Further to the information that the case is to be heard on 04.09.2012, it did not reach and the next date was fixed as 07.09.2012. The case could not be heard on that date also, because the Bank's Counsel requested adjournment and the case did not reach the hearing stage even on 10.09.2012.
The hearing was resumed on 11.09.2012 at about 3.30 PM. The Bank's Counsel resumed his arguments that the retired employees were not having a right to claim even the revised pay as the jural relationship of employer and employee came to an end with the retirement of the employees. He said that the payment of ex-gratia was only one time payment as per the scheme because the scheme opened on a certain date and closed on a certain date and the question of reopening the payment of ex-gratia is neither provided in the scheme nor in the pay revision order issued by the Bank. The Court asked him about the Clause 5 of the scheme and the note appended thererto. The Bank's counsel told that it was the method of calculating the amount of ex-gratia to be paid in one lump sum. He quoted from the settlement that the scheme of pay revision while allowing pay revision from an early date specifically debarred payment of arrears of ex-gratia. His argument was that if the Petitioners are relying on settlement justifying the payment of revised pay and some other benefits, they are estopped from claiming arrears of ex-gratia as the same settlement which is a package and the Petitioners have no right to accept a part thereof and reject the other.
The Court then asked our Counsel in the matter and he stated that the Historical development in RBI would show that every wage revision has been effective from the date of expiry of the earlier settlement and effective for the next five years. He showed from the Settlement the preamble of which clearly states that the settlement is applicable to all the employees who were in employment on 01.11.2002 including those who were on leave preparatory to retirement and hence the Bank cannot say that it could have denied the retired employees the revised pay. He said the entire settlement is on the premise that it covers all the employees in service of the Respondent Bank on 01.11.2002 and all the Petitioners were in service on that day. He also pointed out that the scheme of early retirement was brounght into by the Bank when the negotiations for further wage revision with effect from 01.11.2002 have started that concluded only in 2005. Both Bank and the Petitioners were well aware of the fact of negotiations to revise their wages and that is the basis for incorpoprating Clause 5 with the note that amounts to a promise that the basis for payment of ex-gratia is the 'pay' as defined in the Staff Regulations. As per Clause 5, the 'pay' of all the Petitioners on the date of their retirment is the revised pay as per Staff Regulations which says that the pay would be as revised from time to time as per settlements etc. He cited the Regulation 3(f) read with Appendix 1 of the Staff Regulations to show the above fact.
Thereafter, the Bank's Counsel resumed his arguments by reiterating what he stated earlier and started to cite judgments. He was referring to the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court known as Bindal's case in respect of sick PSUs in suport of his contentions but the Hon'ble Court put number of questions in respect of the applicability thereof to the present case. The Court specifically wanted to know that there in PSUs the ex gratia was paid as a compensation for non revision of pay whereas in our case that was not the case. By this time it was already 4.30 PM and the Hon'ble Court rose for the day adjouring our case now to be further heard on 14.09.2012.
THE CASE HAS BEEN FINALLY LISTED FOR HEARING ON 7TH DECEMBER 2012.