Calcutta High Court to dwell into concept of promissory estoppel in pension matter at IIT Kharagpur

  • Gargi Chaterjee
  • 04:43 PM, 28 Jan 2022

Calcutta High Court to dwell into the concept of promissory estoppel in a matter pertaining to pension system in the IITs where the scheme of pension was switched.

The petitioner, Dr. Souvik Chattopadhyay, resigned from Madras IIT and joined IIT Kharagpur. Vide a memo dated 12th January, 2022 of the Registrar, IIT, Kharagpur Chattopadhyay has been brought under New Pension System on the ground that he joined IIT, Kharagpur on 3rd September, 2004.

Advocate R. Chatterjee appearing for the petitioner submitted that Chattopadhyay, from the time of his appointment to IIT Kharagpur, he has been continuing in the earlier GPF/Pension/Gratuity Scheme since 2004,hence, there is hence no basis for the sudden decision to switch the petitioner to the New Pension System. Bhattacharya has relied on the doctrine of promissory estoppel to challenge the decision.

Per Contra, Mr. Billwadal Bhattacharyya, Asst. Solicitor General, appearing for Union of India submitted that the issue involves the manner of resignation of Chattopadhyay from IIT Madras. Further that communication between the two IITs need to be considered. 

Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya presiding over the matter observed that the memo of switch needs to be tested on affidavits since the IIT, Kharagpur has relied on certain office memoranda which required the switch. Further that the doctrine of promissory estoppel also must be established on facts as in law from the stand taken by IIT, Kharagpur and further documents brought on record. 

The matter has bee posted after four weeks. 

Dr. Souvik Chattopadhyay V. Union of India & Ors.