For the past month and a half, we have been focusing on the interim benefit of 40 % IR ordered by SC on 31/3/2016 to Pre-August 1997 retirees.Many of us have also been fortunate to get whatever LIC chose to pay, although many including family pensioners got single digit money or no money.
Mr SN has rightly taken us on a retour to visit the Justice Bhandari judgment of Jaipur Bench (albeit set aside by SC)where the anomalous rates of DR inserted in Appendix IV which were just 50% of what was applied for in-service employees.This discrimination arose because LIC/GOI did not honour the MOU of LIC with LIC employees' Associations/Federations entered into in 1994.
We must admit that in our excessive obsession with a desire for invalidation of Sec 48,we failed to stress this kind of discrimination which was created right from 1/11/1993 ,the date from which the Rules became effective.
If this aspect had been sufficiently highlighted before the SC in the final hearing, perhaps the 40% IR would have been ordered also including the difference in DR from 1/11/1993 or the date of retirement whichever was later. It is quite another matter LIC in its own characteristic manner would have found a way of implementing the SC order in a manner expedient to it.But what is important is to recognize that such an order would have added further strength to our case in Delhi HC. At least now, let us now conduct the cases at Delhi HC with the right focus within the limited time available at our disposal.
The destiny of over 45000 pensioners and more importantly the helpless family pensioners and the legal heirs of the unfortunate ones hinges on the outcome in the Delhi High Court proceedings. Every one amongst us is anxious and impatient for removal of DR anomaly,100% DR Neutralisation and wholesale upgradation of pension with every wage revision. But we must also remember that things can work out in favour of pensioners only when those who take the lead are supported with all resources adequately and in time. There is, after all, no scope for free lunch!
C H Mahadevan