Principal Bench of CAT’s Judgement in favour of Pre-2006 Pensioners – Thanks gconnect.

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.

Illustration:

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-10 Rs.5500-175-9000
S-11 Rs.6500-200
S-12 Rs.6500-200-10500
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.

Click here to read the Annex-1 of O.M.F.No: 1/1/2008-IC dated 30.08.2008 for entire fitment table.

Also Click here to read the O.M. No: 38/37/08-P&PW(A) .Pt.1 dated 14.10.2008 which is now quashed by CAT.

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.

 

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CAT grants relief to thousands of pre-2006 pensioners slams babus for apathy and errors

“Coming down heavily on government officials over their apathetic attitude in interpreting rules and directives, the full Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has granted relief to central government pensioners who retired before 2006. It has allowed their petition seeking parity of their pension with that of similarly placed employees who retired in 2006 and after.
Anomalies in pay and pension fixation consequent to implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission had resulted in pre-2006 retirees drawing pension lower than post-2006 retirees. The CAT decision affects thousands of central government employees.
The CAT has held that the term “minimum of pay in the pay band” would mean minimum of pay corresponding to the scale held at the time of retirement and not minimum of the entire pay band itself as interpreted and implemented by the government through a clarification.
The Sixth Pay Commission had created four broad pay bands. Each band had, within it, several different scales corresponding to the rank and grade of an individual.
The trouble had arisen when the pension of the individuals concerned was fixed at the minimum of the entire pay band instead of the minimum of the scale corresponding to his rank.

Thanks to Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service, Chandigarh.

Compassionate appointment is not a matter of right:SC

Compassionate appointments cannot be made as a matter of right as it has to be done only when the family is in need of financial security after the death of the bread winner otherwise it would be unconstitutional, the Supreme Court said today.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha quashed a direction of the Madras High Court which directed appointment of M Selvanayagam in Karaikal Municipality, five years after the death of his father Meenakshisundaram, a watchman.

Source: PTI

The Supreme Court wants the lawmakers to give homemakers their due.

 An SC bench comprising justices Asok Kumar Ganguly and G. S Singhvi on Friday observed that the Parliament should consider amendments in various laws to ensure that a homemaker’s contribution is scientifically assessed both in accident claims and division of matrimonial property.

The court expressed shock that in the Census, about 36 crore homemakers are placed in the same category as beggars, prostitutes and prisoners.The bench was hearing a petition seeking enhancement of compensation awarded for the death of the appellant’s wife in an accident.In separate but concurrent judgments, justice Ganguly pointed out that the 2001 Census statistics reflected the bias against homemakers, who are non-earning members of the family.”We hope and trust this will be corrected in the ongoing Census,” he said.

Talking about the contribution of homemakers to the society, justice Ganguly referred to a research that had estimated the value of household work performed by women in India at $ 612.8 billion per year.

“Women bring up children, render services and produce goods which are consumed at the household level and not sold in the market,” he said.

The judge pointed out that it was presumed under the Motor Vehicles Act that the income of a non-earning spouse could not be more than one-third of the earning spouse while deciding an accident claim.

“This does not appreciate the value of the services rendered by a victim as a homemaker,” he observed.

According to the judge, India, which had ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1993, was bound to make provisions for proper evaluation of household work done by women as homemakers.

He concurred with justice Singhvi that the Rs 2.5 lakh awarded as compensation for the death of Renu Agrawal, 39, the appellant’s wife, in an accident was inadequate.

She had left behind her husband and a minor daughter.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal and the Allahabad High Court had awarded only Rs 2.5 lakh as compensation after assessing Renu’s income as Rs 1,250 per month.

The tribunal and the court calculated her income on the basis of her husband’s salary, which was Rs 15,416 per month.

The figure was arrived at after deducting her personal expenses.

Justice Singhvi ordered that the compensation be enhanced to Rs 6 lakh and a cost of Rs 50,000 be paid to the appellant.

Unauthorised absenteeism from work means no work no pay: SC

 


Unauthorised absenteeism from work means no work no pay: SC
The Supreme Court has ruled that an employee who has remained absent from duty for a long time in an unauthorised manner is not entitled to any back wages and the principle of ‘no work no pay’ comes into play.

In this case an assistant engineer of the Airports Authority of India(AAI) Shambhu Nath Das was allowed 50 per cent back wages for a period of ten years, that is from August 1985 till August 1995 by the Calcutta High Court.

AAI allowed him to rejoin duty with effect from November 1, 1999 as per the orders of the High Court, but refused to pay back wages.

A bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Harjit Singh Bedi while allowing the appeal of AAI noted, “We are of the opinion that in the light of the fact that the respondent did not report for duty for 15 years, there was no justification whatsoever to grant him any back wages on the general principle that nobody could be directed to claim wages for the period that he remained absent without leave or without justification.” Das was transferred from Calcutta to Delhi and after serving for seven days in Delhi proceeded on leave on March 26, 1985 but never reported back for duty even after the expiry of leave period and challenged the notice asking him to report for duty in the High Court.