The Employer cannot Deny Benefits to Employee by Disputing the Date of Birth, at the End of Service

Setting aside the decision of Hindustan Copper Ltd (‘HAL’), to reduce the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (‘VRS’) benefits to an employee by altering his date of birth, the Supreme Court (’SC’) held that the rule that employees cannot raise a dispute relating to date of birth at the fag end of their service is equally applicable to employers as well. The SC went on to observe that: “VRS benefit is an entitlement and assumes the character of property to the employee concerned once his application for VRS is accepted. It is the right of a person under Article 300A of the Constitution of India to have the VRS benefit to be given on accurate assessment thereof, the employer here being a public sector unit. If at the time of quantifying the VRS benefit after accepting an employee’s application for voluntary retirement, the employer take any step that would reduce such benefit in monetary terms, such step shall have to be taken under the authority of law. “