CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 will be applicable to all the personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), the Delhi High Court ruled on January 12, Livelaw reported.
The court further directed the Centre to issue necessary orders within 8 weeks for the same.
The division bench comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, was hearing a batch of 82 petitions seeking quashing of orders denying the benefit of OPS to personnel of CRPF, BSF, CISF and ITBP.
The court pointed out that the notification dated 22.12.2003 for New Contributory Pension Scheme (NPS) categorically mentioned that ‘the system would be mandatory for all new recruits to the central Government service from 1st of January 2004 (except the armed forces in the first stage)’.
And hence the scheme is not applicable to Armed forces the court ruled.
“Meaning thereby that the Scheme was not applicable to Armed Forces and the Armed Forces will be governed by the Old Pension Scheme already existing. Also, the said Notification stipulated that the scheme shall not be applicable to Armed Forces and they shall be governed by the Old Pension Scheme already existing,” said Delhi high court said.
The court further cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Akhilesh Prasad Vs. Union Territory of Mizoram, (1981) which shows that CRPF is a part of the Armed Forces.
“Also, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, vide Circular dated August 6, 2004 clarified that the Central Forces under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs have been declared as Armed Forces of the Union,” the court said.
The Delhi High court bench further observed that the Office Memorandum issued by the Department of Pension and PW, Government of India dated November 22, 2003, a clarification letter dated December 6, 2004 and an office memorandum dated December 17, 2020, shows that the BSF, CISF, CRPF, ITBP, NSG, Assam Rifles and SSB are part of Central Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Emphasising the importance of safeguarding the interest of armed forces the court said, “having great respect for the personnel of forces, the Courts as well as Government of India, have always ensured that any policy decision should not be detrimental to their interest,” the report said.