Monday, June 13, 2016

SN (A 1992 Pensioner)

DA/DR was on reducing percentage basis up to the wage 

revision of August, 1997. It was on the principle of equitability. 

But, there was discrimination in grant of DA /DR between the 

working employees and pensioners. As per 1987 pay scale, 

while employees got full neutralisation in DA (0.67% per slab 

over 600 CPI) up to the Basic Pay of Rs.2500/-, the pensioners 

got full neutralisation in DR for the Basic Pension up to 

Rs.1250/-. As per 1992/93 pay scales, the employees got full DA 

(0.35% per slab over 1148 CPI) up to Basic Pay up to Rs.4800/- 

and pensioners on Basic Pension up to Rs.2400/-.

Such a kind of treatment between two sets of staff is absolutely wrong since the percentage of quarterly hike or fall in DA / DR based on CPI is not different between the working and the retired ! The 5th CPC recognised that the tapering DA /DR does not fully neutralise the increase in the prices and is quite disadvantageous to the persons drawing more salary and pension. The CPC, therefore, recommended 100% neutralisation in DA /DR to all from 01-01-1996. The recommendation was accepted and implemented by GOI. It was duly adopted by LIC for its staff and pensioners with effect from 1st August 1997 wage revision. GOI was good enough to extend 100% DR benefit to pre 1996 pensioners but LIC did not.Pre November, 1997 RBI pensioners too have got full neutralisation in DR from February, 2005 but the pre November,1997 Banks'pensioners have not got full neutralisation in DR till date! Which Government of India should LIC and Banks' Pensioners approach for redressal of their more than a decade old grievance? The UPA government which was in power for ten long years was not helpful nor the present NDA in power for last two years is helpful.

Shri K M L A filed petitions, for equalisation of DR between the serving and the retired drawing pension, 100% neutralisation in DR and updation of pension with weightage to pre August, 1997 pensioners as per the Board's decision. The Board had expressed its desire that the weightage of 11.25% granted to in-service employees in the August, 1997 wage revision, should be given to pre Aug. 1997 pensioners. The Board had also made specific observation about the cost factor and wanted it to be implemented prospectively with Government's approval. Hon.Justice Shri M.N. Bhandari admitted both the petitions. Admitted in legal language also means : allowed, approved. Delhi and Chandigarh H.C.s too upheld the Jaipur H.C. Judgement. Hyderabad Association has added vigour, brought clarity, transparency and momentum. Lately, AIIPA has joined the fray.

Hon. Justice Shri Dipak Misra in para.27 of judgement dated 31-03-2016 says," Keeping in view of the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, it is hereby directed that the Corporation shall pay 40% as per Para. 3A of Appendix IV to each of the employees of within six weeks and shall file an affidavit to the said effect". To understand the totality of facts and circumstances, it is necessary to seriously read the preceding paragraphs 6 to 22 of the judgement. It can be certainly said that "LIC" has not read the judgement in all seriousness it deserves or else, it would not have decided to pay 40% IR adopting a wrong method beyond even a layman's sane and simple understanding. LIC is quite aware that it has been giving, it gives to the pensioners retired in August, 1997 pay scales, a sum total of the pension computed as spelt out in and as per Para.3 A of Appendix IV of Pension Rules. The pensioners retired in 2002, 2007and 2012 pay scales get as Para.3B. Luckily, none of them have been denied merger (at an mutually agreed point) and weightage (mutually agreed).

Pre 1997 pensioners got / get DR on reducing percentage basis - almost half of what is 100%. Some pensioners are, therefore, of the opinion that LIC should have given more IR, should have given 40% (IR) of DR received by the pensioners from the date of retirement and up to March, 2016. If that was the intention or if that was the thinking of the S.C. Judge to give only the benefit of 100% DR without weightage, he could and would have directed LIC to pay IR based on 0.67% per slab increase and 0.35% per slab increase to the pensioners retired in 1987 and 1992/93 pay scales respectively. Let us know (by way of an illustration of an AAO retired at the maximum of 1987 pay scale given below- details of working not furnished) the difference between what LIC has paid, what would have been the amount IR, if only 100% neutralisation in DR without weightage was given and what would have been the amount of IR, if LIC had implemented the S.C. direction in its letter and spirit,Shri Kulkarni retired with basic pension of Rs2130/-, maximum of AAO's pay scale of 1987. (A) He got IR of Rs.15482/- _______ 40% of Rs.38705/-  (B) If IR paid with 100% DR - I.e.0.67% on entire Basic Pension of Rs.2130/-, he would have got Rs.80842/- ______40% of Rs.202106/-  (C) If IR was paid as per Para.3 A of Appendix IV, he would have got Rs.217600/-_____40% of Rs.543998/-.

It is for everyone to understand how LIC has wrongly interpreted the Hon. Justice Shri Misra's direction to the disadvantage of the pre August, 1997 pensioners. Why any one be satisfied to get less than what is just and rightfully due? As Shri C H Mahadevan has implied in some of his recent articles, there should be no compromise with wrong decisions. It should be brought to the notice of the Court /s for rectification. While dealing with the constitutional validity of Para.3 A of Appendix IV of LIC Employees (Pension) Rules,1995, the main thrust be on D.S.Nakara & others v/s UOI and on equality etc. enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution of India. It may prove futile to challenge Sec.48 of LIC Act, 1956 as such or similar provisions do exist in all institutions like RBI, SBI, Nationalised Banks, PSU etc. created by an act of Parliament. Given below is a profound picture of pensioners of a large institution, central bank of the Country, collected from various sources and blogs.

The pay revision effective from 1st November, 1997 of serving employees of RBI took place in February/ March 2002. Dr. Bimal Jalan, the then Governor of RBI granted updation of pension to all pre 1st Nov. 1997 pensioners (to pensioners retired in 1987 and 1992 pay scales) as per wage settlement effective from 1-11-1997, but prospectively from 2003. GOI, MOF asserted that RBI action of granting updation was illegal and it also questioned as to how the updation of pension could be from a prospective date, or say, what was the wisdom of not granting the updation from 1st November, 1997, the date of revision of pay scales. MOF compelled RBI to withdraw the up-gradation granted. The Government showed 'empathy' towards pensioners by condoning the recovery of additional pension already received by them ! The said withdrawal, however, was challenged by three pre 1997 pensioners in the Bombay High Court. The Court stayed the order of withdrawal, subject to final decision by the Court. The case not come up for last four years or so and the pre November, 1997 pensioners continue to get updated pension as per pay scales of November, 1997. Their basic pension had been revised on stage to stage basis, say, as per fitment charts pre- revised and revised pay scales. However, the RBI pensioners have not got further pension updation as per the subsequent revision of pay scales in 2002, 2007 and 2012. Probably, why probably, they would not without the sanction of MOF, GOI, New Delhi. The pensioners have been awaiting for years for green signal from the GOI authorities. Forget about green signal, there is not even an yellow signal that RBI, an autonomous institution, can decide on its own.

Let us pray for health and long life ! Meantime, let us live with fond hope of obtaining favourable judgement from the Delhi High Court latest by 31st August, 2016.

SN (a 1992 pensioner)