I have been waiting for the heat to die down to continue my contribution to the Chronicle. Now that the people are back in their respective places , I thought it is time we did some stock-taking or is it post-mortem?. Good six months have elapsed after the 7th May SC interim judgment, according to which all the pre -1997 pensioners must have got 20% of the DR arrears. The fact of the matter is none of them received what they ought to have. It is quite obvious by now that this happened as a result of the whimsical methods pursued by our so-called three leaders in its implementation. At least, Mr.Sridharan can have the satisfaction that he managed to secure some measly amount for 1000 and odd pre-1997 pensioners,of course, at a cost to them. In a nutshell, all the three of them, without exception, wasted away the precious six months without the pensioners gaining anything worth the salt.
What were they doing all these six months except throwing allegations at each other?. While Mr.Sridharan chose to keep a safe distance, the other two continued the diatribe against each other. Mr.Murty went to the extent of calling Shri .Asthana a liar and a mentally disturbed person. As long as we have not heard what exactly transpired on 30th in the SC from an independent source, how can we take Mr.Murty’s version as a gospel truth and Mr.Asthana’s a fabricated and calculated lie? Supposing, if I say that it was Mr.Murty who was lying and not Mr.Asthana, can anyone deny my claim. Or, together were they fooling the entire community of pensioners? The law itself propounds that a person continues to be innocent as long as he has not been proven guilty. It is grossly unfair and against all norms of decency that Mr.Asthana has been caricatured as a person taking a “Holy Dip” to wash off his sins for hiding the truth. No one can escape responsibility and accountability for one's actions. Therefore, at least in the future before making any accusation about anybody,the person indulging in it must possess in controvertible proof or evidence.
The IA filed by Mr.Murty was supposed to revolutionise the SC verdict on 30th. According to him, it was prophecied to be THE cure or panacea for all the ills of the pensioners The fact remains, that there was no mention, even in passing, by the judge about the correctness or otherwise of LIC’s calculations. God knows whether Mr.Murtys counsel got any opportunity to speak at all, leave alone making an impression on the judge! On the other hand, though informal, the Hon’ble judge called upon only Sri.Asthanas counsels to present the case. What transpired between the Sr.counsels and the judge is another matter , which I have discussed elsewhere. How can,therefore, we disbelieve Mr.Asthana when he asserts and affirms that being the prime party to the case, only his counsels will be heard in the future. It is anybody’s guess that but for the Jaipur H.C verdict for which Sri.Asthana has been hugely responsible would the other two parties seen the corridors of the Supreme Court. Let us be gentlemen: Give the devil its due!
Of all the three groups, I hope I am right when I say the Panchkula Unit represent the minimum no of stakeholders. The history of our legal battle unequivocally proclaims the dominance of the Jaipur Group, who successfully navigated three successive victories. The Panchkula group looked at from any angle represent the minority . In a democratic set up, we have to throw our lot with the majority , though in the process, the voice of the minority is not stifled. My appeal, therefore, to my fellow pensioners is not to encourage the unjustified craving of the Panchkula leaders (self-styled) for importance. Mr.Asthana, even though guilty of a few erroneous steps here and there, is capable of pulling off a final victory for us. Let us allow him to focus on the ensuing SC hearing on 18th November, undisturbed by petty politics and attention-seekers. Mr.Sridharan, being a non-state actor as far as the up-gradation issue is concerned,we can safely ignore him for the time being. Having said that, the interests of the Pre-1997 pensioners are very safe in his hands.
Our all-inclusive Editor permitting, my next post will be very soon on the Blog dealing with the probable scenario on 18th November in the Supreme Court and my suggestions, as a purely non-legal entity.
With warm Regards,
M V VENUGOPALAN