In its latest decision titled AN Sachdeva Vs MDU, Rohtak, the Supreme Court has once again reiterated that cut-off dates cannot come in the way of upward liberalization of pensionary benefits. The Apex Court, after going into the length and breadth of the issue and all past decisions on the subject, has again come to the conclusion that retirees retiring prior to the cut-off date of liberalization of a pensionary scheme would also be entitled to the said benefits with monetary benefits from the said cut-off date which happened to be 2001 in this case.
The said issue had been decided by the Punjab & Haryana High Court against pensioners of the Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana, but the Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the High Court.
The decision can be accessed by clicking here.
Chain mails are floating referring to a circular issued by the PCDA(P) stating that the MoD has issued orders concerning the implementation of the decision of the Supreme Court regarding grant of arrears from 01-01-2006 rather than 24-09-2012. The news is incorrect. The said circular only concerns defence civilian pensioners based on the letter issued for civilian pensioners by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’’ Welfare (DoPPW). It may kindly be understood that the PCDA(P) has no authority to issue circulars on its own till the time the MoD issues a Government letter to the said effect. However, the good news is that the MoD is also working on the same and the letter should be out soon. Some added time after the issuance of the DoPPW letter was expected to be taken by the MoD since there are certain additional issues to be addressed by the MoD over and above the ones in the DoPPW letter and a mutatis-mutandis letter could not have been issued. For example, the MoD is to add the Military Service Pay (MSP) also in addition to the elements in the civil letter and then unlike civil pensioners, separate tables would have to be ultimately prepared by the Defence Accounts Department for various ranks and different categories which are not applicable on the civil side. Moreover, the benefit of the upward revision would be differently applied to ranks other than Commissioned Officers since they had been granted pensions based on the maximum of 5th CPC scales fitted into the 6th CPC pay bands with effect from 01-07-2009 while officers and all civil employees were granted pensions based on minimum of pay of the pay bands. The comprehensive letter alongwith comprehensive tables would definitely be issued in due course and we would have to be a little patient about the same.