There is no violation of principle of equal pay for equal work if persons, retiring in normal course, are treated differently with those who opt for special voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), the Supreme Court has said. The bench comprising Justices Anil R Dave and Shiva Kirti Singh said employees, opting for VRS, form a separate class in relation to those retiring in normal course.It said the employees, who took VRS, are not entitled to enhanced pensionery benefits which are being given to others with retrospective effect.”True, that those who retired under the Scheme did the same work which was being done by those who retired in normal course, but one cannot forget the fact that those who retired under the Scheme got substantially higher retirement benefits,” the bench said.”The employees who retired under the Scheme form a separate class of employees who were given many benefits, which are not given to employees retiring in normal course. If they all form a separate class, by no stretch of imagination it can be said that all those who retired under the Scheme and those who retired in normal course, are similarly situated,” it said.The bench passed the verdict on a bunch of petitions filed by employees of five nationalized general insurance companies who prematurely retired on certain conditions with some special benefits under a scheme called”General Insurance Employees Special Voluntary Retirement Scheme, 2004″. After retirement of several employees under the scheme, the insurance companies, on December 21, 2005, came up with a notification giving benefit of revision of pay with retrospective effect from August 1, 2002, provided the employees were in service on or after August 1, 2002.The retired employees under the scheme sought revision of their pension saying that they were in service on August 1, 2002 and they are entitled for higher pension.

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Employees who opt for VRS cannot be on same footing as others: Supreme Court