Higher Pension revised/allowed but later OLD Pension restored – Orders of EPFO Quashed

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IMPORTANT JUDGMENT HIGHER Pension revised/allowed but later OLD Pension restored – Orders of EPFO Quashed

IN THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT JABALPUR
BEFORE HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE VIVEK AGARWAL

WRIT PETITION 14425 of 2021 as the lead Writ Petition along with a bunch of other similar Writ Petition Nos. 11461, 14735, 15029, 15297, 15302, 15305, 15310, 15588, 15682, 16821, 17446 and 26539 of 2021

Order Reserved on 20.04.2022 and delivered on 15.06.2022

Between:- SHIV PRASAD SONI S/O LATE SHRI RAM SAJIVAN SONI, AGED ABOUT 65 YEARS, OCCUPATION RETIRED PARICHARAK BHOPAL SAHAKARI DUGDH SANGH HABIBGANJ BHOPAL (M.P.), R/O NEW BASTI BAG MUGLIYA, H.NO.162, NER JAIN AATA CHAKKI, BHOPAL M.P. PIN CODE NO.462043. ….PETITIONER (BY SHRI AVIRAL VIKAS KHARE, ADVOCATE)

AND

1. THE EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND ORGANISATION THROUGH CHIEF PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER, BHAVISHYA NIDHI BHAWAN, 14 BHIKAJI CAMA PLACE NEW DELHI PIN CODE NO.110029.

2. THE REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER (PENSION), BHOPAL REGIONAL OFFICE: BHAVISHYA NIDHI BHAWAN ,59 ARERA HILLS BHOPAL (M.P.) 462011
3. THE BHOPAL SAHKARI DUGDH SANGH MYDT. OFFICE OF NEAR HABIBGANJ RAILWAY STATION, BHOPAL (M.P.) …..RESPONDENTS 

Para Nos. 21, 22, 25, 26 & 27 of the judgment

21. No material has been brought on record to show that merely reference of a case to a Larger Bench will entitle the respondents No.2 to reduce the pension already sanctioned by it without there being any stay by the Supreme Court on the operation of the ratio of judgment in case of R.C. Gupta (supra).

22. In fact this issue already stands concluded in as much as it is now settled that unless and until judgment referred to Larger Bench is either stayed or over ruled will continue to hold the field for reference.

25. In The Oriental Ins. Co. Ltd. vs Sanjubai and Others, 2016 ACJ, 1000, it is held that if Coordinate Bench of the Apex Court expresses doubt on the correctness of the view expressed in the earlier decision of Coordinate Bench and refers the matter to the Larger Bench, then also earlier decision will hold the field and is a binding precedent for all subordinate courts until over turned by a Larger Bench. It is held that so long as the decision of Supreme Court on the point is in force, the same will be binding on all the subordinate courts. The fact that the issue has been referred to Larger Bench of the Supreme Court, that cannot be the basis to ignore the decision of the Supreme Court cited on the subject, which is still holding the field and will be, therefore binding precedent until over turned by a Larger Bench of the Supreme Court.

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26. In view of this fact of matter, unless the reference negativates the ratio of the law laid down in case of R.C. Gupta (supra), the judgment will hold field and its affect cannot be withdrawn by respondent No.1 and 2 through an executive order merely, because ratio of that decision has been referred to a Larger Bench.

27. Thus when tested on above touch stone, impugned order dated 17.06.2021cannot be given seal of approval and it being passed without any authority and on misreading of the correct legal position in this behalf as has been mentioned above and law laid down by a Full Bench of this High Court in case of The Oriental Ins. Co. Ltd. (supra), the impugned order deserves to be quashed and is quashed. Petitions are allowed.




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