I agree with Mr Sudhakaran that the issue raised in D S Nakra case was the liberalization of the pension scheme arising on a cut-off date resulting in change of the formula for calculating the average emoluments for determining pension which resulted in discrimination.The parallel in our case is the 100% neutralization effected in DA/ DR for both in-service and retired employees from 1/8/1997 with a uniform DA/DR formula which exposed the discrimination arising out of the differential DR formula that was existing after the notification of LIC Pension Rules 1995 in respect of pensioners retired prior to 1st August 1997.Surely our case for removal of DR anomaly and equitable DR neutralization on par with in-service employees in respect of pre-August 1997 retirees flows from the Nakara judgment.
But the case of upgradation has been sufficiently strengthened by Jaipur Single judge Bench allowing WP no 654/2007.Besides, the direction for implementation of the LIC Board Resolution dt 24/11/2001 by LIC clearly supports the case for upgradation.The LIC Board Resolution requires giving effect to the proposal to remove the DR anomaly from 1.11.1993 and upgradation by giving weightage of 11.25% as in the case of in service employees from 1/8/1997.
If LIC acts as per the directions of the Jaipur Bench to implement the LIC Board Resolution,LIC will have to first apply the DR formula as applicable to in-service employees right from 1/11/1993.The next step will be to merge the equitably neutralized DR upto 1/8/1997 with the existing Basic Pension and revise the Basic Pension by a suitable weightage as was done for in-service employees while revising the wages.(the 11.25% mentioned in the Board Resolution has to be taken only as an average and the weightage in individual cases will vary according to cadre and scales of pay).This weighted sum becomes the upgraded pension on 1/8/1997.Now that two more wage revisions have taken place after date of the Board Resolution, a similar process of upgradation has to be followed in chain also on 1/8/2002 and 1/8/2007 (and also on 1/8/2012 when wage revision takes place effective from that date).
When such an upgradation exercise is done for pre-August 1997 retirees,ipso facto similar process of upgradation has to be followed in respect of post-July 1997 retirees also so that there will be no discrimination among the pensioners under the LIC Pension Rules. This in simple terms means OROP(One Rank One Pension) for LIC pensioners which in my opinion the Jaipur Single Judge Bench judgment provides for. While the Jaipur SJB judgment remains stay-refused by Supreme Court, the final word has to come from Supreme Court on upgradation on or after 23/9/2015 when the hearings take place.
The marshalling of the favourable case laws by the three counsel and effective court-craft under all the Civil Appeals will become crucial to achieve our goal of upgradation of pension.
C H Mahadevan