Monday, August 23, 2010

One Rank One Pension - pre 2006 pensioners - Some views

SK Jain - 17-10-2008, 04:35 PM

The demand of “One Rank One Pension (OROP)” has been raised time and again. But the successive pay commissions and Governments have been shying away from this long outstanding demand of pensioners despite the fact that certain main political parties include this in their election manifestoes. This subject was also included in the President’s address to the Parliament in 2004 thereby making OROP the declared policy of Government (not of any particular political party).

The concept of OROP implies that Government Employees, who have retired from the same post with same length of service, should get same amount of pension irrespective to their dates of retirements. 6th pay commission has discussed this issue vide Paras 5.1.46 & 5.1.47 (Pages 338 & 339) of its report. 6CPC has held that “The Fifth CPC extended full parity between pre & post 1/1/1986 pensioners and a modified parity between pre & post 1/1/1996 pensioners. In modified parity, it was provided that pension could, in no case, be less than 50% of the minimum of the corresponding Fifth CPC revised pay scale from which the pensioner has retired.”

Accordingly, 6CPC has recommended as under: “the revised pension, in no case, shall be lower than fifty percent of the sum of the minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay thereon corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired”. This recommendation has been accepted by the Government vide Resolution No. 12 and notified vide para 4.2 of Memorandum F No.38/37/08-P&PW (A) dated 1st September 08 in the same language. Thus, modified parity of pension between past pensioners and future pensioners has already been accepted and implemented by the Government.

Here, difference between “OROP” and “Modified Parity” needs to be made clear. In OROP, pay of a pensioner is to be notionally fixed in the revised pay band based on his Last Pay Drawn and then his pension is to be re-fixed. In Modified Parity, minimum revised pay of the post last held by a pensioner should be ascertained and the pensioner should be paid 50% of this minimum revised pay as pension. There is no mention of 33 years qualifying service in Modified Parity either by the 6CPC or by the Government in the accepted Resolution.

But clarifications issued vide F No 38/37/08 P&PW (A) Pt I dated 3rd October 08 have defeated the very concept of modified parity. For example, 7 existing pay scales (from S-9 to S-15) have been merged in the Pay band 2 (9300-34800). Minimum revised pay of an official, who has retired from pre-revised scale of 7450-225-11500 (S-13) shall be 18,457 (13857 in the pay band + 4600 grade pay). Accordingly, his minimum assured pension, in confirmation to the modified parity, should be 9228/- (50% of 18,457). But as per the clarifications dated 3rd October 08 his minimum assured pension shall be 6950/- (50% of 9300+4600). This minimum pension has been calculated at the minimum of the Pay Band and not at the minimum of his corresponding revised pay. Moreover, this minimum pension is to be reduced pro-rata where the pensioner had less than 33 years service. Ridiculously, officials who have retired in 7 erstwhile pay scales have been treated at par with regard to minimum basic pay and assured minimum pension (except Grade Pay). The condition of 33 years service is neither mentioned in the 6CPC report not in Government Resolution and it is not clear as to how this condition has been incorporated while clarifying the original orders. Obviously, the concept of modified parity has been completely ignored by the implementing authorities.

In this regard it is worth to discuss the rulings of the H’ble Supreme Court, which enjoy the status of LAW OF THE LAND. 6th Pay Commission has referred to the famous judgment in the case of D.S. Nakara Vs Union of India (AIR 1983, SC 130) vide Para 5.1.3 of its report. This Judgment pronounced by a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court is available at http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/qrydisp.aspx for the benefit of all who want to read it. The case dates back to 70s when the Government had introduced Liberalized Pension Scheme. Earlier pension was calculated based on the average salary of last 36 months. Under Liberalized Pension Scheme, the provisions were changed to calculate the pension based on the average salary of last 10 months. The case was file by one retired civil officer (subject to Central Civil Pension Rules 1972) and one retired defence officer (subject to Army Pension Regulations) and the third petitioner was a Registered Society. Only the following extracts of this judgment will clarify the LAW OF THE LAND:

“Proceeding further, this Court observed that where all relevant considerations are the same, persons holding identical posts may not be treated differently in the matter of their pay merely because they belong to different departments. If that can't be done when they are in service, can that be done during their retirement? Expanding this principle, one can confidently say that if pensioners form a class, their computation can not be by different formula affording unequal treatment solely on the ground that some
retired earlier and some retired later.”

“All pensioners whenever they retired would be covered by the liberalised pension scheme, because the
scheme is a scheme for payment of pension to a pensioner governed by 1972 Rules. The date of retirement is irrelevant. But the revised scheme would be operative from the date mentioned in the scheme and would bring under its umbrella all existing pensioners and those who retired subsequent to that date. In case of pensioners who retired prior to the specified date, their pension would be computed afresh”

Another recent Judgment pronounced by H’ble Supreme Court on 9th September 2008 is available at http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/qrydisp.aspx for the information. This case was originally filed by some Retired Major Generals of the Army with regard to fixation of their pension after implementation of 5th Pay Commission. Government of India filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgment of Punjab High Court, (Civil Appeal No. 5566 of 2008, Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 12357 of 2006 Union of India Vs. SPS Vains (Retd.) and others). In this case H’ble Supreme Court has directed as under:

“ We, accordingly, dismiss the appeal and modify the order of the High Court by directing that the pay of all pensioners in the rank of Major General and its equivalent rank in the two other wings of the Defence Services be notionally fixed at the rate given to similar officers of the same rank after the revision of pay scales with effect from 1.1.1996, and, thereafter, to compute their pensionary benefits on such basis”

It is abundantly clear from the above extracts that the H’ble Supreme Court has already accepted the principle of OROP and this enjoys the status of the LAW OF THE LAND. However, the implementing officials of 6CPC have not even followed the concept of Modified Parity while issuing clarification vide F No 38/37/08 P&PW (A) Pt I dated 3rd October 08. It is not possible for the pensioners, especially in their advanced age to approach Courts of Law to seek justice. All concerned authorities are requested to look into this matter and initiate suitable action. All readers, pre-2006 pensioners and their well-wishers are also requested to make public this issue so that our Political Leaders are aware of it and can take some action.
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SK Jain22-10-2008, 04:09 PM

It is reiterated that the concept of “Modified Parity” was introduced by 5CPC and carried forward by 6CPC. Some Mr. P.Vigneshwar Raju has forwarded the extracts of 5CPC to me and I want to share the same with all the readers:

“Recommendation (Ref. To paragraph of the Report given in brackets)

(iii) Pending revision of the pension of pre-1.1.1986 retires, the pensioners should be provided immediate relief by authorising pension disbursing authorities to consolidate the pension by adding basic pension, personal pension wherever admissible, dearness relief as on 1.1.1996 on basic pension only, interim relief (I & II) and 20% basic pension. The consolidated pension shall not be less than 50% of the minimum revised pay in the pay scale recommended by the Fifth Central Pay Commission of the post held by the pensioner at the time of retirement. (137.15) Decision of Government OM issued with no. and date

Accepted with the modification that 40% of the basic pension shall be added while consolidating the pension as on 1-1-1996 but the pension consolidated as on 1-1-96 shall be raised to 50% of the minimum of the revised pay of the post held by the pensioner at the time of retirement.

45/86/97-P&PW(A) Part-II date 27.10.99 45/10/98-P&PW(A) date 17.12.98”

As already brought out vide my thread, carrying forward the concept of Modified Parity 6CPC has recommended as under: “the revised pension, in no case, shall be lower than fifty percent of the sum of the minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay thereon corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired”. This has been accepted by Government and implemented with anomalies.

It is quite clear from these extracts that under the modified parity, introduced by 5CPC and carried forward by 6CPC, minimum assured pension of all pre 2006 pensioners (Incl pre 1996 & 1986) should be worked out by firstly ascertaining the minimum revised pay under 6CPC of the post last held by the pensioners and secondly grant 50% of this minimum revised pay as pension. Clarifications issued in October works out minimum assured pension considering minimum of Pay Band (and not corresponding pay drawn in the running Pay Band related to the post last held) thereby altering the concept of Modified Parity.

For the term “Pay in the pay band” , please refer page 32 Para 3 (5) and page 43 Section II of the First Schedule of CCS (Revised Pay) Rules 2008 available at http://www.india.gov.in/govt/studies/revised.pdf
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(source- GConnect)

1 comment:

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