Monday, January 9, 2023

OROP : Supreme Court Directs Centre To Disburse Arrears Under 'One Rank One Pension' Scheme By March 15, 2023

March 15, 2023 :  Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha on Monday asked the Central Government to comply with its earlier order to disburse the arrears to eligible pensioners of the armed forces by 15th March 2023. At the outset, the Attorney General for India R Venkatraramani submitted that the arrears would be rolled out shortly. The AG assured that he was personally overseeing the matter. He stated that there were a total number of 25 lakh pensioners whose pensions' tabulation had come to the Ministry for final vetting and at present was with the finance accounts of the Defence ministry.

Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi appearing on behalf of the petitioners, including Indian Ex Servicemen Movement, apprised the Bench that around 4 lakh pensioners had already died while waiting for the pension. In the last hearing, he had stated that the payment of the arrears was supposed to be made by 01.07.2019, which the Central Government had failed to comply with. Thereafter, in its judgment dated 16.03.2022, the Apex Court had directed Centre to compute and disburse the arrears within 3 months. On September 17, 2022, the Court gave a further extension of 3 months time to the Centre. Also Read - Supreme Court Annual Digest 2022- CRIMINAL TRIAL The CJI, while taking into account that the pensions had been pending since 2019, urged the AG to ensure that the court's orders are complied with by 15th March 2023.

The court had extended the three months period granted to the Central Government in its judgment dated 16.03.2022, wherein the Apex Court had upheld ""One Rank One Pension" ("OROP") Scheme in Defence Forces. As per the OROP scheme, uniform pension is to be paid to armed services personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement and the rates of pension would be revised at periodic intervals. The Bench was hopeful that the payment of arrears would be made at the earliest. Justice Chandrachud asked Additional Solicitor General, Mr. Venkataramanan to look into the same. 

[Case Title: Indian ex servicemen movement & Ors v UOI MA 1590/2022 in W.P.(C) No. 419/2016]

(Source: Live Law)

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