A.I.EMPS.SELF CONTRI.SUPER.PENSN.SCHEME vs KURIAKOSE V. CHERIAN . Supreme Court, 03-10-2005

CourtSupreme Court (India)
JudgeY.K.SABHARWAL,TARUN CHATTERJEE
Parties A.I.EMPS.SELF CONTRI.SUPER.PENSN.SCHEMEKURIAKOSE V. CHERIAN .
Docket NumberC.A. No.-004267-004267 / 2003
http://JUDIS.NIC.IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA Page 1 of 13
CASE NO.:
Appeal (civil) 4267 of 2003
PETITIONER:
Air India Employees Self Contributory Superannuation Pension Scheme
RESPONDENT:
Kuriakose V. Cherian & Ors.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/10/2005
BENCH:
Y.K.Sabharwal & Tarun Chatterjee
JUDGMENT:
J U D G E M E N T
[With C.A.No.7035-36 of 2003, C.A.No.9372 of 2003 &
C.A.No.2327 of 2004]
Y.K. Sabharwal, J.
The dispute in these matters basically between the appellant and the
serving employees of Air India on one hand and retired employees on the
other is about the interpretation of Air India Employees Self-Contributory
Superannuation Pension Scheme (hereinafter referred to as ’Scheme’).
In or about 1994, Air India proposed creation of a Pension Scheme
for its employees. The Scheme was based on actuarial reports. The
employees had to contribute to the fund under the Scheme, Air India
contributing a token sum of Rs.100/- per annum for all the employees put
together. Broadly, Scheme was that all full time employees of Air India
would become members of the Scheme and contribute a percentage of
their salary to be deducted every month and credited to the fund under the
Scheme. Each member had to contribute for a minimum period of 15
years and for those who did not have sufficient number of years of service
from the date of the commencement of the Scheme upto their
superannuation, an amount was calculated based on the total number of
years in deficit and the member was required to make payment of the
entire sum so calculated either in lump sum or to pay the said amount in
monthly installment along with interest on the total sum due. On 12th
August, 1996, a deed of trust for incorporating the Scheme was entered
into between Air India and the trustees. The deed also contained rules
known as ’Air India Employees Self-Contributing Pensionary Scheme
Rules’ (hereinafter referred to as ’the Rules’). Further, it postulated
creation of a pension fund. A deed of variation of the trust was executed
on 7th October, 1997 to amend certain provisions of the trust deed. The
trust deed, inter alia, stipulates that the retiring employees would get
pension equivalent to 40 per cent of the last pay drawn salary, consisting
of basic pay, dearness allowances and personal pay, if any.
To give effect to the aforesaid, an agreement was entered into with
Life Insurance Corporation of India which issued a master policy stipulating
various terms and conditions.
Rules stipulate that a member or his beneficiary shall have no
interest in the master policy taken out in respect of the members or any
investment otherwise made by the trustees in accordance with the Rules
or the Scheme but shall be entitled to receive superannuation benefits in
accordance with the Rules and that the trustees shall always administer
the Scheme for the benefit of the members and their beneficiaries in
accordance with the provisions of the Rules.

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