Open letter, closed minds: DU’s Dinesh dilemma
Dear Dr. Dinesh Singh: It was painful to read your ‘open letter’ written with a closed mind; a mind, firmly closed shut to the requirements of truth as well as to the interests of teachers and employees under your charge. You complain of a rampant disinformation and vilification campaign. This charge justifiably fits against you as you have resorted to lies, half truths, misreading of petitioners’ prayers and deleberate misinterpretation of Delhi High Court judgement. You claim the university administration ‘has been working tirelessly since 2011 to protect the interests of teachers in the matter of CPF-GPF.’ Further the university ‘left no stone unturned’ to plead the case of teachers . Mr Vice Chancellor, don’t you sincerely think that hypocrisy should be practised within decent limits? I challenge you to cite a single, repeat a single effort in this matter. As a matter of fact the university and its legal team left no turn unstoned to deny pensions to us poor petitioners. We remember with clarity that when some of the petitioners met you during 2011 you asked them to seek legal redressal since a positive judgement would strengthen your hand. And now you and your Task Force is trying not only to deny the positive gains provided by the Court to us but also through mischievous interpretation of the petitioners’ prayers and the Court’s order pit one set of teachers against another.
You tell a blatant lie when you claim that any category of petitioners challenged the validity of the options granted by the university during 1988 to 1998/99 to shift from the CPF to GPF. As a matter of fact all affected persons were demanding a one time chance to shift to GPF. How could any one challenge the validity of what one is demanding? If you have any shame left in you, please show where validity of granted options were challenged by any set of petitioners. It was the UGC and the GOI which was consistently challenging the university in ths matter.
Another lie you have openly purveyed in your open letter is that payment of pensions is ‘declared unapproved expenditure by the High Court.’ The Hon’ble Court has done no such thing. You are resorting to this lie only to scare the section which had shifted to GPF. I quote the exact words of the Court on that: ‘Since the case of those 2469 employees is not before me, I am not required to return a finding on them.’ Only the counsels of the UGC and the union of India were insisting that the expenditure, if any, be classified as unapproved expenditure; not the high court.
It is pertinent to note that the UGC had been granting payment of pensions to over 1370 teachers who have retired since exercising option to shift over to GPF since 1988. The university and the task force is deliberately causing turmoil and tension by causing confusion. It is obvious that you want to defame the MHRD and the UGC since your favourite but disastrous FYUP has been rolled back. That is why the executive council of DU by a majority decision forced by you has adopted the report of the so called Task Force to: a) not allow pension to those employees who retired subsequent to this judgement and who had opted to remain in CPF prior to 30.09.1987 and subsequently opted for GPF and b) issue notices to all such persons who may have received pension payments that pension would be stopped after 3 months. Please let the public know if you have the explicit sanction of the Union Government and/or the UGC to issue such notices. You are doing this to scare teachers and their families.
Dr. Dinesh Singh, even though you want the university community to believe that you are pro employees, you have jumped post haste to file appeal against positive judgement on categories 1 and 3. The OM dated 23.06 2014 from the Dept.of Pensions & Pensioners’ Welfare, along with other such OMs, are merely being exploited by you to derive sadistic pleasure out of denying pensionary benefits to employees. If you had any consideration for the welfare of university employees you would have pondered how could the spirit of May 1987 OM be reversed after 27 years in 2014? How could ‘deemed to be placed in GPF cum Pension Scheme’ of 1987 metamorphose into ‘deemed to have opted for CPF Scheme’ in 2014. You know it very well that the High Court judgement in our case is in consonance with the ruling of the Supreme Court in a similar case. Yet, instead of taking up this case with the anti-teachers bureaucracy, you will spend huge amount of public money in avoidable litigation.
I can assure on behalf of the university community that we shall fight at every level to defeat your shenanigans. We will fight legally, we will fight politically and we will fight as a teachers movement. And we shall win. You have tasted defeat on FYUP. Be prepared for another one.
The author is associate professor (retired), Kirori Mal College, Delhi University