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Thursday, September 24, 2015

MV VENUGOPALAN



Dear Editor,

Mr.Mahadevan has projected four different scenarios on the 20% receivable by the pensioners in terms of the SC Order Dt. 7th May and 7th September. Everyone by now knows on what premises he has built up those figures. He also avers that whatever is paid by LIC to the pensioners falls far short of the amounts they are legally entitled to. The effort is laudable and the logic understandable.

The safe assumption made by him is that LIC based its calculations as at 1-8-1997, revising the pension by simply merging the DR upto 1-8-1997 with existing Basic pension. But ,should the “impugned Order” be fulfilled in letter and spirit, the 20% DR will be much higher than what was paid by LIC to a select few. As per the “impugned Order” , he has added, revision of pension, as at 2002 and 2007 as well as weightage for merger of DR with Basic pension also should have been given effect to. He has shown as to how the figures will appear if the above exercise were carried out by LIC and how ridiculously low the figures appear due to LIC adopting its own method.

From this, it is clear that there is more than one way of working out the 20% arrears due to the pensioners. Neither in the 7th May SC Order or 7th September SC Order, it has not been spelt out by the Hon’ble judge what methodology should be adopted for arriving at the amount. Whether such a feasibility can be envisaged is another question. In the light of the fact that LIC is tooth and nail opposing the up-gradation issue, how can we expect them to reckon the DR taking the up-gradation aspect factored into it. Moreover, in the SC Order of 7th September, the judge has clarified that they are not concerned with the “computation facet”. LIC has gone ahead with payment of the 20% to members of the Federation, which was not questioned or refunded by the recipients as a sign of protest. What is happening in Mr.Asthanas camp is not known to anyone, except that , at the eleventh hour he has shot out a letter to the Chairman of LIC pointing out the error in calculation.

Under the circumstances, until such time we go to the SC again on 30th of this month with this problem,Mr.Mahadevans efforts to bring out the inherent pitfalls in the methodology in working out the 20% arrears by LIC will ,I am afraid, be an exercise in futility. All the same, that it is of academic interest, cannot be denied. The pensioners to whose accounts the amount has been credited having no clue about what the money means, should not be confused any further.

With warm regards,
M.V.VENUGOPALAN