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Apex court clears State Bank VRS

New Delhi, Dec. 19: The Supreme Court today upheld State Bank of India’s voluntary retirement scheme but said employees of other nationalised banks — which had modified the schemes after announcement — could withdraw their applications and decide whether or not to opt for the scheme under the changed conditions.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice G. B. Pattanaik and Justices H. K. Sema and S. B. Sinha said the VRS scheme was not “bad in law”.

There were different verdicts by a few high courts in the matter. Cases where employees have accepted the VRS scheme but had continued in service because of the high court order and retired afterwards would not be affected by the verdict of the apex court upholding the voluntary retirement scheme.

However, once employees opted for the scheme and the last date was over, they could not change their stand and opt out of the scheme. But if the scheme itself was modified, then the employees would have the option of deciding whether to take the offer even if the last date for the scheme had expired.

However, the apex court set aside the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgement that declared the entire VRS scheme as “ultra vires”.

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