Look at how two departments function, both dealing with pension.
Let’s take the reference of disabled civilian and defence pensioners.
Disability benefits on voluntary retirement were available to civil pensioners but not to defence pensioners prior to the 6th Central Pay Commission. On the other hand, Constant Attendant Allowance (CAA) was available only to defence pensioners with 100% disability but not to civilian pensioners.
The 6th CPC resolved both anomalies and directed that with effect from 01 Jan 2006, disability benefits shall be made available to disabled defence personnel even on voluntary retirement and also extended the benefit of CAA to civilian pensioners.
But look how the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) dealt with the issue. After issuance of the orders for post-2006 retirees, DoPPW immediately issued a clarification that the new stipulation would also apply to pre-2006 retirees with effect from 01 Jan 2006, thereby bringing succour to similarly placed employees irrespective of the date of retirement but with financial benefit from 01 Jan 2006.
On the other hand, the pension wing of the Ministry of Defence issued orders allowing disability pension to voluntary retirees with effect from 01 Jan 2006 but ONLY restricted to post-2006 retirees. Hundreds of Court judgements and thousands of pages filled with file notings from all concerned later, the MoD refuses to budge from its banal stand and continues to challenge all such decisions by Courts and Tribunals in the Supreme Court, refusing to see reason. The Army HQ has tried its best to convince them but a couple of officers in the pension department in DESW rule the roost and continue to misguide the top echelons. This has not only resulted in heartburn but has also unnecessarily clogged the dockets of Courts with totally unwarranted litigation.
Therein lies the difference, while the DoPPW is known to sensitively deal with pensionary benefits of central govt employees, the pension wing of the MoD views defence personnel as a greedy adversarial lot.
We’ve discussed this issue before but that’s how it is. No change. None expected too.