SC ORDER OF 7 TH MAY 2015
Yesterday, when we were discussing our legal cases just before the commencement of our Association's AGM,Mr Sreenivasa Murty raised a very interesting and pertinent point that is brought out by the SC Order dated 7th May 2015 which states inter alia,"Needless to say,the payment in continuum shall be considered when the appeals are taken up for hearing."
The import of this sentence according to Mr Murty is that the matter of interim relief payment does not end with an one time payment by LIC to the concerned pensioners,but will be considered in continuum till a finality is reached in the case.
The CAs are already 'part heard' and the hearing of appeals has thus started already and in the hearing held on 7/5/2015,the SC had ordered payment of interim relief within 6 weeks.The order was reiterated on 7/9/2015 for payment of the IR within two weeks.The quantum of interim relief underwent a change for a higher amount to be paid as per the second order.
So now when the CAs come up for hearing,as per the interim order dated 7/5/2015,the SC will consider the issue of interim relief in continuum if the final judgment is not issued on that day of hearing. If the hearing remains inconclusive on 20/1/2016,further payment of interim relief will be considered by SC if we go by the above quoted sentence.It is very important that the senior counsel appearing for the three sets of pensioners keep this point in mind and bring this to the attention of the Bench on the next date of hearing.
As a corollary,the question also arises that when the subject matter under litigation affects the common interest of more than 45000 pensioners and family pensioners about more than 22000 of whom have been subjected to injustice on account of pension DR anomaly for over 20 years with many of them having exited this world,can the benefit of interim relief be confined to only to a measly number of 1200 pensioners?
The situation therefore demands that the Class I Retirees' Federation through its counsel should stress before the Apex Court on 20th January 2016 that the provision of in rem benefit ordered by the Delhi HC requires LIC to pay interim relief to all pensioners similarly placed as the members of the Federation.
In these circumstances, also the AIRIEF has to seriously think whether they are well advised to go slow on their announced decision to get Impleaded in the CAs in the SC.
C H Mahadevan