Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dear friends,
Sorry for updating the blog so late.
Our fight with the union of india and the management has come to an end with the referee reserving the decision. It is something which we were expecting for such a long time and now has come to an end after exactly 10 years from our taking VRS and 8 years from the date we have filed our petition in supreme court and then we came back and filed in different High Courts. How many people have involved themselves in this struggle and how much of physical and mental strain our representatives of different states and places have put and the way our executive committee members worked and also from the other states representatives worked to bring it to the natural end at Supreme court. How many criticisms we crossed and how many associations were formed with varies approach to fight but We proved to one and all that only and only NISVRREA can bring results and one by one Associations supported our effort when the case has come to the final stage.

We should thank all those who were with us and i take this opportunity to do the same. I on behalf of the Officebearers and executive members and other activists thank from bottom of my heart, all those who were with us in this great fight with the management and i feel this will go deep in to the History of struggles and that too by Retired employees of the Insurance industry. I am proud to say that and we can walk with our heads high in the midst of those so called Unions and Associations of the insurance industry who pretend to protect the rights of the employees without realizing that they will also come to our fold one day.

Now that our arguments are over and every body have started asking and all of them are eager to know what happened in the court and what will be the result etc etc. Friends, even though i will not be able to give you word by word commentary as to what happened in court I can give you the two sides of main arguments and I now start describing the scene from day one.

It was 20 th Feb Thursday, and we were all present in the court.ie. Mr. Parthiban Adv from Chennai, Mr.Gautham Narayan junior councel, and Mr.V.Giri Senior Councel with whom we spearheaded our charge against the union of india and management and myself. In the Respondents side Mr. Anthi Arujna with his counsels to assist from Duo Associates representing the management of 3 companies other than New india, and Mr. Jaideep Gupta, Senior counsel for New India, Mrs. Sunita Rao representing the Union of india.
There was a case before ours and we were praying God that it should be finished early so that we will be heard next. Yes that case was adjourned and our case started exactly at 10 55 am, with the bench consists of Honb'le Judges Sri.Dave and Sri.Siva Kirti Singh asking us to begin our arguments. I was praying for this moment all along these 8 years and it has now come. Both the judges were very much attentive and listned to our Senior counsel's argument. The argument went througout the day. We started with the Nationalisation of the industry and explained about the schemes for rationalisation of the salary structure from 1974 to till date and the salient features of the scheme. We also explained about the 1995 Pension scheme and its salient features. We made it clear to the Judges that the revision of schemes were done after the due date and it was always retrospective. As well we explained about the Normal VRS and Super annuation. Then Our Counsel explained about the SVRS scheme and its salient features such as the eligibility, quantum of Ex-gratia and about the arrears of Ex-gratia when wages are revised. We continued explaining the clause 6 of the SVRS and about Pension, P.F., and Gratuity. We also insisted upon the judges that these three are governed by seperate Acts and managed by an independent Fund. and they are our statutory rights and denial of these rights are violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. Then we concentrated on Clause 8 (xiv) of the SVR Scheme, which was the main defence of the Management. We clearly explained that this clause will operate Only within the SVRS scheme and it cannot curtail any benefits like Wage arrears, P.F, Gratuity or Pension. We also explained that the Jural relationship continues, as we are pensioners and the company continues to cover Medical etc. Then we gave examples of case laws viz. Nakara, Deokinandan, Sheelkumar jain, Sanwar lal, Mohan das and our recent case which we won in Kripal singh. 

We concluded our arguments the next day by 11.45 am and then Managements' counsel Shri.Anthi Arjuna statrted his onslaught, concentrated on the severing of the Jural relationship once we got the Ex-gratia (including the Arrs.) and quoted it is a contract and nothing can be claimed after the receipt of the declared amounts as per the SVR scheme. He claimed this as Golden Hand Shake and insisted that it is Full and Final settlement as per clause 8(xiv) and argued that it was made clear to employees that nothing else can be claimed after. He depended mainly on the cases of  HEC, A.K.Bindal and ITI. for their Defence, and stressed that they have the power to Amend the Scheme and as per 2005 Scheme - clause(3) 2, we are not eligible for the payment of Arrears. Because we are not eligible for Arrears, we are also not eligible for consequential benefits like Pension, P.F., Gratuity etc. He reitirated that there is no violation of Section 14 of the Constitution which speaks about equality before Law. After Sri.Anthi Arjuna finished his arguments at around 3 45 pm. Mr.Jaideep Gupta representing New India management adding to the arguments of Senior Counsel Sri. Anthi Arjuna mainly concentrated on Section 17 A of the Nationalisation Act and the court rose at 4 pm.

On 27th the day of Maha Sivratri, Sri. Jaideep Gupta started his arguments on Government's powers to Amend the Act and repeated the same arguments of the Senior Counsel, just to stress upon the points against us. Smt. Sunita Rao, supported the arguments of the two senior Counsels and concluded. By 11.30 am, Mr. Giri, our Senior Counsel started the counter arguments taking cue from the arguments of Sri Anthi Arjuna who spearheaded the Defence. He broke the arguments of Sri Anthi Arjuna, explaining, the Judges that the Judgement in  HEC, ITI and A.K.Bindal were given, basing on the reason that they are all Sick Units and there is no Pensionary benefits in those companies and they are all not coming under Statute, but under Industrial Disputes act where a written agreement was there. Continuing he said, in our case the Scheme is Unilateral and we are coming under statute. We have continued relationship by way of Pension and our Pension is attachable. He quoted from the same HEC case they referred for their Defense, wherein the judges have very clearly stated 'Unless coming under Statute the employees have no claim for the arrears of Wages' and said that the petitioners are covered under statute and we are eligible. The Jural relationship continues here and it was only an afterthought for the companies to restrict the benefits after we went on SVRS. He concluded that a benefit given under different Acts can not be taken away by an amendment subsequent to the SVR scheme. We are clearly differentiated by the Amendment and it is Violative of Art.14. We are forming a Homgeneous group with Normal VRS beneficiaries and super annuated pensioners. Thus clause 3 (2) of the 2005 Amendment Scheme is violative of Art.14.and should be scrapped. With the above thrustful arguments our senior counsel concluded the arguments and the Judges asked us to give written submissions before Wednesday the 5th of March. 
Friends, I have given the picture of the court proceedings to you all, to that extent possible i could, and our only request is to pray God for the favorable result. The judgement may take a month or so as per the experience goes. Let us wait and pray Almighty and only Prayers can do wonders. 
with regards
nagarajan
nisvrrea 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dear friends,
We are very happy to note that our case was heard the whole day on the Thursday the 20th of Febraury, by our Honb"le Judges Sri.Dave and Kirti singh. After adjourning the first case to 24 th Feb our case was taken up at 10 55 am, there were some initial hickups but the judges, ourselves and the respondents were eager to start the case, so it started smoothly and our Senior Advocate Sri.Giri, accompanies by Sri V.Parthiban from Chennai, Sri Dayan Krishnan and Gautham Narayan from Delhi, with some juniors to help our advocates, started the argument. There was no interference from either from Respondents' Advocate Sri.Andhi Arjuna representing Dua Associates,Jaideep Gupta or from the Governments side represented by Adv.Sri.Sunita Rao.There were also other advocate representing for the petitioners Sri Gonsalves Sr.Adv. Our Argument went on till 1 pm in the morning and upto 4 pm in the evening without any interruption. The judges noted all the important points and in between asked some clarifications. We are happy and satisfied with our presentation and it would continue on the 26th of Feb also. and the respodents will be giving their point of view and after that we should counter their contention and the case will come to a close.
We should wait for the judgement and it may take a month or so.

Friends the longest struggle taken to this level by a non political Association will come in to the History that too by the pensioners and our victory will be a land mark judgement and will guide all the VRS optees under Golden Hand shake.

Our duty is to Pray the Almighty for the favorable judgement.

with regards
nagarajan
nisvrea

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dear friends,
There were queries about the case we won in Supreme Court for those who were pension optees,  opted for SVRS but did not complete 20 years of service, which was the criteria for Voluntary Retirement as per our Pension Scheme. The management denied them the proportionate pension.
We took up this case, filing cases at Chandigarh and Chennai through our members. In Chandigarh we won and the management went to Supreme Court on appeal. Our Madras petition we tagged and the Association fought in Supreme court. The petition of the Companies were dismissed. and we won the case.
The resultant benefit is People who went on Svrs with less than 20 years of service will get a relief as below.
The Svr-optees who complete 15 years of service will get the proportionate pension for their actual service put in. As per the judgement the 5 years notional credit will be given to them ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ELIGIBILITY AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CALCULATION OF PENSION. and will be paid the proportionate pension for their actual service.

Please contact your friends in the industry who comes under these guideline and ask them to approach the Association for relief, as we have decided to approach the management with the list of SVRS optees who comes under this category.

I feel this will clear all doubts about this case.

Another Good development is that our main case is now listed under Hon'ble Justice Gokhala's Bench consist of Shri. Misra, on 15th as second case for the day. Association is taking all steps to get the case heard on the day. I appeal to all the members to pray for the good.

with regards
nagarajan
NISVREA 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dear friends
In case filed for the benefit of SVRs optees who came out without completing 20years in supreme court, we have won today and the judgement was delivered today by the Honble Judge Sri. Thakur. Details are awaited and please contact us for further details.
nagarajan
nisvrea

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dear friends,
We are extremely sorry for not updating the blog. We were so busy with preparing statistics to be given to the Counsel at his request and also continuous travel to Delhi every week took our energy out. Let me appraise you the happenings after our Oct 24 th hearing.

After October 24 th the case was posted to 13th November, when our case was no.1 listed for the day, to our disappointment the second judge Shri Chellameshwar was not well and he was replaced by Shri Kurian Joseph that day. Even though we were well prepared for the case we had the apprehension whether we should go for the trial or seek adjournment. since if this case is heard by this bench the same bench should hear if the case is not finished the same day and it is most likely that it will continue for the second day also as there are 3 petitioners and 3 Respondents to give their arguments. Hence we went to the court with lot of apprehensions in our mind and to our advantage judges themselves asked us whether the case can be concluded the same day and we told them our inability quoting the reasons stated above. After due consultations within themselves they adjourned it to 27th Nov.
We went to Delhi on 23rd itself and had conference with the Senior Counsel in the morning as the counsel would not be able to be present on 26th to have conference.  By that time we finished we got information that the counsel for the Respondents Adv.Andhi Arjuna was appointed as Amicus Curie for the Coal block case and the case is listed for 27th and management advocate would seek  adjournment.
Hence we waited till 26th, when the mentioning for adjournment will be taken, and we opposed vehemently stating that we are pensioners and many people have lost their lives even without seeing the light of the case and the Respondents are taking adjournment for the sixth time. But since the appointment was by the Supreme Court themselves we could not do anything more, but we wanted to have the case on 5th December or 11th December. but the judges refused and asked us to get it in January 14 after the Christmas vacation (Bet.17th Dec and 3rd Jan). Hence we stayed in Delhi for one more day and after consultation with all the partied the case is now listed for 8th January 14.

Friends, Just imagine our plight. Of the above happenings nothing is in our hands. In spite of our full efforts it has been postponed to 8th Jan 14. Only God should interfere and help us in this and once the case comes for trial we are sure to impress upon the Bench and come victorious with the help of the Almighty. One advantage in these happenings is that we had 4 to 5 conferences with the Senior counsel and he is now thorough with our case and we could prepare well for the case.

We would again appeal to one and all that please send your contribution to the Association and strengthen our finance. We are also glad to see the comments for the Blog and while appreciating the participation we would also request you to give your identity and not as anonymous. You all know the value of Anonymous letters.
with regards
NAGARAJAN
GENERAL SECRETARY

Sunday, October 13, 2013

FINAL HEARING

Dear friends,
Our final hearing will commence on 24th Oct.13, and with two to three sittings it will be over and then we may have to wait for the Decision.
On 18th and 26th of September our case was heard but on both the occassions the management was vociferous in getting the adjounment placing various reasons but our Adovocates resisited it and on 26th we agreed with much pursuation for the final hearing on 24th Oct. with  a written order that the counter should be filed before 17th of Oct. and our Rejoinder if any will be given before 22 Oct.
Our case will be taken first in order next to any case partly heard the previous day.
Now the fight is on and well geared up NISVRREA is ready to face the mighty Management on 24 th of this month.
We have the backing of all our members and we appeal to one and all to pray the Almighty for our success in this case.
with regards
nagarajan
GENERAL SECRETARY

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dear friends
Our case has finally came for hearing on 10 th of this month but because of the in disposition of the  judge the could not be taken for hearing. now the present position is it may be taken up for hearing next week so let us wait and pray for the success.
With regards
nagarajan