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Monday, May 02, 2016

PENSION STRUGGLE IN SUPREME COURT

  
Most of us are aware that up-gradation of pension periodically with every pay revision that takes place once in five years, and DA anomaly with regard to cent per cent neutralization for employees retired prior to 01.08.1997 have become a contentious legal issue first in Jaipur and then in Punjab and Chandigarh, and Delhi HIgh Courts with victories in many courts and a series of contempt petitions and directions to LIC deposit amounts in all the courts. All petitions together with an impleader by Hyderabad Class I officers pensioners Organization headed by S/Sri Ch. Mahadevan, former ZM in charge South Central Zone and M. Sreenivasa Murthy, formerly Regional Manager (L & HPF), SDM, Hyderabad Division are permitted by the Supreme Court to be heard by a Division Bench to be formed for the purpose by Delhi High Court with a time frame of settlement of dispute before 31.08.2016. The demand of equitable pension with no anomaly and no discrimination on the basis of dates of retirement is a reasonable right of all pensioners, for which no section of the existing employees should have any objection or reservation much less the leadership of existing or retired.

I see in the present scenario of judiciary in an assertive mood we can reasonably expect people friendly verdicts than State friendly as was the experience of LIC employees way back in 1977 and 1980 both at High Court and Supreme Court. After a decade of series of scams and unfriendly compliance to the directions of Highest Court by law enforcement wings the Judiciary must be rearing to assert and demand compliance in the new dispensation. In this back ground the recent pronouncement of judgment on 31.03.2016 assumes greater significance since it has set aside employee-favorable judgments for lack of proper projection of issue. In spite of setting aside, the SC injected a new flicker of hope on the issue of updating of pensions giving first for some and second opportunity for some to approach Delhi High Court which most of our members and leaders unfortunately are not identifying to grab except perhaps Hyderabad Class I officers Pensioners Association.

Now or never golden chance is at our door step.  I wonder now reminiscing how our senior leaders Com. Saroj, Sunil and Chandrasekhar bose had toiled all their lives enduring terrible, compared to today's travel mechanism, physical suffering to indoctrinate not merely the ideology they believed in but more importantly the cash and other benefits that LIC employees were not getting, which they richly deserved to get and make them understand that they actually deserved as employees. Proposals like Strike and loss of wages can be easily understood to be very difficult task to  convince people and launch them into action but  to convince the employees that your basic should be this much and you should get DA at this rate and you have a legitimate right to get 15% of wages as bonus without ceilings, these illustrious leaders had to be away from their families for months. This was so then and so it is today too is because every human being has an innate quality or virtue to be humble, less selfish, contented, and basically satisfied with what they have in respect of at least those born in our Bharata Khanda according to ancient vedic sciences. Added to this attitude, our current life style of middle class or upper middle class house hold, not worried about money with one sibling at least well settled abroad or a prosperous techie in India, a few chips to be obtained through legal battle as addition to the pension packets in the evening of their lives is not drawing crowds, why crowds even small groups.

There are literally thousands of LIC pensioners across India thanks to the favorable mortality and availability and affordability of life saving/extending drugs. There is immense potential to make financial resources available to the fighting fraternity. This can happen only if everyone active on chronicle contributes his share at once and talks to others so that funds are galvanized in record time as the task is daunting considering the quantum required and the time at our disposal. My take is Retired LIC Class I Officers’ Association, Hyderabad. What about you, friend?

May I, therefore, make another appeal to the pensioner fraternity to follow upanishd vaakya namely Utthishtatha, Jaagritha, Prapya parrannibodhatha which is nothing but what Swamy Vivekananda said long ago AWAKE, ARISE AND REST NOT TILL THE GOAL IS ACHIEVED.

G K VISWANATHAM