Despite the SC orders to deposit the amounts in courts for payment to the petitioners, LIC plays foul, uses dilatory tricks, seeks repeated adjournments , feigns non-availability of counsels on due dates to drag the suits to all possible extents. Needless to say, these skills are an inseparable part of our Democratic Justice Delivery System.
LIC deposited amounts in courts based on DR anomaly only by excluding element of consequent revision of Pension. This resulted in more appeals, notices, rejoinders and dates and more dates consuming a period of more than 2 years without any visible result.
Accumulation of appeals and further hearings in Supreme Court led to an order dated 7-5-15 by SC, which directed that as an ad-interim measure, LIC shall release 20% of the amount as per the impugned judgments pertaining to the High Court, in favor of the respondent employees within six weeks hence, subject to final result in the appeals.The next hearing was fixed for 23rd Sept15. In the background of these sequence of events, SC pronounced the latest verdict on 31st March 16.
Important directions of the latest Supreme court decisions are:
- Set aside the orders passed by the HCs of Rajasthan, Delhi and P&H and transfer the writ petitions from the High Courts of Rajasthan and Punjab & Haryana to the High Court of Delhi,
- HC of Delhi to decide the constitutional validity of Para 3A of the Appendix to the Rules, by Aug. 31,16.
- Directed LIC to pay IR 40% ( which was 20% earlier ) as per Para 3A of the Appendix within six weeks and shall file an affidavit to the said effect.
- Orders reg item 3 applicable to the ‘similarly placed persons’.
- SC observed the resolution passed by LIC board could not have been given effect to without framing a rule by the Central Government.
Nevertheless, Supreme Court judgment of 31-3-16 is evoking mixed responses. There is a lurking fear that courts may or may not uphold the arbitrary and hyper technical authority of M/o Finance, in the name of rules and acts.
It is high time that Government of India considers sympathetically the plight of the pensioners in financial institutions owned by them. The moot point for consideration ought to be whether pension updation as being done for decades in case of Central Government employees whose scheme of pension is also linked with CPI is valid in principle, and if so, there should be no reason to deny the same to other similarly placed persons. Why refuse to allow others what you get by virtue of proximity to the system and authority to invoke and frame technical rules. We are also suffering the same fate and game plans at the hands of M/o finance .
The constant fighting spirit of the septuagenarians is exemplary and praiseworthy. This long drawn battle by LIC Pensioners may conclude by Sept. 16, all other things remaining the same. We salute their resolve to fight till end.
Let us wait and see where the fight initiated by a single LIC retiree in 1998 leads to. We hope and pray that the result will be a shot in the arm not only for the LIC pensioners but all ‘similarly placed persons’ in other financial institutions.
Wishing A Victory for the LIC pensioners!