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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

RECOVERY OF EXCESS PAYMENT OF PENSION BY PDAs

Indian Military Veterans

RECOVERY OF EXCESS PAYMENT OF PENSION BY PDAs


                **ALL PENSIONERS MUST MAKE A NOTE OF THIS POST**     

      Many cases have come to light where the Banks have made recoveries in one go on their own without any intimation to the pensioners or without their concurrence on the Excess Pension Payments made erroneously by their staff.

Such recoveries if made in bulk are illegal and against the instructions issued by the RBI and Govt of India.
(SUCH A DIFFICULT SITUATION IS AVOIDABLE IN CASE THE PENSIONERS KNOW THEIR PENSION ENTITLEMENTS FORM TIME TO TIME.  WE HAVE ENDEAVOURED IN OUR BLOG SITE TO GIVE OUT DETAILS OF THE ENTITLEMENTS OF ALL RANKS OF THE ARMED FORCES.)
The legal position on the case of recoveries of excess pension remitted by banks to pensioners is as follows:-

(a)   The Banks (PDAs) are not permitted to make such recoveries beyond one third of the pension per month after intimation to the pensioner.

(b)   However,  in case they have faulted and have recovered the amount in excess of 1/3rd of the monthly pension they are required to make the refund. In case they still fail to do so the pensioner can take recourse from their jurisdictional High  Courts.

(c)   Before preferring to file the case in hon'ble High Courts the pensioners must first take up the case with their Banks, Regional Bank Officers and the Bank Head Offices and get a reply from them if need be by resorting to the  RTI Act 2005, for their reasons to debit the Pension Account without taking pensioner's consent. 

(d)  The pensioner must also ask the Bank if any orders were issued by the  Record Office or PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad to recover the excess  payments so made. A draft letter to the bank is placed below for ease of reference.

(e)  It may also be brought to their notice that previous have been judged in favour of the pensioners hon'ble Delhi High court in WP (C) 1079/2008 Wg Cdr SVS Gahlot Vs UOI, WP (C) nos 7522/2008 and 7525/2008 and WP (C) No: 8338/2008 (copy placed in the end of this post) not to recover any excess pension paid to the pensioner who did not falsify any data. 

(f)   The bank also must be informed the latest instructions from Govt of India Min of Home (PPP &G) letter No: F.No. 18/03/2015-Estt. (Pay-I) dated 02 Mar 2016 (copy placed at the end of this post).

   On receipt of a letter from the pensioner in most cases the Banks will make the refund however in case they still don't, within 30 days, the pensioner may take the legal recourse as a last resort only.
================================================================= DRAFT LETTER TO THE BANK TO REFUND THE EXCESS RECOVERIES MADE FROM PENSION ACOOUNT.

From 
Smt XXXX   W/O (Late) ------------                                   

ADDRESS AND DATE 

To :
The Manager  
-----------------Bank

UNAUTHORISED RECOVERIES OF RS XXXX  MADE  FROM MY PENSION ACCOUNT WITHOUT MY CONSENT

Sir,
1    Please  refer to my pension acct no:                   in your bank.

2.   I am pained to learn that your bank has debited my pension account for Rs xxxx/- without any intimation or my consent which is not justifiable  or legal even on  account of the excess payment of pension by your bank erroneously by your staff. I am an old family pensioner of the deceased (rank and name). 

3.    You must be aware of the Govt rules that even if the PDAs have paid the pension in excess the recoveries can only be made with my consent limited to only one third of my pension per month. These rules have been thus violated by your bank. 

4.     May I therefore request you to refund the deductions so made within next 15 days before I approach your higher authorities. banking ombudsman for unilaterally debiting my account thereby causing me hardships. My letter may kindly be considered as a Notice for the Refund.

4.    I am aware of my rights as a pensioner as given in  instructions issued by Govt of India, Min of PPP &G and as given in the judgments of the  Hon'ble Supreme Court, where in it is vividly stated that in case  a pensioner had not falsified then any excess payment made to him/her can not be recovered.

5.    I am sure I shall soon get a positive response from your side.

With Regards,
                                     
Yours truly,

(Smt xxxxxx)

Copy to following for issue of necessary instructions :

1.   Chief Manager CPPC     -   
2.   Regional Manager      ----     (THE ADDRESSES ARE AVAILABLE ON THEIR 
3.   CMD    Bank            ----        BANK WEB SITES) 
       ____________________________________________________________


COPY OF THE JUDGEMENT ON A SIMILAR CASE

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI - 28.11.2008

  Present: Mr.Inderjit Singh, Advocate for the Petitioners.   Mr.Sewa Ram, Advocate for the Respondents.

    WP (C) No.8338/2008

The petitioners were commissioned as pilot officers in Indian Air Force   between June, 1963 and June, 1968. The petitioners earned promotions over a   period of time up to the rank of Wing Commander and retired from service in that   rank. The re-fixation of the pension of all the petitioners took place with   effect from 01.01.1996 pursuant to the implementation of the recommendations of the 5th Pay Commission. 
The petitioners were re-employed after the retirement from Indian Air   Force by the Indian Air Force itself between the period September, 1991 to   July, 2000 on different dates and were given their pay and allowances as per the   rules and regulations for re-employed officers in the Indian Air Force.
The petitioners are aggrieved by the receipt of recovery orders passed on   various dates in the year 2007 on account of alleged over payment for the period   of re-employment. The recoveries were directed to be made in the monthly  instalments of 1/3rd of pension until the full excess amount was liquidated.
  The details of the various petitioners are as under:
 Petitioner
No.1
 No.2
No.3
 No.4
 No.5
Date of Retirement
31.07.1994
31.03.1995
31.08.1991
31.08.1992
30.07.1993
Date of Commencement of re-employment
26.10.1996
04.04.1995
15.09.1991
14.11.1992
Sept.1997
Date of termination of re-employment
31.12.1999
28.02.197
01.08.1999
13.12.1999
31.07.2000
 Amount of recovery (in Rs.)
51,112/-
33,651/-
99,844/-
65.071/-
25,346/-
Impugned Order Reference No.
08/14/A/REC
/0204 of 2007
08/14/A/REC
/0231 of 2007
08/14/A/REC
/0022 of 2007
08/14/A/REC
/0021 of 2007
08/14/A/REC
/0121 of 2007

The matter in issue is no more res-integra in view of the judgment of   this Court in WP(C)1079/2008 as Wg Cdr S.V.S.Gahlot (Retd) Vs Union   of India decided on 06.08.2008. In the aforesaid case, the pleadings showed that the recovery did not   include any element of interest and that there was no discrepancy in the pension   account of the petitioner. The case for waiver of recovery was taken up on inter-service basis by the Ministry of Defence but the Ministry of Finance did not agree. The over-payment was not due to any application/misrepresentation submitted by the petitioner. It was, thus, observed as under: 

The sum and substance of the recovery process initiated by the respondents is that the petitioner had given certain undertakings and, thus, the petitioner was aware of the possibility of such recovery. It is, thus pleaded that the recovery is taking place in pursuance to such undertaking/declaration. We have perused the undertaking and declaration signed by the petitioner. These were signed on 08.11.1994 when the petitioner completed his initial tenure of service before his re-employment. The declarations do not specify any amount and, in fact, the amount has been left blank which itself shows that the declarations are uncertain in respect of the amount. Not only that the declarations are only in respect of any pension calculation, which may arise. It is not in dispute that the recovery being made from the petitioner is not on account of any pension calculation for which the declarations have been given. The second declaration, in fact, is labeled Declaration for Provisional Pension?


The result of the aforesaid is that no recovery can be made in pursuance to the declaration.



The petitioner appearing in person has referred to the judgment of the Apex Court in Shyam Babu Verma and Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors., (1994) 2 SCC 521 where it has been held that higher pay-scales erroneously given due to, no fault of the employee should not result in recovery of the excess amount as that would not be just and proper.

We cannot lose sight of the fact that the petitioner is only on pension since the year 1999. To  sustain a living in this age and time is itself  difficult on the meager pension amount. To face recovery of such pension amount with rising inflation can be a nightmare. Such recovery is taking place in pursuance to no undertaking and the respondents have not filed any proceedings in accordance with law for recovery of the amount. The circuitous method of recovery from the pension cannot, thus, be permitted in the absence of any undertaking or rule in that behalf.?

In our considered view the aforesaid position squarely applies to the facts of the present case and the petitioners are entitled to the same relief as granted in that petition. We have granted similar relief in WP(C) Nos.7522/2008 and 7525/2008, both decided on 22.10.2008.

A writ of mandamus is issued quashing the impugned order of recovery and the amount, if any, recovered from the pension should be remitted to the petitioners within a period of three months from today. The petition is allowed leaving the parties to bear their own costs. At this stage, learned counsel for the respondents pointed out that there are a number of similarly situated officers who would be compelled to approach this Court in view of the orders passed by us earlier and today.

We see no reason why such an eventuality should arise when we have settled the legal position in that behalf and in respect of all such officers, who benefit from the orders passed by us.

We thus direct that the concerned authorities of the respondents to examine the cases of all such similarly situated officers and process their cases according to the judgments rendered by us within a maximum period of three months from today to obviate the necessity of such persons approaching this Court which not only causes inconvenience to the petitioners and burdens the docket of this Court but also results in unnecessary expenses of the respondents as also of the petitioners.

SANJAY KISHAN KAUL, J.
MOOL CHAND GARG, J.

NOVEMBER 28, 2008

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