When LIC pretends to have complied with the SC Interim directions
In continuation of my Post on 11 Sept, I wish to re-emphasize the significance of the ensuing Court proceedings of the first few minutes, when our cases are going to be taken up by Justice Misra on 23 Sept 2015, in the context of his Interim directions of 7 May & 7 Sept 2015 to LIC.
Even if it may sound metaphysical, I am always of the firm view that LIC Pensioners’ cases and their overall interests are being taken care of by providence every now and then. Post Jaipur Judgement dated 12 Jan 2010 secured by Mr Krishna Murari Lal Asthana, all by himself, the happenings on 4 April 2014, 7 May 2015, 20 July 2015 and finally on 7 Sept 2015 before different Judicial forums, fall in to that hallowed category being alluded to by me. We better keep that in mind with the requisite amount of gratitude to the ‘unseen’ and supplement human efforts to reach the final goal to ensure and see full smiles eventually on the faces of EACH LIC Pensioner.
I am today trying to drive my point home and to seek on that basis, for what it may be worth, the proactive support from Delhi & Jaipur Petitioners on 23 Sept 2015.
An interim direction, in law, is unrelated to (has no bearing upon) the outcome in the main matter currently under judicial scrutiny and awaiting final verdict eventually. In our case, we are well aware of the subtle differences in the issues involved in the three different Judgements in favour of the respective Petitioners and LIC’s Civil Appeals arising from the same. There is no relevance to any of those issues or other nuances, when the interim directions were issued by the Bench on 7 May and reiterated more loudly on 7 Sept 2015.
In the above background, I hereby appeal to our Delhi and Jaipur Petitioners to look at SC’s interim directions of 7 May & 7 Sept 2015 (to pay 20% ‘on the basis of the impugned judgements’), compare their own genuine expectations critically with LIC’s actual compliance as on 22nd Sept 2015. Such an exercise, I am sure will highlight the wide variation between what is payable on the basis of the impugned Judgement/s and what is actually paid by LIC.
Let us take a closer look at the issue.
As far as the Jaipur Petitioners are concerned, Mr Krishna Murari Lal Asthana never minced his words that the Judgement dated 12 Jan 2010 said ‘both the Writ Petitions are allowed (WP No 654 of 2007 being for Pension Up-gradation with each wage revision) and as such LIC is bound to implement the Board Resolution inclusive of weightage, to ensure Pension-upgradation. When the interim directions prescribe payment of 20% on the basis of the impugned judgement, Mr Asthana would therefore find the payment made to some of the Petitioners in Jaipur to be in gross violation of the interim directions and I am sure he would have no difficulty in exposing LIC (through proper judicial means) on 23 Sept and support the move of Chandigarh Petitioners to secure necessary directions to LIC.
The stand of Sri GN Sridharan in the context of 20% payment has been a different experience. On the twin issues of whom to pay and how much to pay (20% of what) he has admittedly no concern for any post Aug 97 retirees including members of his own Federation who constitute nearly two thirds of his total membership.
The communication dated 6 July 2015 that Mr GNS received from LIC prescribing its own eligibility criteria to receive 20% payment, is by far the most serious violation of the 7 May Order by the Supreme Court. But the willing cooperation being extended by Mr GNS to LIC’s policy of denial is bound to help LIC and work against the interests of the Pensioner community as a whole, unless he takes steps to tell the Court that the compliance by LIC is far short of what is due.
The real irony in the role of GNS lies elsewhere. In the name of protecting the interests of his members who are pre-Aug 1997 retirees, he will be seriously compromising the interests of those very members if he fails to appreciate the full implications of what LIC is doing in the name of compliance. He can and he should make amends on 23 Sept. How?
Accepting that Mr GNS does not believe in Pension up-gradation as a benefit flowing from the Judgements and is even willing to dump all his post-Aug 97 retiree members in the process, should he not want the correct 20% payment as ordered by SC to be paid to his pre-Aug 97 retiree members? He and his pre-Aug 97 retiree-members should note and understand certain incontrovertible facts in this connection.
Look at the following Table in respect of a REAL Pensioner who retired on 31.08.1990 in the cadre of AO:
The above real illustration may be seen as proof that LIC is ditching even pre-Aug 97 retirees although Mr GNS is NOT demanding up-gradation for payment of 20%. In fact the Pensioner in the above illustration should be paid Rs.2,48,262/- towards 20%, if weightage is conceded by LIC. But he is being paid Rs 6976/- instead of Rs 24,515/- even without weightage.
In conclusion, I appeal to both Mr KML Asthana and Mr GN Sridharan, to take these facts to the Notice of the Bench on 23 Sept 2015 and help themselves and the Pensioner community as a whole.
I shall do my bit on behalf of the Chandigarh Petitioners, where I do not expect LIC to make any payment before 23 Sept 2015, because of the HC Order of 20 July 2015.
I also renew my offer that we three may meet on 22 Sept 2015 at Delhi at a common convenient place, to iron out minor differences if any, in the understanding of the issues involved but most relevant to the hearing on 23 Sept 2015.
M Sreenivasa Murty