CAN THE GENERAL SECRETARY
OF THE CLASS I FEDERATION BE IGNORED?
Mr M V Venugopalan writes, “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.”
It passes one’s comprehension, how a General Secretary of the Federation of Retired Class I Officers’Associations which comprises a major proportion of post-July 1997 retiree Class I members can be treated as a non-state actor. May be he has secured a High Court judgment in favour of the pre-August 1997 retiree- members and also interim relief for them albeit not adequate (thanks to the pressure mounted on LIC by the 7th September order of the Supreme Court).
In my view he has a vital role to play in the legal journey to the 18th November hearing in the Supreme Court. If as Mr Venugopalan thinks, he can be safely ignored for the time being, what is the accountability that the Federation has towards its majority members – especially the post July 1997 retiree members - who are very much significant stakeholders in the Federation as much as the pre-August 1997 retiree-members? The Federation has a compelling responsibility to actively espouse the cause of post-July 1997 retiree-members also by actively crusading for upgradation of pension instead of passively taking the position that it is not against upgradation of pension. All of us are of course happy that some breakthrough has been achieved in case of pre-August 1997 retirees through the latest developments. But the positivity will not be complete unless the very same group of pensioners is helped to enjoy the benefits of upgradation of pension through active legal interventions besides taking up the upgradation issue for all members actively.
We should also remember that obtaining justice to the family pensioners in the pre-August 1997 category continues to remain as an unfinished task.
C H Mahadevan