There are already lot many disparities with several chronic anomalies in regard to payment of pension to retirees in State Bank of India. That’s a long story going on perennially. There are two major demands warranting the attention of the authorities that be in the matter:
- Dearness allowance payable to the pensioners at par with the serving employees.
- Updation of payable pension to the retirees at par with certain organisations where it is already in practice.
In both these items, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana already issued necessary directions vide their order dated the 9th November’2012. The order under reference is in relation to Life Insurance Corporation of India, and it is pertinent enough a ground that the same be applied to other sectors like State Bank of India peremptorily as the legal ethics of parity demands. The order so released is reproduced below for the benefit of the readers and the other concerned people:
“The petitioners are all retired Class I officers of Life Insurance Corporation of India (for short ‘the Corporation’), who have challenged the discrimination against employees retired between 1.1.1986 and 1.8.1997 while framing Rules with regard to grant of Dearness Relief to pensioners at par with in-service employees, up-gradation of pension and have prayed for issuance of a writ in the nature of certiorari for quashing order dated 3.6.2010 rejecting the claim of the petitioners for removal of anomaly in the matter of rate of Dearness Relief to the pensioners and Dearness Allowance to CWP No.16346 of 2010.doc -2- serving employees on the same amount of pension/salary and up-gradation of pension on pay revision and further prayed for issuance of writ in the nature of mandamus to implement the decision passed by the Corporation in its meeting of the Board of Directors dated 24.11.2001 and also for issuance of direction by way of mandamus for striking down the words "as on 1.8.1997" in clause (3) of Section 1 "Short title, commencement and application" in the notification dated 22.6.2000 and words "as on 1.8.2002" in Notification dated 5.9.2005 with consequential effects and for issuance of direction to fix pension of the petitioners as per the substituted scales of pay equivalent to the stage applicable to them in the scrapped pay scale as on the date of their retirement and pay, pension at the rate of 50% of such basic pay as arrived at on and from 1.8.1997 and thereafter on and from 1.8.2002 with all consequential benefits with 12% interest. The petitioners have given a note in the index of the writ petition that a similar case i.e. CWP No.654 of 2007 titled as Krishna Murari Lal Asthana Vs. LIC of India and others was allowed by the Rajasthan High Court directing the respondent-Corporation to take a decision for implementation of the Resolution dated 24.11.2001 passed by the Board holding that the Corporation cannot provide different criteria for grant of Dearness Allowance to the existing pensioners based on cut off date i.e. 31.7.1997 and as such, the benefit arising out of the directions above would, however, be CWP No.16346 of 2010.doc -3- considered by the Corporation so that every retired employee may get the same benefit.
The text of the directions of the order in CWP No.654 of 2007 titled as Krishna Murari Lal Asthana Vs. LIC of India and others decided on 12.1.2010 by the Single Judge of the Rajasthan High Court, attached as Annexure P-20 with the writ petition, is as under: "In the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that
resolution passed by the Board of LIC does not need approval of the Central Government thus the Corporation may give effect to its resolution dated 24.11.2001 to avoid discrimination amongst existing pensioners.
In light of the discussion made
above, both the writ petitions are allowed. The respondent Corporation is directed to take a decision for implementation of the resolution dated 24.11.2011 passed by the Board. The respondent Corporation cannot provide different criteria for grant of dearness allowance to the CWP No.16346 of 2010.doc -4- existing pensioners based on cut
off date i.e. 31.7.1997. The benefit arising out of the directions above would, however, be considered by
the respondent corporation so that every retired employee may get the same benefit. Costs made easy."
Learned counsel for the petitioners has submitted that the case of the petitioners is covered by the aforesaid judgment which has been further upheld by the Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court in D.B. Special Appeal (Writ) No.494 of 2010 titled as Life Insurance Corporation of India Vs. Krishna Murari Lal Asthana and others decided on 21.1.2011, with the following observations: "We are of the view that whatever grievance with regard to the implementation of the Board’s resolution dated 24.11.2001 is concerned, the same can be raised by the Union of India who has
chosen not to file any appeal in the matter and this can easily be
considered as an approval of the
said resolution of the Board dated 24.11.2001 which was allegedly
CWP No.16346 of 2010.doc -5- pending for nine years. The Board of LIC, who is the appellant before us against the judgment of the
learned Single Judge, had itself
taken a decision to remove the
disparities and the discrimination with regard to the payment of
Dearness Allowance and pension
to the retired employees under its resolution of the Board dt. 24.11.2001, which was in public
interest. It could not and should not have filed the present appeal against the judgment of the learned Single Judge as the learned Single Judge has provided an umbrella to the appellant for the implementation of the decision of the Board dt. 24.11.2001 on the
categorical statement made by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Union of India and
not assailed in appeal by the
Union of India.
CWP No.16346 of 2010.doc -6- In the light of the submissions
made by the learned counsel for
the Union of India before the learned Single Judge, we find that these appeals filed by the L.I.C. of India have no merit and the same
Although counsel for the Corporation has submitted that SLP has been preferred against the aforesaid order of the Division Bench but its operation has not been stayed by the Apex Court.
After hearing learned counsel for the parties, we are of the considered opinion that since it is not in dispute that similar relief prayed for by the petitioners has been granted by the learned Single Judge of the Rajasthan High Court in the case of Krishna Murari Lal Asthana (Supra) which has been maintained in appeal and the petitioners are satisfied with the same order, the present writ petition is thus, allowed, in terms of the order passed in the aforesaid case namely Krishna Murari Lal Asthana (Supra).”