Delhi High Court restrains EPFO from taking coercive steps on the basis of the recovery notices for higher pension[1]

Posted On - 11 July, 2023 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

The petitioners, who are retired employees receiving higher pensions beyond the ceiling limit based on options given by the respondent in 2018/19, have approached the court to challenge a communication issued by the respondent on 20.02.2023. The communication instructed Regional Provident Fund Commissioners to stop the higher pension of those who retired before 01.09.2014 without giving them an option for higher pension prior to their retirement. The petitioners also contest an order dated 01.05.23 that directs them to refund the differential amount received as pension beyond the ceiling limit for several years based on the options, they chose in 2018/19.

The petitioners argued that since they were given the option to choose higher pension by the respondents, which they exercised and continued to receive higher pension based on that option since 2018/19, the respondents cannot reinterpret the decision of the Apex Court in The Employees Provident Fund Organisation&Anr. Etc. vs Sunil Kumar B. &Ors. Etc. and reopen their cases.

They asserted that their rights had already been finalized, and they have been receiving higher pensions for many years. The court directed the respondents to maintain the status quo regarding the pension received by the petitioners as of 01.01.2023. The court also restrained the respondents from taking coercive action to recover the differential amount of higher pension received by the petitioners for many years, until the next hearing.

[1] Delhi High Court in W.P.(C) 6957/2023; W.P.(C) 7094/2023; W.P.(C) 7138/2023; W.P.(C) 7139/2023