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Vasudeva K.S. vs State Bank Of Mysore on 9 March, 2001

Karnataka High Court
Vasudeva K.S. vs State Bank Of Mysore on 9 March, 2001
Equivalent citations: ILR 2001 KAR 2845, (2001) IILLJ 1044 Kant
Author: D S Kumar
Bench: D S Kumar


ORDER

D.V. Shylendra Kumar, J.

1. The petitioner who is an employee of the respondent-bank and who had sought for Voluntary Retirement in a Scheme envisaged by the respondent-Bank, has approached this Court invoking the provisions of Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking for a writ in the nature of declaration declaring that the Sub-clause (j) of Clause 10 of the bank’s Voluntary Retirement Scheme circulated by the Staff Circular No. 121/2000-2001 (Annexure-B to the Writ Petition) is illegal, unconstitutional and unenforceable and consequently to quash the communication dated February 27, 2001 by which the bank had advised the petitioner to comply with the requirement of the said clause.

2. Sri Rajagopal, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner submits that Clause 10(j) which is one of the general conditions required to be complied to accept an application for voluntary retirement and which requires an applicant who is an office bearer/Director of State Bank of Mysore Employees’ Housing Co-operative Society/Co-operative Credit Society/Employees’ Consumer Co-operative Society, to furnish a ‘No Objection’/’No Due Certificate’ from the respective society is a condition which has no relevance to the scheme of voluntary retirement and the object of permitting the employee to seek retirement before superannuation and as such, is an unreasonable and arbitrary condition. Learned counsel submits that the said clause is violative of Articles 14, 16(1), 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India, being an arbitrary condition and having the effect of imposing unreasonable restrictions on the right of an employee to seek voluntary retirement provided under the Scheme. It is also submitted that the said clause has not been approved by the Board of Directors which envisaged the scheme but has been inserted by the administration who function under the Board of Management and as such, it cannot form part of the scheme.

3. It is not in dispute that the Voluntary Retirement Scheme is offered by the Bank in a scheme proposed by it. What conditions and stipulations should be provided taking into factual circumstances and reality prevailing in the particular bank are all considerations within the realm of the Management of the Bank. It is not for this Court to sit in judgment over various conditions stipulated under the scheme unless the particular clause is totally repugnant to the scheme of the Voluntary Retirement and defeats the very purpose. The clause with which the petitioner is aggrieved is one under which persons seeking for Voluntary Retirement are required to produce ‘no objection certificate’ from the Employees’ Housing Co-operative Society if the person happens to be an office bearer or the Director of the Society. The Society itself having been formulated for the benefit of the employees of the Bank and comprising of only employees and ex-employees of the Bank and the office bearers of the Society having control over the financial affairs of the said Society, it cannot be said that a clause of this nature is on the face of it obnoxious or imposes any unreasonable conditions on a person seeking Voluntary Retirement and has the effect of defeating the object of seeking Voluntary Retirement itself.

4. It is no doubt true that the petitioner has pleaded certain practical difficulties particularly having regard to the composition of the management of the society of which he is said to be the Hon. Secretary. Such individual difficulties or practical aspects cannot be considerations for examining the validity of a clause which has a larger purpose to serve or is designed in the interest of all employees and of the bank itself. I am of the opinion, there is nothing obnoxious with a condition of this nature. I am also of the view that the clause of this nature does not in any way infringe the provisions of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India and Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India are not even attracted. In view of the fact that I am of the opinion that it is a reasonable clause having nexus to the object of the scheme from the point of the management, I do not find any infirmity in such a clause. If the First Respondent Bank insists compliance with the same, it cannot be said it is unreasonable.

5. With regard to other submissions of Sri Rajagopal, learned counsel for the petitioner that the scheme having been envisaged by the Board of Management a condition of this nature could not have been added subsequently by the management. It is an internal aspect of the bank and if the clause in the scheme has the approval of the management which includes Board of Directors, it is not for this Court to examine the correctness or otherwise or justification or not of such a clause in the scheme. In this regard, even if that is so, it is for the petitioner to bring it to the notice of the Board/Management and to have suitable redressal at the hands of the employer.

6. In any view of the matter, I am of the opinion that this is not a fit case for exercising the discretionary writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and accordingly, this writ petition is rejected.

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