HC: Old pension scheme applies to CAPF personnel | India News


NEW DELHI: Benefits of the old pension scheme (OPS) in accordance with the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, shall be applicable to all personnel of central armed police forces (CAPF), the Delhi high court has ruled and directed the Union government to issue necessary orders within eight weeks.
The order came on a batch of 82 petitions seeking quashing of government orders denying OPS benefits to CRPF, BSF, CISF and ITBP personnel.
A bench of Justices Neena Bansal Krishna and Suresh Kumar Kait noted that a notification of December 22, 2003 on the new pension scheme stated the system would be mandatory for all new central recruits from January 1, 2004 — “except the armed forces in the first stage”. A related office memorandum of February 17, 2020 was also scrutinised.
The HC said the contents of both notifications “clearly demonstrate that when the policy decision to implement NPS was taken, the armed forces were kept out of its domain”. The bench added that there is “no dispute” that at the time of publication of ads through which the petitioners were recruited, OPS was in force. Despite the fact that the “armed forces” were marked as exceptions to NPS, the Centre mentioned — “without application of mind” — in appointment letters that the recruits shall be governed by the new system, the HC said.
The court cited Article 246 of Schedule VII of the Constitution that “armed forces of the Union of India include naval, military and air forces; any other armed forces of the Union” to hold that CAPF personnel deserve OPS benefits.
The petitioners’ counsel had pointed out that the ad was issued in June 2002, the final result declared in July 2004 and appointments made in November 2004-January 2005 when OPS was “in vogue”. The Centre did not complete the recruitment process in a timely manner and the petitioners could not be made to suffer for that, the counsel contended.

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