Cir No : 09/2015 Date:20th Sept.2015
All Divisional/State units of AIIPA
“AIIPA’s CONSISTENT DEMAND – END DISCRIMINATION IN THE PAYMENT OF DEARNESS RELIEF TO PRE-AUGUST 1997 PENSIONERS – IMPLEMENT LIC BOARD RESOLUTION OF NOVEMBER 2001”
All India Insurance Pensioners’ Association (AIIPA) has been assiduously pursuing with the Management of LIC, all issues of LIC Pensioners, more particularly Grant of Full Neutralisation in Dearness Relief to Pre-August 1997 Pensioners. AIIPA has been stressing on the need to settle this issue without the need to wait for legal verdict, as LIC was morally and ethically bound by its Board Resolution of November 2001 and it had its Managerial responsibility to carry forward the favourable inclination hinted at way back in the year 2008.
In order the matter is understood in proper perspective, AIIPA has been issuing various circulars and had also submitted detailed Case Notes in its 5th & 6th All India Conferences. In its circular of August 2012, AIIPA, clearly explaining the import of the LIC Board Resolution of November 2001, elucidated the contents and wording of the resolution to set at rest any misconception and tried to dispel illusions that the Board Resolution implied pension updation. The circular had also pointed out that the Agenda Note placed before the Board containing the proposals and approved by the LIC Board had clearly spelt out the methodology for merger of Basic Pension to 1740 points. The proposal was mere merger of Dearness Relief payable upto 1740 points with the Basic Pension at 600 or 1148 points as the case may be and Dearness Relief at 0.23% thereon. Even after the issuance of the circular, attempts by vested interests harped on LIC Board Resolution, signifying Pension Updation with weightage for wage revision.
The amount deposited by the LIC in Hon’ble Jaipur High Court, corresponded to the understanding as spelt out in the circulars of AIIPA and LIC had limited the amount to Full Neutralisation to pre-August 1997 petitioners/pensioners leaving out post-August 1997 petitioners. Questioning the correctness of this amount deposited by the LIC, an Inter Locatury Application for clarificatory Order was filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. However, this application for depositing the amount including for Pension Updation was not considered by the Apex Court and had observed that no further directions in the matter of deposits by LIC were necessary.
Similarly, the plea for contempt against LIC over the amount deposited before the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court, came to be dismissed as withdrawn. Again contempt proceedings have been initiated in Hon’ble Chandigarh High Court that LIC had not complied with Hon’ble High Court Order while depositing the amount and LIC had deposited amounts akin to the one in Hon’ble Jaipur High Court and Contempt Petition is posted for hearing on 5.10.2015.
After 7th May 2015 Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, LIC had initiated steps for implementation of the Order to release 20% of the amounts deposited under impugned judgements seeking to withdraw 20% of the amount deposited and seeking details of Membership of the Petitioner Organisation in relation to the Hon’ble Delhi High Court.
ALL INDIA INSURANCE PENSIONERS’ ASSOCIATION, CHAMPIONING THE CAUSE OF INSURANCE PENSIONERS, HAD WRITTEN TO LIC TO PAY IN FULL AND NOT ONLY 20% AND MAKE PAYMENT TO ALL AND NOT ONLY THE PETITIONERS AND MEMBERS OF THE PETITIONER ORGANISATION.
The application by LIC for withdrawal of 20% of the amount deposited in the Hon’ble High Court has been allowed in Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court. LIC had deposited amounts in Hon’ble Jaipur High Court only for a certain period upto 2013 and 20% of the same has been withdrawn by LIC and has been credited to the bank accounts of the individual petitioners, excluding those retired after July 1997.
A similar application for withdrawal of 20% of the deposited amount in the Hon’ble Chandigarh High Court was withdrawn on technical grounds. However a claim is made that objection would not have been raised even if LIC wanted to withdraw the whole deposit as amount payable by LIC far exceeded the deposit according to their understanding, presumably taking into account pension updation. While the LIC contended that petitioners were trying the expand the scope of the Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the petitioners have filed a Contempt Petition that the amount deposited by the LIC was not in conformity with the Order and the same is posted for hearing on 5th October 2015, as the matter was before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
Attempts are being made repeatedly to mislead the LIC pensioners that LIC Board Resolution of November 2001, implied Pension Updation and they hope to get this understanding upheld through Interlocutary Applications. But LIC’s contention before the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court had been the Board Resolution was only for Full Neutralisation in Dearness Relief and that the Board Resolution had been wrongly quoted by the Petitioners.
The contention for payment of 20% inclusive of updated pension, through the Inter Locutary Application was considered and the Apex Court had passed an Order on 7.9.2015 for release of 20% under impugned judgements. LIC has proceeded to and has made the payment of 20% of the arrears to the members of the petitioner organization in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. But the petitioners of Chandigarh High Court have not been paid as the LIC’s application for withdrawal of the amount deposited in the Court was again opposed by the petitioners on 16.9.2015 on the plea of Hon’ble Supreme Court order was not applicable to them and hence Court passed the order accordingly.
For the benefit of clearer understanding, we may state, that while a reference in the LIC Board Resolution of November 2001 to the suggestion of a Board Member, was relied upon to claim that Board Resolution implied Updation of Pension, conveniently the reference to the huge cost and it being financially not viable is not being told. Again the working details of the cost mentioned in the Agenda Note were either not sought for or not shared in public to vouchsafe the veracity of their claim that Board Resolution intended pension Updation with weightage for wage revision. Propaganda has been going on purported loss on denial of Pension Updation losing sight of the fact that Board Resolution had not recommended Updation of Pension.
The contention of LIC has been that Board Resolution cannot be implemented without amendment to Pension Rules under power vested with the Central Government and averments as understood by the AIIPA are only in relation to the powers and no arguments on Pension Updation, either for or against have been advanced. However in its counter affidavits to the Inter Locutary Applications, LIC had contended that the Board Resolution was an one time decision and did not imply pension Updation and deposits had been made in consonance with the Board Resolution. In accordance with this understanding only, merger upto 1740 points of index has been taken into account excluding further revisions for deposits in Courts. As of now, it seems, LIC contemplates to adhere to its legal requirements viz., payment of 20% of the amount deposited as per impunged orders to the petitioners though AIIPA has been pressing for payment in full to all eligible pensioners.
With attempts to bind LIC to a certain position as per their requirements, through Contempt/Inter Locutary applications, not having fructified till now and further hearing on Contempt Petition posted to 5th October 2015 in Hon’ble Chandigarh High Court, the issue remains to be adjudicated at the Apex Court on 23rd September 2015.
AlIPA is committed to its stand for solution even before the culmination of judicial proceedings and this unequivocal stand was reiterated by AIIPA delegation, in its meeting with the Chairman on August 13, 2015. After watching the unfolding events in the near future, the AIIPA will appropriately take up the issue for early favourable solution.
May be, still there will be shrill cries on related issues and AIIPA urges upon its members not to feel vulnerable but continue to repose complete faith and total confidence in the Organisation and rally round the AIIPA to protect their interest and welfare and to ensure their bright future. AIIPA desires to re-assure the insurance pensioners, both of LIC and GIC, that every effort will be made by the Organisation to get solutions to their legitimate, reasonable and justified issues.