Taking up a public interest litigation highlighting that Panjab University has failed to implement the family pension scheme for widows/widowers/legal heirs of about 300 deceased employees despite giving an undertaking in the high court in January last year, the Punjab and Haryana high court, on Wednesday, directed the varsity to respond to the petitioner’s contentions.
The directions came from the division bench comprising acting chief justice, Ashutosh Mohunta, and justice, HS Sidhu, on a petition filed by advocate RD Anand.
Anand, a retired professor of PU, argued that he had filed a similar petition last year and the same was disposed off by the high court after the varsity gave an undertaking to the court to implement the family pension scheme.
It was submitted that during the pendency of the earlier petition, PU’s syndicate and senate had taken a conscious decision to implement the family pension scheme for the widows/widowers/legal heirs of deceased employees who had expired without opting for the pension scheme introduced by the university-wide regulations, Panjab University employees (pension) 1991 effective from October 24, 2005.
The court was informed that as per a news item in an English daily, around 300 such widows/widowers were suffering as the scheme failed to take off.
Anand averred that through a legal notice, he had invited the attention of the university to the plight of hapless widows whoes husbands had nurtured the university with their blood and sweat. However, the university in its reply on July 22 has been evasive, pleading “audit objection” for non-implementation, while contemplating whether to seek legal opinion in the matter or not.
The case will now come up for hearing on September 23.