Our Pension Cases in Supreme Court
20% Payment still in thin Air
IA filed on behalf of Chandigarh Petitioners -
The IA (No 6 of 2015 in CA No 6995 of 2013) filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court on behalf of the Chandigarh Petitioners is slated to come up for hearing before Justice Dipak Misra’s Bench on 7 Sept 2015.
The chief purpose of the IA is to invite the Supreme Court’s attention to how LIC defied its 7 May Order and did not consider it necessary even to seek extension of time from the Court for complying with the Order. It is hoped that the Supreme Court would take serious note of the brazenness of LIC’s non-compliance amounting to deliberate defiance and pass appropriate directions afresh.
It should be clear to everybody by now that the six-week time limit stipulated by the Supreme Court to make 20% payment was NOT taken seriously by LIC right from day one. Not only the time limit, the Order to pay 20% itself was not to the liking of LIC and it did not hesitate first to mislead the Apex Court on 7 May (that it had already deposited in the Court, the amount payable under the Judgement), but later took all the time it wanted, to apply to Jaipur & Chandigarh HCs for withdrawal of the 20% of the amount deposited. And what it did in the case of Delhi Petitioners is the height of its impetuousness when it could add, modify and interpret the SC Order, as it chose to while taking a stand on who are entitled to be paid under the Delhi Judgement.
Unfortunately, Mr GN Sridharan, obliged LIC by furnishing the list of his members who according to him are eligible to receive the 20% payment ordered by SC. It is not known whether Sri GNS has also certified that the list he gave contains only names who qualify the conditions stipulated by LIC. If he has not, for instance, if he ignored the validity of membership clause on a certain date, as prescribed by the Corporation, chances are that LIC will not honour the list, as it cannot waive its own conditions.
On the other hand, if he furnished only such names who are his valid members on each of the given dates, firstly he will be dropping the names of several of his otherwise valid members and secondly his claim that all pre-Aug 97 retirees are eligible for some benefit under the Delhi Judgement, also stands negated as he would have voluntarily surrendered the in rem relief granted by the Delhi HC. What LIC does for the Delhi petitioners, is worth watching.
As of now, no payment was made to Jaipur petitioners although LIC had a cake walk in withdrawing Rs 3,92,727.60 through its application that had a safe passage, thanks to Mr Krishna Murari Lal’s very original and very unique strategy.
When IA No 6 of 2015 is taken up for consideration on 7 Sept 2015, one can expect LIC to make all foul noises. How much support LIC receives from the Delhi & Jaipur petitioners and with what wonderful reasoning, would probably unveil some new hues of the concerned players.
In the meantime, I am exploring options available to ensure that the benefits flowing from the final Judgement will be applicable to the forty thousand plus pensioners all over the country and not limited to the elite group of 1327. In other words, let there be no orphaned pensioners left behind while some leaders may merrily disown their members as they are not accountable for any of their actions.
On that mission, and its roadblocks, I wish to cover in my next post.
M Sreenivasa Murty