Monday, May 16, 2016

Dear Editor,

Much water has flown under the bridge since coming to the Blog with my Post. Let me take first things first. Yes, I am alluding to the appeal for donations/contributions from different pensioner Associations. I had given my reasons for going with the Hyderabad Association in my previous post. It is heartening to note that many have started responding positively. If not in one instalment, it can be in two or three instalments. I chose to take the instalment route. Mr.MSM is already in Delhi doing what is most needed now. Time being the essence, those who have the mind and heart to contribute may do it without losing time. 

A wrong impression is being created from interested quarters that Shri.GNS being the author of the DR arrears,deservedly his Federation should be the sole beneficiary. The verdicts of all the three HCs having been set aside, none of the three can claim victory for the IR of 40% or on the other hand, I would say that the credit , if there is any at all, belongs to all the three or it is ,perhaps, the outcome of the pity taken by Justice Deepak Misra on the Septuagenarians.. So, for the efforts put in by MSM, CHM and others in this regard, it will be in the fitness of things to send a decent portion of the arrears receivable by the pre-1997 pensioners to the Hyderabad Association. Since their fight is for one and all, cutting across Class,cadre etc, I would appeal to each and everyone to join this venture.

As already mentioned above, the SC verdict is a clear set back for us. LIC/GOI can claim victory of sorts. Despite their non-participation in the Jaipur HC, time-barred filing of SPLs and affidavits in the Supreme Court, Government’s silence over consideration of the Board resolution for 9 long years constitutional provisions being in our favour, the time-tested landmark DS Nakras case to back us up solidly , the SC ruled that GOIs contention that the decision of the Jaipur SB was bad in law and remanded the case to HC. Even though Justice.Misra, in the Order of 31st March, twice mentioned that they are not expressing any opinion on the merit of the case, all the same, made such observations as “It is a case where we are constrained to speak that the end does’nt bring the finality” and” though the controversy relating to pension should be put an end to in quite promptitude,yet for some reason or the other it doesn't happen” We are forbidden from questioning the wisdom of the Judge or the natural urge would be to ask why..why..why..? This is exactly the reason why in two of my earlier posts I hinted that there is something more to it than what meets the eyes. Indications are that unless the Updation issue has the blessings of the MOF, it is not going to see the light of the day. And, unless a similar demand from the banking sector pensioners is settled amicably, its applicability in our case will be a far cry. Please don’t tell me that I am seeing ‘ghost’ everywhere, but try to accept it as a ground reality.

I am saying the above not with a view to deter our fighting the case in Delhi HC with all our might but to have a change in our perspective or in other words, a paradigm change. While for the present we have no other option but to continue the battle in Delhi HC, practical wisdom would suggest that we keep an eye on the happenings in the Banking Sector, where due to intervention of IBA there is semblance of things beginning to happen. It is time we changed our stand towards LIC,our parent Organisation. No doubt, presently, the action of LIC towards the pensioners is patently antagonistic . But it is a product of circumstances and clearly motivated by the GOI. The Chairman and the two MDs who keep on changing from time to time and are responsible for decisions in these matters can never be pronouncedly inimical or hostile to us. May be some are overdoing the dictats of the Government and some adopt a businesslike attitude. It is like quarrelling all day with ones wife and going to bed with her in the night (don’t put ideas into your head-we are well past that age!). Here, I think we have to take a leaf from both Mr.GNS and the AIIP in this regard. It is an ongoing relationship and therefore, while there can be circumstantial and situational criticism of LICs actions, we cant afford to treat them as sworn enemies. We need to keep harmonious working relationship with them. Let us re-establish the link that we have temporarily lost with LIC and build up a sound rapport. I am sure, Mr.Mahadevan, having been in the ZMs seat, very much understands what I am recommending.

I fully endorse our Editors views on the ‘Unity Efforts” over which many of our members have become vocal. If one reads AIIPA circular, between the lines, one can't miss their subtle reference to the fact that they have decided to plunge into the legal battle not because we are in it, but because of the new-found necessity,nevertheless keeping their overall philosophy and approach towards the twin issues confronting the pensioners. I don’t think there is any need for us to give undue importance to them, a possible hangover of the larger than life image projected by AIIEA in their hey days. As rightly observed by Mr. Gangadharan, let not any of the four players play the spoilsport to one another; that will be their greatest gift to the pensioners. Let us stick to one group , support them to the hilt and extend to them all the financial help they need. 31st of August being the deadline given by the SC to find a finality to our issues, we have absolutely no time for even giving a second thought to the so-called Unity Efforts.

And as regards, para 3A of Appendix IV to the Pension Rules ,section 48,section 55 and a host of other roadblocks, many of our legally erudite friends have examined them thoroughly. What I want to remind is that the SC referral had come only after travelling through them. Justice Misra’s judgment has zeroed in, ultimately, on para 3A of Appendix IV to the Pension Rules and section 48 and their constitutional validity and applicability. One of the columnists has suggested an out of the box thinking on the part of the Case Managers to meet the objections. I would call them a PARADIGM SHIFT. The SC has given an opportunity for us to invest in total re-thinking and file writs afresh, suitably amended, if need be. This is where our Case Managers should apply their minds and arrive at legal points not thought of hitherto and avoid treading the beaten track.

As for the Calculation Conundrum, the steps taken by Mr.Murty is ideal for the time being. Being an interim payment, it is subject to corrections/alterations when the final verdict is delivered. Let us wait for the affidavit to be filed by LIC as to compliance of the SC Order in the Delhi H.C to decide future course of action. Wishing the pensioners happy tidings ,positively before 31st of August 2016 and wishing Mr.Murty and his team success in their efforts at Delhi.