Tuesday, January 26, 2016

M.Sreenivasa Murty

I am deeply moved by the kind words of Sri C H Mahadevan, and the warm responses of many friends and well-wishers, through PC (and other means of communications directly to me) conveying their best wishes for the speedy recovery of my wife, who is still in hospital. My full attention has been on her from the AN of 22 Jan. Her health is improving but slowly.

SN is always special for how he writes whatever he writes. This time around he is more special as he said those words in my support concluding with his prayers for my wife’s health. I am indeed indebted, Respected and Dear SN.

My special thanks to The Editor.

On the ‘mention’ proper, as SN recalled correctly, Sri Mahadevan and I have been working hard for several weeks, with a clear mandate from the Hyderabad Association, (especially after the 2nd December adjournment of our final hearing by 45 days), to wrest some control in our matters which seemed to be slipping from our hands. As our PC readers know, we made one attempt on 4th December. If I am not disclosing any big secret, our Sr Counsel on that day appeared before the Bench and referred to the adjournment of our hearing till 20th Jan, just two days before (unceremonious and for all wrong reasons, as we privately know) and requested only for an early date to hear the Chandigarh IA. But Justice Dipak Misra gave more than what we had asked for, in his Order, straightaway dictated while taking the unlisted matter on board, permitting withdrawal of what was deposited in Chandigarh. When an application was filed for the purpose on 24 Dec 2015, LIC again played the 20% card, despite the 4th Dec Order being different. Matter at Chandigarh got routinely adjourned to 27 Jan. 

I thought it was like the 100th blunder by King Sisupala and time has come to apply the Sudarshana Chakra to tackle our mighty defiant Corporation.

I returned from the US cutting short my stay there to just one week due to my wife’s illness back home) but keenly pursued for a conference with the Sr Counsel at Delhi, which as per my choice should happen well before the scheduled 20th Jan hearing. It is because, I anticipated that the hearing on that day shall not take place seriously and we should not remain unprepared. It is necessary to take to the notice of the Bench that LIC & GNS Federation indulged in their collusive games of distributing some money to some people (recklessly flouting their own norms of eligibility, not to talk of the letter and spirit of SC Orders) for fear of being hauled up for defying the 7 Sept Order of SC and left the majority of even admittedly eligible Pensioners, high and dry.

Has LIC or its partner in collusion, cared to answer the question why even a single family pensioner has not been paid any amount anywhere in the country? Has GNS cared to ensure that even the few whom he decided as eligible and recommended for payment, been paid the right amount? Does he himself know, what is the right amount payable to the pre- Aug 97 retirees?

While a few hundred pensioners have been paid something, are not the rest of many thousands entitled to know what is happening? Who would answer? Whom to ask? Are our leaders sensitive enough to understand the sense of hurt of the other pre-97 retirees, not to talk of the post- Aug 97 retirees? That is where the Hyderabad Association is trying to do something to compel LIC to answer to the Apex Court. Thank you SN once again, for remembering.

Now, about the IA of the Hyderabad Association per se:

Many might have forgotten or might not care to remember that it was filed by us in August 2014 itself. It was duly numbered and has been on board for almost one and half years, along with all the tagged matters. It came up for hearing on its own and was heard ‘in Chamber’ on 10 Sept 2015. HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ADARSH KUMAR GOEL [IN CHAMBERS] and passed the following Order:

Heard.  I.As to be listed along with the main matter before the Court.

As a result of the above, the Hyderabad Association would have got an opportunity and its turn to make its submissions before the SC Bench, AFTER the three main Civil Appeals are heard. In the above context, as the Final Hearing has not been taking place at all, (sometimes unfortunately even not allowed to take place, by some of our own Pensioner leaders and their Counsel – a separate Post on that would follow soon) we felt the need to seek an opportunity to call the bluff and appraise the Bench of what is going on.

I was able to convince Sri Gopal Jain, a Sr Advocate, generally held in high esteem by the Bar and the Bench, that the Hyderabad Association and about 48,000 LIC Pensioners countrywide, (including thousands of Family Pensioners) are not obliged to helplessly watch the colossal mischief going on for years which is nothing but travesty of justice. I had several rounds of brief but focused interaction with Sri GJ, (one such for about half an hour, both of us standing in the sprawling open to sky balcony, outside the Chief Justice’s Court last week, trying to catch some sunshine in the freezing cold). He assured me, ‘Mr Murty, you have a good case, it’s a considerate Bench and I will do my best’.

The resultant action: We made a special mention before the Bench on 22 Jan 2016. Explained very briefly how LIC has been playing truant. Requested that the Hyderabad Association’s IA (already on board) be heard early – next Friday, sought and obtained permission to file a fresh comprehensive 33 page Additional Affidavit in support of our case, Filed the same immediately with Notice to the opposite side (s) and waiting for our turn to argue on 29.01.2016.

We know it will be resisted tooth and nail by LIC (and God knows who else) but we are fully prepared.

LIC Pensioners now need HIS abundant grace, and I need their collective blessings and good wishes. It is the justness of the cause and sincere human effort that ultimately matter. We have both.

Let’s look forward to Friday the 29 Jan 2016.