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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

N PRADEEPKUMAR

Prior To Bringing Into Force Of Para 3(A) Of Appendix IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995, There Was / Is Slab System Of Calculation And Payment Of Dearness Relief TO LIC PENSIONERS, “Depending On The Duration Of The Wage Revision”, “At 2 Different Periods”, “The Essence / The Operative Part Of Which, I Am Reproducing, As Contained In The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, In LIC Pensioners’ Case On 31st March,2016 And Also As Contained In LIC Pension Rules,1995.

I am Reproducing The “Relevant Content”, As Contained In Para 6 Of The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Dated 31st March,2016, In LIC Pensioners’ Case, As Under:

Dearness Relief On Basic Pension Shall Be As Under:

“In The Case Of Employees, Who Retired “On After The 1st Day Of January,1986”,”But, Before The First Day Of November, 1993”, Dearness Relief Shall Be Payable For Every Rise Or Be Recoverable For Every Fall , As The Case May Be,Of Every 4 Points, Over 6oo Points In The Quarterly Average Of The All India Average Consumer Price Index, For Industrial Workers, In The Series 1960=100.Such Increase Or Decrease In Dearness Relief For Every Said Four Points Shall Be Calculated In The Manner Given Below.

1. I Am Not Giving Hereunder, “The Different Slabs Of D.R.”, “Which Are Four In Number”, Payable To / Being Paid To LIC Pensioners, Depending On The Basic Pension Of The Concerned LIC Pensioners, ”Who Retired Between January 1986 And 31st October,1993.I Know Very Well, That The Pensioners Of LIC Are “Well Informed Ones” And Therefore, There Is No Need To Give Hereunder “The Different Slabs”, “At Which Dearness Relief Is Paid For The LIC Pensioners”, Who Retired “Between January,1986 And 31st October,1993.”

Likewise, “Different Slabs Of D.R.”( Which Are / Were Four In Number)Were Prescribed For Payment Of Dearness Relief TO Those LIC Employees, Who Retired On Or After 1st November,1993.I Know That The Employees Of LIC Of India, Who Retired On Or After 1st November,1993 “Are Well Informed Persons”, And Therefore, I Am Not Giving Hereunder The 4 Slab Rates, At Which, Dearness Relief Is Paid To Them.

Now, I Reproduce The Text Of 3(A) Of Appendix -IV (Rule 37)Of The LIC Employees(Employees’) Pension Rules,1995, Which Is The “Moot Point” For This Brief Write-Up, And It Reads As Under:

“In Case Of Employees, “Who Have Retired Or Died On Or After The 1st Day Of August, 1997”, The Dearness Relief Shall Be Payable For Every Rise Or Be Recoverable For Every Fall, As The Case May Be, Of Every 4 Points Over 1740 Points In The Quarterly Average Consumer Price Index For Industrial Workers In The Series Of 1960=100.Such Increase Or Decrease In Dearness Relief For Every Said 4 Points Shall Be At The Rate Of “0.23 Per Cent Of The Basic Pension”.

“This Is The Basic Point”, “Based On Which”, “The Entire Edifice Of Slab System” Of Payment Of Dearness Relief To The LIC Pensioners, ”Can Be Demolished” By The LIC Pensioners, “Who Retired Between “1stJanuary,1986 And 31stOctober,1993” “And After 1st November,1993”.

How Can It Be, May The Question To Me From The LIC Pensioners . It Happens Like This—

Wherever There Is “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief Payment”, We Can Take It That “There Is No Discrimination”, “Because, All The LIC Pensioners, Who Retired During The Period Mentioned In Para 3(A) Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules, 1995”( That Means ,Those LIC Employees, “Who Retired On Or After 1st Day Of August,1997”)”Are Entitled To “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief” “And Hence There Is No Discrimination”. Now, Here Comes The Point Of Discrimination, “In Respect Of The LIC Employees, Who Retired Between 1st January,1986 And 31st October,1993” And “Those LIC Employees, Who Retired After 1st November,1993”. “Barring The Point Of Updation Of Pension”, Which Is A Different Matter, Which, It Seems, Also Is Mentioned In The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, In LIC Pensioners’ Case, “As Stated By The Counsel For LIC Of India”, ”As There Was No Hearing At All, In Respect Of Updation Of Pension For LIC Pensioners”, “And Of Course, There Was No Effective Hearing In Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India”, ”In Respect Of Payment Of Dearness Relief At Slab Rates, As Well”, “Because Of Which Alone”, “Interim / Temporary Payment Of Dearness Relief Was Granted To The Affected LIC Pensioners”, Which Again Is, As Clearly Mentioned, ”In The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Dated 31st March,2016”, “In LIC Pensioners’ Case”, “Subject To Final Judgement Of The Concerned Writ Court / Writ Courts”, “During The Duration Of The Wage Revision, Which Came Into Operation From 1st August,1997”, I Take It That---

“The Story / History Of “Payment Of D.R. At Slab Rates” Had Ended”, And Therefore, That Is A Happy Ending Of That Era.

It Is Not Just My View, But, It Seems To Me, That, It Is Also Mentioned In The Judgement Of Rajasthan High Court At Jaipur. And It Is Also Quoted / Reproduced In The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Dated 31st March,2016, In LIC Pensioners’ Case. The Relevant Content Is Contained In Para 11 Of The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Which Reads As Under:

“The Respondent Corporation Is Directed To Take A Decision For Implementation Of The Resolution Dated 24.11.2001, Passed By The Board. The Respondent Corporation Can Not Provide “Different Criteria For Grant Of Dearness Allowance To The Existing Pensioners”, “Based On Cut-Off Date, I.E., 31.7.1997”.The Benefit Arising Out Of The Directions Above Would, However, Be Considered By The Corporation So That “Every Retired Employee May Get The Same Benefit.”

Now, The Moot Point Is Contained In Para 17 Of The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Dated 31st March,2016, In LIC Pensioners’ Case, The Text Of Which, Reads As Under:

“Mr.Shree Ram Panchu, Learned Senior Counsel Appearing For The Respondents In Civil Appeal 9223 Of 2013, Has Submitted That Certain Petitioners Had Preferred Writ Petition No.184 Of 2007 In The High Court Of Delhi”, “Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3 A Of The Appendix To The Rules”, “Contending, Inter Alia, That The Said Para”, “Is Violative Of Article 14 Of The Constitution”, In View Of The Decisions, Rendered By This Court, “In D.S.Nakara V.Union Of India And Others, All India Reserve Bank Retired Officers’ Association V.Union Of India And V.Kasturi V.Managing Director, State Bank Of India And Another”, But, The High Court Had Not Adverted To The Said Facets And Disposed Of The Writ Petitions, Placing Reliance On The Decision Rendered By The High Court Of Rajasthan. We Are Of The Considered Opinion That When The Issue Of Constitutional Validity Of Para 3A To The Appendix Was Raised, The Same Deserved To Be Addressed By The High Court.”

What Is Most Unfathomable To Me Is--

And The Debatable Point Is—

As Mentioned In Para 17 Of The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India In LIC Pensioners Case, “If Mr.Shree Ram Panchu, Who Is A Learned Senior Counsel Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Said That Certain Petitioners In The Delhi High Court, Had Preferred A Writ Petition In The High Court Of Delhi”, ”Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3 A Of The Appendix To The Rules, Contending, Inter Alia, That The Said Para Is Violative Of Article 14 Of The Constitution”, “Necessarily, The Contention Must Be Of The LIC Pensioners Only”, Because, “Since LIC Is The Institution That Has / Had Brought Into Force Para 3A Of Appendix -IV Of LIC Employee’ Pension Rules,1995”, “LIC Of India Would Not Contend / Would Not Have Contended To The Above Effect”. All Right, Once It Is Confirmed That It Is The LIC Pensioners, Who Contended As Above, That Means, Once It Is Confirmed That It Is LIC Pensioners ,Who Assailed The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3A Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules, 1995, “On The Touchstone Of Article 14 Of The Constitution Of India”, “The Question That Comes To The Fore Is”—

What Is The Yard Stick, Based On Which, Constitutional Validity Of Para 3 A Of Appendix –IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995 Is Assailed?” How Can It Be Unconstitutional On The Touchstone Of Article 14 Of The Constitution Of India?

It Passes My Comprehension, On This Matter, Because, It Is Mentioned In Para 17 Of The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, In LIC Pensioners’ Case, That Those LIC Pensioners, Who Assailed The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3A Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules, 1995, “Relied On D.S.Nakara V.Union Of India And Others, Apart From Two Other Judgements Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India” .In Fact, Reliance On The Judgement Of Nakara’s Case Rendered By Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Apart from 2 Other Judgements Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, “For Getting Uniform Rate Of D.R.” “Is Valid”, But, “To My Little Learning” It Appears, That, “Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3A Of Appendix –IV Of LIC Pension Rules,1995”, “Runs Counter To The Desire / Demand / Wish Of The LIC Pensioners” That, “There Should Be No Slab System Of D.R. Payment”, “And The Dearness Relief Should Be Paid” “At A Uniform Rate” And “The “Foundation” “For Payment Of Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief”, “Is Laid In Para 3A Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Pension Rules,1995” And If Such Be The Position, My Question Is—

“How Can Para 3A Of Appendix-IV To LIC Pension Rules,1995, Be Unconstitutional On The Touchstone Of Article 14 Of The Constitution Of India ?”

Prior To The Provision For Payment Of “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief”, For Those LIC Employees, “Who Retired Between 1.1.1986 And 31st October,1993” And Those LIC Employees, “Who Retired On Or After 1st November,1993”,”Dearness Relief Is Paid”, “As Per A / The Slab System”; But, It Is Only, For Those LIC Employees, “Who Retired On Or After 1st August,1997”, Dearness Relief “At A “Uniform Rate” Is Payable, “And Hence It Is Paid At A Union Rate”, “I.E., “At The Rate Of 0.23 Percent Of The Basic Pension”.

And If Such Be The Position, My Simple Question Is—

How Can A Provision, “Which Started / Brought Into Force”, “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief” Can Be Unconstitutional?

To Bring A Parallel, I May Refer To The Position, In Respect Of Payment Of Dearness Relief To Bank Pensioners, “Who Retired Prior To 1st November,2002”.

In The Case Of Bank Pensioners, Who Retired Prior To 1st November,2002 Also, “Dearness Relief Is Paid On Slab System Only”. It Is Only After 8th Bipartite Settlement Is Brought Into Force, I.E., It Is Only For Those Bank Employees, “Who Retired On Or After 1st November, 2002”, “That Dearness Relief Is Paid” “At A Uniform Rate”.

But, If We Take Into Account, The Fact That LIC Employees, “Who Retired Between 1st August 1997 And 31st July,2002” Are Getting Dearness Relief At A “Uniform Rate Of 0.23 Per Cent Of The Basic Pension”, It Appears That, LIC Pensioners Are In A Better Position, Than The Bank Pensioners, “As Bank Pensioners Are Getting “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief”, “Only From 1st November,2002”. That Means, LIC Pensioners, Who Retired Between August 1997 And 31st July,2002 Are Getting “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief”, “Whereas The Bank Pensioners, Who Retired Prior To 31st October,2002”,“Are Getting Dearness Relief”, “Only On Slab System”. It Is Only, Those Bank Employees, Who Retired On Or After 1st November,2002, Are Getting “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief”. That Means, All Bank Employees, Who Retired Prior To 1st November,2002 Are Getting Dearness Relief “Only At Slab Rates”, “Whereas LIC Pensioners, Who Retired On Or After 1st August,1997”, Are Getting Dearness Relief “At A Uniform Rate”. I Hasten To Add Here, That, If I Say / Mentioned Hereinabove, That LIC Pensioners Are Better Placed, Than Bank Pensioners, In Respect Of Payment Of / Getting Of Dearness Relief “At A Uniform Rate”, “Earlier Than The Bank Pensioners”, “That I Am Not Jealous Of / Envious Of The Position Of LIC Pensioners”, In This Respect. Far From That, In Fact, I Am More Than Happy That LIC Pensioners Are Fortunate Enough In Getting “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief”, “Earlier Than The Bank Pensioners”.

I Would Like To Make It Clear That—

“Whatever I Am Saying / Writing / Mentioning Here Is Based On “My Understanding Of The Content Of Para 3A Of Appendix-IV To LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995 Only”; This Is Particularly So, Because, The LIC Pensioners, Who Approached Hon’ble The Delhi High Court, As Recorded In The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India In LIC Pensioners’ Case, Dated 31st March, 2016, “Were Said To Have Assailed The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3A Of Appendix--IV Of LIC Pension Rules,1995, On The Touchstone Of Article 14 Of The Constitution Of India”, “As Submitted By Mr.Shree Ram Panchu”, “A Learned Senior Counsel Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India”. The Point Is—

For One Thing, LIC Pensioners Themselves Would Not Have Raised A Grievance, “Unless There Was Some Substance In It”. And The Learned Counsel, Engaged By The LIC Pensioners, Who Approached The Delhi High Court Also, Might Not Have Assailed The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3A Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Pension Rules, “Unless There Was Some Substance”, For Another.

“Since It Is The LIC, That Had Brought Para 3(A) Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Pension Rules,1995,Into Force”, Naturally, “LIC Of India, Must Not Have Said In The Delhi High Court, That Para 3(A) Appendix –IV Of The LIC Pension Rules,1995, Is Unconstitutional”.

Against This Background, “To My Little Learning”, It Appears That, “There Are 2 Possibilities”. Possibility No.1 Is—

My Contention, That Para 3(A) Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995 “Must Be” / “May Be” Right.

Possibility No.2 Is—

The Contention Of LIC Pensioners, Who Approached The Delhi High Court, Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3A Of Appendix –IV Of LIC Pension Rules,1995 “May Also Be Right”. But, The Moot Questions Are Two Fold —

1.If Pradeep Kumar Is Right, How Is Pradeep Kumar Right?

2.If LIC Pensioners, Who Approached The Delhi High Court, “Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3 (A) Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995”, Are Right, How Are They Right?

The Ancillary Question Is—

How Is The Learned Counsel / Learned Senior Counsel, Who Appeared In The Delhi High Court On Behalf Of The LIC Pensioners, Right—

“In Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3(A) Of Appendix—IV Of LIC Pension Rules,1995”—

“Which,(Means, Para 3(A) Of Appendix-IV Of The LIC Pension Rules,1995), “For The First Time”, “Since LIC Pension Rules,1995 Were Brought Into Force”---

“Categorically Provided For “Uniform Rate Of Dearness Relief”, I.E., “At The Rate Of 0.23 Per Cent Of The Basic Pension”, “Ending The Discriminatory Payment Of Dearness Relief On / At A Slab System From 1st August,1997?”

I am Referring To The Role Of The Learned Counsel / Learned Senior Counsel, Who Appeared In The Delhi High Court, On Behalf Of The LIC Pensioners, Who Approached The Delhi High Court, Because, LIC Pensioners, Who Approached The Delhi High Court Might Have Simply Given The Facts Of Their Case To The Learned Counsel / Learned Senior Counsel, Who Appeared In The Delhi Court On Their Behalf, “But, “The Constitutional Flavour” Might Have Been Given By The Learned Counsel / Learned Senior Counsel, Who Appeared On Behalf Of The LIC Pensioners In The Delhi High Court Only”.

Now, Against This Background, We Have To Find out, As To Who Is Correct, In Saying That—

“Para 3A Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Pension Rules Is Constitutional” Or “Para 3A Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995, Is Unconstitutional”.

Briefly Put---

It Amounts To The Following Position:

1.Pradeep Kumar Says / Pradeep Kumar Is Saying , Means, I Say / I Am Saying That Para 3(A) Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995, Is “Perfectly Constitutional”, “In Which Event, The Content Of Para 3(A) Of Appendix –IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995”, “Is Completely Beneficial” To The LIC Pensioners.

2.According To The Content, As Contained In Para 17 Of The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Dated 31st March, 1995 In LIC Pensioners’ Case, “A Learned Senior Counsel Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Mr.Shree Ram Panchu, Appearing For The Respondents, In Civil Appeal No.9223 Of 2013, Had Submitted That Certain Petitioners Had Preferred Writ Petition No.184 Of 2007 In The High Court Of Delhi, “Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3 A Of The Appendix To The Rules”, “Contending, Inter Alia, That The Said Para Is Violative Of The Constitution, In View Of The Decisions, Rendered By Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, In D.S.Nakara V.Union Of India And Others, All India Reserve Bank Retired Officers’ Association V.Union Of India And V.Kasturi V.Managing Director, State Bank Of India And Another”.

For The Immediate Reference Of LIC Pensioners, I Am Reproducing The Text Of Para 17 Of The Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, Dated 31st March,2016, In LIC Pensioners’ Case And It Reads As Under:

“Mr.Shree Ram Panchu, Learned Senior Counsel Appearing For The Respondents, In Civil Appeal No.9223 Of 2013, Had Submitted That Certain Petitioners Had Preferred Writ Petition No.184 Of 2007 In The High Court Of Delhi, “Assailing The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3 A Of The Appendix To The Rules, Contending, Inter Alia, That The Said Para Is Violative Of Article 14 Of The Constitution, In View Of The Decisions, Rendered By This Court In D.S.Nakara V.Union Of India And Others, All India Reserve Bank Retired Officers’ Association V.Union Of India And V.Kasturi V. Managing Director, State Bank Of India And Another”, “But, The High Court Had Not Adverted To The Said Facets And Disposed Of The Writ Petitions, Placing Reliance On The Decision Rendered By The High Court Of Rajasthan. We Are Of The Considered Opinion That When The Issue Of Constitutional Validity Of Para 3 A To The Appendix Was Raised, The Same Deserved To Be Addressed By The High Court”.

Against This Background, I Will Be Highly Grateful, “If Any Of The “Learned LIC Pensioners Enlighten Me”, “On This Matter”/ “Or, As To Whose Version Is Correct”, I.E., “Whether My Version, As Mentioned By Me Hereinabove Is Correct” Or “The View Of LIC Pensioners, Who Assailed The Constitutional Validity Of Para 3(A)Of Appendix-IV Of LIC Employees’ Pension Rules,1995 Is Correct”.

I Look Forward For A “Reasoned And Speaking Response”, “From The Enlightened Pensioners Of LIC Of India”.

Actually, I Got The Same Impression As Is Mentioned Here In This Brief Article, “The Moment I Had Gone Through This Judgement Of Hon’ble The Supreme Court Of India, On 31st March,2016, In LIC Pensioners’ Case. But, As I Was Extremely And Busily Pre-Occupied With Other Pressing Matters, Till Now.

Since, Hearing Of LIC Pensioners’ Matter In Delhi High Court Is Fast Approaching, I Have Taken Some Time Off—

“To Present My View In This Matter”, “So That LIC Pensioners Will Take” “An Appropriate View In This Matter”, “At The Time Of Hearing Their Matters In The Delhi High Court”.