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Smt. Basanti Devi v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 28002 of 2004  RD-AH 5240 (7 November 2005)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.28002 Of 2004
Smt. Basanti Devi..................................................................Petitioner
Union of India and others..................................................Respondents.
Hon. Tarun Agarwala,J.
Heard Sri A.K.Trivedi, the learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri P.K.Mukherji, the learned counsel for the respondents.
The petitioner is the widow of Late Bhai Lal, who was an employee in the Indian Telephone Industries Ltd., Naini at Allahabad. It transpires, that the respondent introduced a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (V.R.S.) which was operative between the period 15.10.2003 to 25.11.2003. The petitioner's husband applied for the voluntary retirement by moving an application in the prescribed form on 18.10.2003. It is alleged in paragraph 5 of the writ petition that the application was approved and accepted by the authority on 19.10.2003 and a No Dues Certificate dated 13.10.2003 was issued indicating that the petitioner would be relieved w.e.f. 30.11.2003. The Voluntary Retirement Scheme contemplated that once an application is given by an employee, the same would become final and could not be withdrawn by the employee.
The petitioner's husband died on 28.11.2003 before he could be relieved. The respondents did not release the benefit which was to be paid under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme to the heirs of the deceased and by the impugned order dated 20.2.2004 held that the deceased having died in harness was not entitled to the benefit given under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme.
In my opinion, the view taken by the respondents is totally incorrect and is liable to be set aside. The scheme clearly indicates, that in the event an employee applies, the same would become irrevocable and could not be withdrawn at the instance of the employee. In the present case, the petitioner's husband applied on 18.10.2003 and, as per paragraph 5 of the writ petition, the application was approved and accepted on 19.10.2003, which fact has not been denied by the respondents in paragraph 6 of the counter affidavit. In view of the acceptance of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme by the employers, a binding contract came into existence between the parties. The mere fact that the petitioner's husband was not relieved would not make any difference with regard to the acceptance of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme by the respondents which was binding on them. In my opinion, the respondents were bound to honour the Voluntary Retirement Scheme which was not only accepted by them but was also binding upon them.
In view of the aforesaid, the petitioner is entitled to the relief claimed. The impugned order is quashed and the writ petition is allowed. A mandamus is issued to the respondents to grant the benefit arising out of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme, to the heirs of the deceased Bhai Lal, within three months from the date of the production of a certified copy of this order before the authority concerned. The authority shall release the amount after verifying the correctness of the heirs of the deceased.
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