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Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu Government to file a status report on submission of final report by an expert committee set up to examine the possibility of restoring the old pension scheme for its employees in place of the contributory pension. Justice D.
Raja directed the Additional Chief Secretary, Finance (PGC) Department and the Principal Secretary, Planning and Development, to file the status report within three weeks. The order was given during the hearing of a petition by P Fdredic Engels, a retired government school teacher, seeking restoration of the old pension scheme. The petitioner said though the committee's term had been extended thrice last year, it had not yet submitted its report. To a query by him, the government had informed that the report had not been filed till June 8 this year. He contended that the contributory pension scheme was discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights as the employees were 'forced' to relinquish their hard earned money without authority of law and with no guarantee of returns. All the existing retirement benefits, inlcuding provident fund, gratuity, family pension and pension which were available till Feb 31,2003 had been lost. Hence the court should direct the government to get the expert committee report within the time frame and restore the old pension scheme, he said.
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