Saturday, July 09, 2016

mv venugopalan

Dear Editor,

It is a well known fact that the recommendations of the respective Pay Commissions’ Report is implemented by the CG by issuing Administrative Instructions and not by following the provisions in the CCS (Pension) Rules 1972. This is what Sri.C.H.Mahadevan has explained in his write-up. The O.M dt 27-10-1997 issued by GOI gives a list of the CG employees/pensioners covered under this. There is no mention of LIC or Banks for the simple reason that they belong to the Quasi-Govt. institutions and not the Central Govt. The Residuary Provision under Rule 56 in our Pension Rules say “ Matters relating to Pension in respect of which no expression has been made....etc” are covered by corresponding provisions in the CCS Pension Rules 1972. Therefore, it is to be presumed that, even though no express provision is made either in the CCS Rules or in our Pension Rules for revision of Pension, in view of the fact Govt.implements it through an OM, it is deemed to form part of Rule 56 of our Pension Rules, and LIC has the powers to revise the pension by issuing similar instructions. Mr.Anonymous argues, that as long as it doesn't find a place in the CCS Pension Rules, we cannot claim that it forms part of the Residuary Provision (Our Pension Rules 1995).

Well, the Govt can issue an O.M with the assent of the President of India and go ahead with implementation of the Pay Commission Recommendations. Whereas, in our case, we cant adopt a similar procedure, since first of all we have to secure Govt.approval for implementation of the Pension Revision. Even a Resolution passed by the LIC Board is hanging fire for the past several years owing to non-approval by the Govt. and hence how far it will be correct to assume that the spirit of the O>M issued by the Govt. automatically is deemed to be part and parcel of the Rule 56 is rather questionable. Mr.Anonymous’ fear that a provision for revision of pension has not been made in the CCS Pension Rules 1972 was done deliberately by the Govt. with a view to keeping away a) LIC and Banks from its gambit and b) that even the CG employees should not claim pension revision as a matter of right, at a later date, is far-fetched. I am not aware of any Pension Rules framed making an exclusive provision for Revision of Pension at definite intervals. We have ’PF and Miscellaneous Provisions Act,1952’ and, ’Payment of Gratuity Act 1972’, making it compulsory on the part of the employers. No such Act is in vogue making Payment of Pension to the retired employees compulsory. No doubt, as ruled by the SC Pension is a deferred salary and also a right in those institutions where it is installed but was not made compulsory through passing of an Act. In fact, we are moving gradually to a “contributory” pension scenario, where one has to pay a premium for building up once own pension corpus, though Universal Pension is the demand of the day. Under such circumstances, how far it will be feasible for providing an exclusive provision in the Pension Rules for Revision of Pension is debatable.

Again, we can't afford to forget what Hon'ble Justice Dipak Misra said during one of our hearings. He said, “..if the Resolution (Board) was not statutory and if it required Govt. approval to become effective, that is how it is “ and again in the Judgment I had quoted in my previous post where the Respondent was duly corrected by Mr.Mahadevan, inter-alia, the same Judge had said “ ....this Court (Supreme Court) authoritatively ruled that pension is a right and the payment of it doesn't depend upon the discretion of the Govt. but is governed by RULES AND A GOVERNMENT SERVANT COMING WITHIN THOSE RULES IS ENTITLED TO CLAIM PENSION". Please note down the words ‘governed by Rules’ and ‘coming within those rules’ in particular. The message is that provisions relevant to anything concerning the pensioners should be supported by “SPECIFIC RULES” in the Pension Rules framed for the purpose.

So, friends, the bottomline is that though Rule 56 provides for following corresponding provisions in the CCS Pension Rules 1972, as long as the same provision does’nt find a place in Black and White in the CCS Pension Rules and Our Pension Rules 1995, the successive O.Ms issued by the Central Govt. for implementation of the Payment of Pension, as per the recommendations of the Pay Commission can only help us as a supportive document in our arguments and may not ,perhaps come to our aid as a clinching evidence. This is my take on the entire issue and has no bearing on what Mr.Anonymous has prophesied on seeking recourse to Rule 56. Though Mr.Anonymous is totally negative in his approach to the issues concerning pensioners and projects an image as if he is a saviour of both LIC and its policyholders, the fact of the matter is that he gives us an opportunity to think and debate, cannot be denied. Our Editor is very liberal when it comes to publishing views and opinions of contributors to the Blog, but is absolutely prudent and discretionary in his judgment of the articles. So, let us leave it to his good sense as to whether a particular write-up is worthy of publication or not.

With Greetings,