IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN
JAIPUR BENCH AT JAIPUR
D.B. Civil Special Appeal (W) No. 493/2010
Life Insurance Corporation of India
Krishna Murari Lal Asthana and ors
D.B. Civil Special Appeal (W) No. 494/2010
Life Insurance Corporation of India
Krishna Murari Lal Asthana & Ors
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE DALIP SINGH
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MAHESH BHAGWATI
Mr. Mahendra Singh for the appellant
Mr. N.K. Maloo )
Mr. Abhinabh Sharma) for the respondents
These two appeals have been preferred by the Life Insurance Corporation of India against the judgment of the learned Single Judge dated 12th January, 2010 allowing two writ petitions filed by the petitioners.
2. We may not burden the judgment with the details of the facts in as much as the directions given in the judgment by the learned Single Judge are as follows:
“In the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that resolution passed by the Board of LIC does not need approval of the Central Government thus the Corporation may give effect to its resolution dated 24.11.2001 to avoid discrimination amongst existing pensioners.
In light of the discussion made above, both the writ petitioners are allowed. The Respondent Corporation is directed to take a decision for implementation of the resolution dated 24.11.2001 passed by the Board. The respondent Corporation cannot provide different criteria for grant of dearness allowance to the existing pensioners based on cut off date i.e. 31.7.1997. The benefit arising out of the directions above would, however,, be considered by the respondent Corporation so that every retired employee may get the same benefit. Costs made easy.”
3. In coming to the aforesaid conclusion and giving the aforesaid directions, the learned Single Judge has taken note of the fact that the LIC appellant before us had itself passed a resolution in the meeting held on 24.11.2001 for removing the aforesaid discrimination, so far as the grant of dearness allowance is concerned, the learned Single Judge inquired from the learned counsel for the Union of India appearing in the writ petitions, whether on the plea of the appellant LIC before the learned Single Judge that the aforesaid resolution would require approval of the Central Government. Faced with the above, as has been incorporated by the learned Single Judge in the judgment, learned counsel appearing for the Union of India submitted that the resolution dated 24.11.2001 is pending decision before the Government of India. But the LIC was otherwise free to take its own decision. Based upon the aforesaid submissions of the learned counsel for the Union of India, the learned Single Judge concluded – “Thus, in these circumstances and as per the provisions of Act, there was no need to send the Board’s resolution for its approval by he Government of India.” The learned Single Judge further dealing with the aforesaid aspect in the impugned judgment after considering the scope of section 21 of the LIC Act came to the conclusion which reads as follows:
“Thus, there was no reason to seek approval because day-to-day decisions are not required to be sent for approval of the Central Government. The law, in this regard, is settled in view of various judgments cited by learned counsel for the petitioners and has not otherwise been debated by learned counsel for the respondent corporation. Even learned counsel for Union of India had accepted the aforesaid proposition and submitted that it is only a policy decision, that too, involving public interest and not every decision of Board, which needs approval by the Central Government. It is otherwise not made clear as to what is the element of public interest involved herein, if the resolution of Board is implemented. In fact, implementation of the Board’s resolution would take away discriminatory treatment amongst he pensioner’s apart from keeping the LIC away from the administrative inconvenience.” The learned Single Judge, therefore, further came to the conclusion that “there cannot be a cut off date for existing pensioners for providing benefits, but further fact is that to cure the aforesaid mistake, the Board’s resolution should have been given effect to, which will otherwise redress the entire grievance of the petitioners”.
4. Thus, we find from the judgment of the learned Single Judge that the Government of India never contested so far as the resolution dated 24.11.2001 of the Board of the appellant LIC or the merits and the contents thereof before the learned Single Judge or its competent to pass such a resolution or implement the same so as to remove the discrimination between retired employees for payment of D.A.
5. The learned counsel for LIC Mr. Mahendra Singh contended, taking us through the provisions of the Act and the Rules under Section 48 and 49, that the rules with regard to the conditions of service of the employees could only be framed by the Central Government and could be implemented only after being notified in the official gazette.
6. We are of the view that whatever grievance with regard to the implementation of the Board’s resolution dated 24.11.2001 is concerned, the same can be raised by the Union of India who has chosen not to file any appeal in the matter and this can easily be considered as an approval of the said resolution of he Board dated 24.11.2001 which was allegedly pending for nine years. The Board of LIC, who is the appellant before us against the judgment of the learned Single Judge, had itself taken a decision to remove the disparities and the discrimination with regard to the payment of Dearness Allowance and pension to the retired employees under its resolution of the Board dt. 24.11.2001, which was in public interest. It could not and should not have filed the present appeal against the judgment of the learned Single Judge as the learned Single Judge has provided an umbrella to the appellant for the implementation of the decision of the Board dt. 24.11.2001 on the categorical statement made by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Union of India and not assailed in appeal by the Union of India.
7. In the light of the submissions made by the learned counsel for the Union of India before the learned Single Judge, we find that these appeals filed by the L.I.C. of India have no merit and the same stand dismissed.
(MAHESH BHAGWATI)J. (DALIP SIGH)J.