This blog had carried a report of a judgement pronounced by the Full Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) related to fixation of pension of pre-2006 retirees.
After the judgement, there have been chain mails circulating all around stating that the judgement shall result in enhancement of pension of all military ranks and that the Govt had decided not to challenge the judgement in the Supreme Court. I have also received a number of mails seeking clarification on the said orders.
With an attempt to clarify the issue, the following points are enumerated :
1. The CAT judgement has laid down nothing new for military pensioners and the same subject had last year been adjudicated upon by the Chandigarh and Principal Benches of the AFT for military pensioners on exactly similar lines. While the CAT has pronounced the judgement in Nov 2011, the same had been pronounced by the AFT in Sept and Nov 2010.
2. The CAT judgement has NO, repeat NO applicability on military pensioners since the CAT has jurisdiction over only civilian Central Govt employees / former employees.
3. The Govt has NOT, repeat NOT, taken any decision about challenging the judgement, and moreover, judgements of the CAT are challenged before a Division Bench of the High Court and not before the Supreme Court.
4. The Govt has already challenged before the Supreme Court the verdict in the Majors’ case on similar lines rendered by the AFT. The Supreme Court had issued a notice on the case but no stay has been granted on the AFT judgement.
5. In case the Govt does decide to implement the CAT decision or take a favourable decision on similar lines, then the same would automatically be extended to commissioned officers of the forces also since the interpretation involved is exactly the same.
6. The scope of the controversy regarding ‘minimum of pay within the pay band’ vs ‘minimum of the pay band itself’ has now become wider and directly affects all civil pensioners of the Central Govt and all Commissioned pensioners of the defence services. It does not affect lower ranks of the defence services since the calculation formula of Sepoy to Subedar Major is different than the formula used for commissioned officers or central civil govt retirees.