* CHRONICLE - PENSIONERS CONVERGE HERE, DISCUSS ISSUES OF THEIR CHOICE * CHRONICLE - WHERE EVEN THE CHAT COLUMN PRODUCES GREAT DISCUSSIONS * CHRONICLE - WHERE THE MUSIC IS RISING IN CRESCENDO !

Friday, August 14, 2015

QUESTION TO THE LIC PENSIONERS AT LARGE


ARE YOU REPRESENTED BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?

My answer is ‘NO’ unless you are one of the 31 Petitioners before the Chandigarh High Court, or one of the 21 pre-Aug ’97-Retiree-Petitioners before the Rajasthan HC, or one of the 1275 ‘valid’ members of GNS Federation as defined by LIC and as duly ‘owned’ by GNS.   

In other words, today in a strictly legal sense, all of 40,000 LIC Pensioners, barring this privileged group of 1327, are ‘orphans’ as far the on-going Pension Appeals are concerned. Actually, Delhi High Court gave more than what GNS had asked for   when it said:

‘We clarify, if Petition seeking Special Leave to Appeal afore-noted is dismissed or upon Leave to Appeal being granted but the Civil Appeal being dismissed, LIC would give benefit of the view taken by the Rajasthan High Court to all pensioners and would treat the decision in rem’.

This left all the Pensioners with some faint hope all these days that the benefit accruing from the final disposal of the Appeals by the Supreme Court would be extended to them too whether GNS asked for it or not and whether he likes it or not.  

In my view, the recent developments in the context of the (non) implementation of the SC interim directions of 7 May 2015, the ‘in rem’ clarification of the Delhi HC has been voluntarily surrendered by GNS to the pleasure of LIC.

It is a fact not in dispute that LIC consistently contends that its Board Resolution was meant to give 100% DA neutralization to the pre-97 retirees only (and nothing else) and this was fully acceptable to GNS also. In that sense, the ‘in rem’ clarification by Delhi HC should mean that any benefit accruing from any Court Order should flow at least to ALL pre-’97 retirees. But when the (non) implementation of the SC interim directions is taken up for the Delhi petitioners, why did LIC & GNS collude with each other to exclude thousands of other pre-’97 retirees all over the country and limited the proposed dole out to some and not ALL pre-97 retirees even? It is because it perfectly fits in to LIC’s divine policy of ‘denial’ wherever possible and GNS doesn’t care if his own post-97 retiree-members as well as the rest of even the many more pre-97 retirees all over the country, who are not his ‘valid’ members, are completely kept out even for the ‘Two Rupee’ charity payment.

Thus, there is no ‘in rem’ in the air as of now.

LIC has been regularly betraying its insensitivity these days (I am tempted to use the term ‘sadism’ to explain my revulsion but refraining from the same - I don’t know why) to deny and get away. Take the classic example of the result in the famous MC Jain’s case. LIC dragged the matter for years and lost the case decisively even in Supreme Court. However it paid Mr Jain a part of his claim without ever furnishing the basis of its calculations. Then there was a genuine expectation and demand that the benefit should be extended to the other identically passed officers, so as not to compel them to seek judicial intervention.

We in Hyderabad raised this issue among others with the Shri S K Roy, Chairman LIC on 10 Dec 2014. To our specific query on this topic, the Chairman said: ‘…………although MC Jain’s case was filed by one individual LIC intends to give the relief to all those who are similarly placed and hence it is taking time’
         
Then on 5 June 2015, we met Sri Niraj Agarwal ED (Per) in Central Office and raised the issue among others and asked why LIC is not extending the benefit of MC Jain Judgement to other similarly placed officers. His response was very revealing though disappointing. He said, left to himself, it should be made applicable to all others but the Legal Dept thinks otherwise. This represents the current culture of the Corporation. Play safe – deny. If they go to Court we’ll see. So, we in LIC are languishing in this state of having to look to Courts for anything.

Orphaned Pensioners, Beware.

We are fighting and hoping to get relief in the matter of Pension up-gradation from the Supreme Court, say before the end of 2015. LIC/Govt will search for escape routes and not extend the same benefit to us unless the Judgement is expressly made applicable to ALL the Pensioners. We cannot wait for the Judgement to come first and then start screaming that we are left out by LIC and let down badly by our own distinguished leaders.

Should we not wake up before it is too late?

I am in touch with several senior colleagues, across Associations and who are well informed, non-controversial and objective.

                                            This Appeal 
                                              
is to request all those (outside the 1327) who are vocal and communicative through E-mails the Blogs and the Chats, to speak up and give their views freely and frankly. If action is required to be taken and if it is decided firmly, my services are available. Of course, I am mentally on the job already.

More on this after the thought gets circulated widely.


M. Sreenivasa Murty