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Monday, September 21, 2015

My Response to the AIIPA’s Circular dt 20th September 2015

Can the AIIPA elaborate on “the favourable inclination hinted at way back in the year 2008”?

The Board Resolution dt 24/11/2001 states inter alia, 
”……………..Chairman pointed out that he has since received a communication from Dr. S. Ram Khanna, Board Member, which refers to his meeting with the Retirees Federation and requested examining the proposal in detailed. The Note is in line with the demands made by the Federation, viz., giving effect to the proposal from 1.11.1993 and upgradation by giving weightage of 11.25% as in the case of in service employees. Chairman pointed out that these have been considered before placing the matter to the Board and it was felt that the same would increase the financial burden very substantially and may be unaffordable for the Corporation…………………. ……….After some discussion the Board approved the proposal and suggested that it should be implemented prospectively and after obtaining Government approval.”

This only means that the import of the Board Resolution was not only the merger of DR with Basic Pension at AICPI 1740 points on 1/8/1997, but also  removal of the  anomaly in DR   persisting from 1/11/1993 on account of the lack of equitable neutralization compared with  that for in service employees with the slabs slashed by 50%  for retirees vis-a-vis in-service employees. Such anomaly  was only rectified from 1/8/1997 with  a uniform DA/DR formula for both in-service employees and   post-July 1997 retirees.

In addition,the phrase “ upgradation giving weightage  of 11.25% as in the case of in-service employees” makes it crystal clear  that upgradation of pension had to be done on 1/8/1997 as wage revision was  done for in-service employees from 1/8/1997.Not only LIC has been conveniently and consistently  forgetting the weightage aspect,but AIIPA also seems to be glossing over this aspect while holding the view that the Board Resolution did not envisage upgradation.No vested interests are    unjustifiedly  harping on the Board Resolution signifying upgradation with weightage,but it  would appear that some vested interests are bent upon blocking upgradation of pension despite the Board Resolution.

For the above reason, the amounts deposited by LIC  in the Rajasthan HC Registry and the Punjab & Haryana HC Registry were neither as per the Board Resolution nor the impugned judgments. Even in the interim order dt 17/10/2012 issued by the Apex Court  in connection with the CCP  then pending at Jaipur Bench, it was directed by the Court that the petitioners had to be paid  by LIC  the benefits that they were entitled to from the date of retirement  within eight weeks.This also proves that the Supreme Court recognized that pensioners were the victims of anomalies right from the date of their retirement or 1/11/1993 whichever was later.

As regards the implementation of the interim order dt 7/5/2015 of the Supreme Court, no doubt LIC wrote to the Class I Retirees’ Federation asking for a list of its members satisfying various conditions of membership on certain dates, but, thanks to the SC order dated 7/9/2015 directing LIC to pay the interim relief within 2 weeks,LIC waived its own conditions and decided to pay to all the members whose names were communicated by the Federation.( Of course it is learnt that about one-third of the members may receive the interim relief late on account of discrepancies in data base).

In the light of the above, I wish and hope that the AIIPA  which claims to champion the cause of  insurance pensioners  should  unequivocally support  upgradation of pension which has already been clearly ordered by the Jaipur Bench  and Punjab & Haryana High Court judgments even if the Association  does not want to join the legal fight.

Greetings.

C H Mahadevan