Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed Union Bank of India to include a retired employee in its 2010 pension scheme although he had not filled up the requisite application form within the stipulated period.
    
Justices R P Sondurbaldota and V M Kanade accepted the contention of the aggrieved employee that his case should be considered, though belatedly because at the relevant time he had gone abroad with his family and thus could not fill up the form for the 2010 pension scheme.
     
The judges were recently hearing a petition filed by Kayoji Sorabji Mirza, who had challenged the decision of the bank to reject his application for inclusion in the pension scheme through a letter dated August 29, 2011.
    
"In our view, the petitioner is entitled to get the benefit of 2010 pension scheme as he is a retired bank employee and the scheme otherwise is specifically applicable to him," the judges said in a recent order.
     
"It is an admitted position that the petitioner was abroad during the said period of two months and, as such, firstly, he was not aware of the said scheme which was made applicable to the retired employees and, secondly, he was not aware of the said period during which the application was to be tendered," the bench noted.
    
"Taking into consideration these peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and also that the petitioner was abroad during the period of two months and was, therefore, not in a position to make the application for opting for the Scheme, the bank is directed to make 2010 pension scheme applicable to him though he had not filed his application for option during the said period," the judges said.
    
However, the bench clarified that this direction is given in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and without considering the merits as to whether the employees would be entitled to apply after the cutoff date.

(Agencies)

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