Sunday, September 13, 2015

No need to despair


Referring to the post  of Mr M Sreenivasa Murty,on LIC  pretending to pay the due payment to the pre-August 1997 retiree Class I Officer-members of the Class I Federation, we had actually discussed  among ourselves  using the calculations to  discover the inadequacy of the amount of interim relief LIC proposes to pay to the  concerned retirees.

In the example quoted by Mr Murty,what  has been  mentioned is the minimum loss sustained  by the pensioner in question when the pre-August 1997 DR arrears due  are taken into account besides the required successive revisions of Basic Pension  on 1/8/2002,and 1/8/2007 also following the same principle of merger of  DR with Basic pension  followed w.e.f 1/8/1997( taking  the existing reduced DR slabs in the process of merger).

In the background office note submitted CO Personnel dept to the Board before the Board Resolution was passed,a reference had been made to three types of DR formulae for the different  generations of pensioners and the need for rationalizing the DR was also emphasized. Reading the Jaipur Bench judgment allowing the first Writ Petition for removing the DR anomaly along with this , it is incumbent on LIC  to not only apply the DR formula as applicable for in-service employees as on 1/11/1993 or the date of retirement whichever is later, but also  revise the  Basic Pension by merger of DR(at in-service rates) with the existing Basic Pension ( I am not going into the question of weightage of 11.25%  on 1/8/1997 mentioned in the Board Resolution) on 1/8/1997,1/8/2002 and  1/8/2007.Once a principle of merger of DR with  existing Basic Pension for revision  of Basic Pension is followed for 1/8/1997,LIC is not justified in not following that principle on 1/8/2002 & 1/8/2007 and freezing the revised basic Pension (that too wrongly) for all future months. If the revised pension of the retired officer in question (who retired on 31/8/1990) had been calculated correctly as indicated  above, the revised Basic Pension on 1/8/1997,1/8/2002 and 1/8/2007 would have been much more  and  the arrears due to this pensioner would have been Rs 5.5 lks as at 31/7/2014 against which LIC paid only Rs 34883/- in the court.(If upgradation is to be effected as per the Jaipur and Chandigarh judgments,his dues would have been more than Rs 14 lks on 31/7/2015). If LIC pays him as interim relief only Rs 6977/-, it will be hardly 1.3% of the amount due  as per their own method,but with suitable revisions of Basic Pension on 1/8/2002 &18/2007 also and not 20%.

I also happened to work out the dues to a retired officer who retired on 31/12/1995 as DM on Basic Pension of 5350/- and I found, if he is paid interim relief on the basis of the known methodology of LIC, he will be receiving only 1.4% of the total amount due to him as at 31/7/2015 instead of 20% as interim relief. The situation may be similar in the case of all the 1300+ pre-August 1997 retirees who are likely to receive the interim relief payments.

While I am happy that the pre-August 1997 retirees are  going to receive some interim relief when all of them are in a desperately expectant situation  which is understandable, it is a matter of regret that these  retirees are  going to receive a shamefully inadequate amount against  which there is no likelihood of  a semblance of protest.

Meek acceptance of the pittance amount without protest will definitely enable LIC to try to walk away escaping  the charge of contempt while not paying the amount due as per the Supreme Court order dated 7/5/2015.

It is very clear that the interest of the pensioners especially the older ones at large  has been miserably compromised as  it appears   from the  likely inadequate payment for a few on the one hand  and denial for the similarly placed  pensioners numbering about 13000+ in spite of the Delhi High Court judgment  ordering benefits in rem.

But I am sure that cause of the pensioners (both pre-August 1997 and post-July 1997) is still not lost and saviors will still emerge. So pensioners have no need to lose heart. Let us look forward to 23 rd September hearing, but not with undue hopes. Nevertheless we have a valuable opportunity to place our strong points before the Bench.


C H Mahadevan