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Monday, January 11, 2016

OUR PENSION CASE

Dear Shri Mahadevan,

Very happy to see your very hard work relating to the effect of the revision of D.A etc. as appeared to have been done by the LIC while depositing the 20% interim payments into some of the pensioners bank a/cs. It is really a wonderful effort in the absence of the details of working by the LIC. Your working will be useful for placing before the S.C our contention that without the revision, the anomalies will only persist. Hope Shri KMLA has been appraised of your work. I shall also remind him.

From what Shri RBK is writing, I understand that there was a MOU with the LIC as per which the percentage and method of neutralization will be the same for serving employees and the retired. A copy of the MOU also seems to have been obtained. However the DA formula is not as per that MOU in the Pension Rules. The MOU will add further legal strength to our case. In my opinion, we have half won our case as far as parity of DA neutralization with that of those retired after 31-7-97. 

For revision, we have the Board Resolution to support our contention. But LIC’s contention is that irrespective of the Board resolution, any MOU, High Court Judgement etc. the Sec.48 notification is a must, as Sec.48 has given the Govt the sole prerogative of revision. You may recollect, that I was toiling to defeat this argument. I approached this problem in two ways. One was to say that the Jaipur H.C has not struck down the Sec.48 notification, but only has given a benevolent reading, which it was entitled to, and hence there is no necessity for any fresh notification for which I have also cited S.C judgements. 

But for revision we have only the Board Resolution to support. LIC will argue, that is a recommendation, and that communication between LIC and the Govt is a private communication and not having any force. Hence I examined and found out there is a case for declaring Sec.48 as arbitrary, authoritative, giving unbridled power to the Govt. to make rules, even discriminatory offending Art.14. Art.14 also provides for equal protection of all laws, besides equality before law. Equal protection of all laws is difficult to prove and sustain. But Sec.48 made it easy to argue because in one stroke, it makes this legislative saving provision of inapplicability of even Judgements, other legislations such as I.D Act etc. enabling the Govt to frame even regulations opposed to Fundamental Rights. 

You may recollect the voluminous judicial decisions quoted by me to show that the Sec.48 is arbitrary delegation. The famous quote “the tail shall not wag, when the head is present” from Maneka Gandhis case by V.R.Krishna Iyer J on subordinate legislation is the proof . Therefore when there is a MoU by the LIC, on equal neutralization of DA formula, it becomes enforceable too when Sec. 48 is held void being against the principles of equal protection of all laws and the rule of law.

I am alo of the opinion that the SC will only give direction to the LIC to see that anomalies of the nature pointed out should be avoided and therefore revision is to be allowed. Let us hope for the best.

With regards,
A.S.Ramanathan