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Monday, April 18, 2016

WHAT NEXT


Let us come to realities and remember the proverb “to err human and to forgive is divine”. So long as we are all humans we do commit mistakes, so do others but let us go further because of miles to go……..

I have not turned philosophical, but trying to be realistic and that takes me to the task ahead of us in the Pension case. The first step is to learn from our mistakes or better to say one course which we thought correct but was not that appealing. We can now correct our mistake because now there is a God given chance.

Redefine our aim first. We have realized that after the better period of our life, we have progressed to the final part. How to make our final part comfortable is our aim. In these days of high cost of living, there is no life without money. After spending whatever may be our lifes savings, we are depending on our pension. That is shrinking every day under the weight of inflation. We are humans and when we see someone whom we have guided to success while in service, feel happy to see him again smiling at you. But after coming home, we rue our fate that we are left in the lurch by the organization we served, because we are neglected and paid a paltry amount called pension, as compared to our younger brother who retired after us, perhaps three or more cadres down below, but was fortuitous to retire one month after or even much later. I hope this one sentence picturizes our plight and that is the cause for us to approach for justice. I would have pleaded that my pension is less than my junior and you might have said that it is not fair to ignore me while some other pensioner gets more. Does these two pleas or something more different than the word discrimination. But let us say this time clearly that it is also violation of Fundamental Rights, to make the Goddess of Justice hear our voice because her eyes are closed. The Court will accept your plea and ask why. Now that both sides are aware of the battle ground, we can say we are entitled to a treatment as directed by the SC in the Nakaras Case and also as the inviolable Rule 56 of the Pension Rules says: “Residuary provisions – Matters relating to pension and other benefits in respect of which no expression has been made in these rules shall be governed by the corresponding provisions contained in the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 or the Central Civil Services (Commutation of Pension) Rules 1981 applicable for central Government employees. I hope the HC will accept that the usage of the words ‘shall be governed’ is more definitive than the words “The Chairman of the Corporation may from time to time…. found in Rule 55 of the pension Rules, although our late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in the course of a Parliamentary debate, equated the word ‘may’ as equal the word ‘shall’.

Let the next para of the affidavit to be filed afresh in the Delhi HC, make a prayer to the Bench to refer to a Schedule to be treated part of the plaint, showing in a scheduled format the anomalies that have arisen as a result of the assailed division of pensioners by their date of retirement and as a result of the cadre they held prior to the retirement, in a few cases of the top cadre pensioners in the LIC, that will serve as a snap still picture shot. I suggest this course instead of referring to various Annexures with their subsections to avoid confusion and to facilitate easy reference.

It is also imperative to bring out that the discrimination brought out are the only ones but many may recur with each revision of the serving employees and it is necessary to follow the procedure decided in the Nakaras case and followed in the Central Civil (Services) Pension rules, which have the force of law having been framed by virtue of the powers conferred by Sec.48 of the LIC Act, 1956 which can also be directed to be followed by a judgement of the HC. Here it may be also pointed that Sec.56 is binding on the LIC as well as the author and about which neither of them have bothered to see , the other Sections 48 2(A, B, C), (cc), about which much hype has been created without realizing that the section are liable to be labelled void by the HC. Without such a direction there is every chance for multiple future litigation robing the valuable time of the Court creating a docket explotion which is already an existing threat in the system of judicial administration.

I shall take a break now with a request to the Editor to find space to publish this write up and that follow.

A.S.RAMANATHAN.