As most readers would know, there were anomalies in the fixation of pension of pre-2006 central govt retirees with effect from 01 Jan 2006 and the question was whether pension was to be calculated based on the minimum of each grade/rank within the newly introduced pay-bands or on the minimum of the pay-band itself. The said anomaly was resolved by way of judgements of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) as well as Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) which inter alia ruled that pension would be calculated on the basis of minima of each rank/grade within the pay-band. The judgement of the CAT was challenged by the Govt before the Delhi High Court. In the meantime however, the Govt itself removed the anomaly but granted the benefits from 24 Sept 2012 rather than 01 Jan 2006 which was the date of the inception of the anomaly.
Hence the exact controversy now stood narrowed down to whether the benefits of the correct pension were to flow from 01 Jan 2006 which was the date from which the 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations were implemented or from 24 Sept 2012 which was when the Govt had decided to remove the anomalies in the pension structure after the said Pay Commission.
The controversy was finally resolved by the Delhi High Court which directed that after removal of the anomaly, the pension arrears were to flow from 01 Jan 2006 and not from the future artificial date of 24 Sep 2012. Never to respect well-rounded judicial verdicts, the Govt challenged the decision of the High Court before the Supreme Court, however the Supreme Court was pleased to dismiss the SLP filed by the Govt in July 2013. The Govt then filed a review petition followed by a curative petition alleging ‘gross miscarriage of justice’ but a 5 Judge Bench dismissed the curative petition too.
The Govt however did not implement the decision across the board and kept filing SLPs and Civil Appeals across the board against decisions of judicial fora in favour of pensioners.
Ultimately, all these cases were clubbed together and were finally heard today by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has today dismissed all appeals filed by the Union of India and upheld the decision of grant of arrears with effect from 01 January 2006 rather than 24 September 2012.
The amount of basic pension which was made admissible from 24 September 2012 for each rank can be discerned from this Circular issued by the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions). The said amount plus applicable DA/DR would now be admissible from 01 January 2006.