The Principal Bench of CAT New Delhi, has in a remarkable judgement has quashed the clarifications issued in the Office Memorandum dated 3.10.2008 and 14.10.2008 (No: 38/37/08-P&PW(A) .Pt.1) regarding the fixation of revised pension in respect of pre-2006 pensioners. As we all know, pre-2006 Pensioners have been not treated at par with Post 2006 pensioners as far as revised pension fixation is concerned.
The resolution dated 29.08.2008 by which Government accepted the recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission report as well as the clause in para 4.2 of the Office Memorandum dated 01.09.2008, define the minimum revised pension as ” revised pension, in no case, shall be lower than fifty percent of the minimum of the pay in the pay band plus the grade pay corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired”.
However, it could be seen that in the O.M. No: 38/37/08-P&PW(A) .Pt.1 dated 14.10.2008, Department of Pension and Pension welfare has formulated a fitment table by misinterpreting the Government decision on fixation of pension for pre-2006, Pre-1996 and Pre-1986 Pensioners.
It is apparent that pensioners retired before 2006, are in the loosing side as their minimum pay is pegged at only 50% of minimum of pay band (and 50% of grade pay) corresponding to pre-revised pay scale in which the employee had retired. On plain reading it may look what was done by the Government is correct. But it is gross misinterpretation of 6CPC recommendations and acceptance of 6cpc recommendations in the resolution by way of formulating a wrong fitment table that has caused a huge financial loss to pre-2006 pensioners.
Following pre-revised pay scales have been bunched and revised to a single pay band after 6cpc.
|Pre-revised scale||Pre-revised Pay band||Revised Pay Band and GP|
|S-9||Rs.5000-150-8000||PB-2 Rs.9300-34800 + GP Rs.4200|
|S-13||Rs.7450-225-11500||PB-2 Rs.9300-34800 + GP Rs.4600|
|S-14||Rs.7500-250-12000||PB-2 Rs.9300-34800 + GP Rs.4800|
|S-15||Rs.8000-275-13500||PB-2 Rs.9300-34800 + GP Rs.5400|
The OM dated 14.10.2008, has advocated that the minimum pension of employees fall under pre-revised scales from S-9 to S-15 will not be less than 50% of Rs.9300 plus 50% of the grade pay corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale. So an employee who retired prior to 2006 when he was receiving a basic pay of Rs.13225 in the pre-revised pay scale of S-15 (Rs.8000-275-13500) will receive a minimum pension of only Rs.4650 + Rs. 2700 (50% of Rs.9300 and Rs.5400), if the revised pension is less than the minimum pension.
Principal Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has come to the rescue of pre-2006 pensioners in this aspect by pronouncing judgement to the effect that O.M dated 14.10.2008 is quashed and revised pension fixation has to be done to the Pre-2006 pensioners on the basis of as per the resolution dated 29.08.2008.
It is also indicated by CAT that in the garb of clarification, respondents misinterpreted minimum of pay in the pay band as minimum of the pay band and that this interpretation is apparently erroneous.
The order portion is as follows:
“PARA 30: In view of what has been stated above, we are of the view that the clarification OM dated 3.10.2008 and further OM dated 14.10.2008 (which is also based upon clarification OM dated 3.10.2008) and OM dated 11.02.2009, whereby representation was rejected by common order, are required to be quashed and set aside, which we accordingly do. Respondents are directed to re-fix the pension of all pre-2006 retirees w.e.f. 1.1.2006, based on the resolution dated 29.08.2008 and in the light of our observations made above. Let the respondents re-fix the pension and pay the arrears thereof within a period of 3 months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. OAs are allowed in the aforesaid terms, with no order as to interest and costs”
Hence, in order to re-fix the pension based on minimum of the pay in the pay band corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired, the revised pay in pay band (as per 6CPC implementation) corresponding to each incremental basic pay in the pre-revised pay scale will be required.
The fitment table provided in the Annex-1 of O.M.F.No: 1/1/2008-IC dated 30.08.2008 issued by Government for implementing the revision of pay as per CCS (Revised Pay) Rules, 2008 will come in handy for this exercise.
For example, the same employee (in the illustration above) who retired at the basic pay of Rs.13225 in the pre-revised pay scale of S-15 (Rs.8000-275-13500) who will receive a minimum pension of only Rs.4650(50% of Rs.9300) + Rs.2700 (50% of GP of Rs.5400), will be eligible for revised minimum pension of Rs.7,440 (50% of Rs.14,880 which is a minimum revised pay in the pay band against the pre-revised scale S-15 as per fitment table of O.M. dated 30.08.2008)+Rs.2700 (50% of GP of Rs.5400).
For illustration we have provided here a portion of said fitment table.
We feel that if government is ready to implement this CAT decision dated 01.11.2011 in O.A No: 0655/2010, Pre-2006 Pensioners will be benefited to some extent if not at par with Post-2006 Pensioners.
However, Hon’ble CAT has not considered favourably the plea of applicants to the effect that pre-2006 pensioners are to be treated at par with Post-2006 pensioners as far as revision of pension is concerned.
CAT has also rightly pointed out the actual intention of the Government with regard to fixation of revised pension for the employees retired before 2006, has been given a go-by because of non-application of mind by lower functionaries such as Under Secretary etc., while preparing note for implementation of Government Decision.
“Para.16: ….. The use of words “sum of”, and “thereon” leaves no doubt that both the minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay have to correspond to the pre-revised pay scale. Second, without bringing out merits or demerits of either formulation, the lower functionary in DOP & PW incorporates in the clarification against item 4.2 in the OM dated 1.9.2008, the first option about minimum of pay in the pay band (irrespective of the pre-revised scale of pay). What is worse is that there is no application of mind even at the level of Director and Secretary who merely sign the note and the clarification is issued after obtaining finance concurrence and approval of MOS (PP), without going back to the Cabinet for such a modification.