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Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

Nationalised banks, FIs should go by own laws for payment of retirement benefits: SC

| Updated: September 23, 2020 15:04:37

File photo (Collected) File photo (Collected)

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has ruled in a verdict that all the semi government organisations, autonomous bodies, corporations, nationalised banks and financial institutions (FIs) should follow their respective laws for the purpose of fixation and payment of retirement benefits or gratuity etc. of their officers and employees.

The apex court has also said that since the provisions relating to retirement benefits of the officers and employees of the semi government, autonomous bodies, corporations, banks and other financial institutions are regulated by their specific laws, they are bound by the provisions of the related laws and they are not entitled to get any benefit, which the law does not permit.

"However, it is to be borne in mind by all that extending benefits to the employees is not a charity or bounty nor it is gratuitous payment solely dependent on the whim or sweet will of the employer.

It is earned for rendering long past service and is often described as deferred portion of compensation for past services," the court said.

"The employers, whoever they are, shall pay the gratuity or pension benefits in accordance with law to the retirees," read the court observation.

A seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain delivered the verdict after hearing some civil appeal petitions filed in this regard.

The apex court delivered the short verdict on May 2, 2019 and released the full text of the verdict on Tuesday on the Supreme Court website.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, additional attorney general Murad Reza, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, Advocate AFM Meshbahuddin, Barrister Tanjibul Alam and others appeared in the case for the parties.

In the verdict the court also said, "The system and method for calculation of the gratuity and pension are different. Those laws are still in force and are being followed. The very purpose of legislation is to draw the line in such a way that different employees are treated differently."

"By nature, attainment or circumstances all persons are not in the same position and the varying needs of different classes of persons often require different treatment. There can be no discrimination alleged where the nature of duties performed is different. The nature of duties and responsibilities performed by the officers and employees of corporations, semi government organizations and autonomous bodies and the government officers and employees are different and there is no parity," also read the full text.

"Government officers are recruited by the Public Service Commission through competitive examination, but the officers of semi government organizations and autonomous bodies, etc. are not. There are qualitative differences as regards merit, reliability, efficiency and responsibility," observed the verdict.

Referring to an Indian judgement the apex court said in the verdict, "The protection of equal laws does not mean that all laws must be uniform. Equality before the law means that among equals the law should be equal and should be equally administered and that the likes should be treated alike. Equality before the law does not mean that things which are different shall be treated as tough they were the same."


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