Sunday, September 13, 2015 From Maj Navdeep Singh’s Blog
Though the instant post was not ideally required, but I feel compelled to throw light on a subject, which, since the last few days has led to a massive disinformation campaign fuelled by irresponsible chain-mails regarding pensionary benefits of ranks other than Commissioned Officers.
As was brought out in the last post on this blog, the Government has issued the sanction order implementing the Supreme Court decision on removal of a pensionary anomaly with effect from 01 Jan 2006, that is, the date of implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission (6th CPC) recommendations. There have been mails floating around and queries raised that the benefit as granted to Commissioned Officers and Civilians on 24 Sept 2012 has now been applied from 01 Jan 2006 but similar benefit has not been extended to ranks other than Commissioned Officers. Some mails have been nauseatingly abusive towards the Government and some have raised needless irresponsible conspiracy theories.
Let me attempt to clarify this issue for the benefit of readers.
When the 6th CPC recommendations were implemented, the pensions of pre-2006 retirees were fixed at 50% of the minimum of the applicable pay band with effect from 01 Jan 2006 rather than the pay within the pay band for each rank according to fitment tables. This was implemented for all Central Govt pensioners, irrespective of rank or service. This was objected to by pensioners and led to massive litigation since as per pensioners, the pensions were to be based on minimum of pay within the pay band for each rank/grade and not the minimum of the pay band itself.
While this controversy was simmering, the Government introduced a new system of pension calculation for ranks other than Commissioned Officers wherein they scrapped the system of minimum of the pay band but initiated a system of calculation by taking the maximum of the 5th CPC scales fitted notionally into the new 6th CPC pay bands and alongwith enhanced weightages. This new system came into force on 01 July 2009. The weightages were further enhanced with effect from 24 Sept 2012. Hence, the controversy of minimum of pay band vis-a-vis minimum of pay for each rank/grade within the pay band became redundant for ranks other than Commissioned Officers with effect from 01 July 2009 but the said anomaly continued to hold field for Commissioned Officers and Civilians. Ranks other than Commissioned Officers who were now fixed on notional top of the 5th CPC scales w.e.f 01 June 2009 were however hit by the minimum of pay band vis-a-vis minimum of pay within the pay band anomaly from 01 Jan 2006 till 30 June 2009.
On the other hand, in the case of Commissioned Officers and Civilian retirees, the pension continued to be based on minimum of pay of the pay band itself and later the Government itself rectified the anomaly with effect from 24 Sept 2012 and provided that from Sept 2012 onwards the pension would be based on minimum of pay for each rank/grade within the pay band. The letter was issued in Jan 2013 with retrospective effect from Sept 2012. Various Tribunals and more importantly the Delhi High Court however ruled that the removal of the anomaly would have to be effectuated from 01 Jan 2006 rather than the future artificial cut-off date of 24 Sept 2012, and the said decision was ultimately affirmed by the Supreme Court.
In implementation of the decision of the Delhi High Court affirmed by the Supreme Court, the Government has issued the implementation instructions under question. For ranks other than Commissioned Officers, the instructions would apply from 01 Jan 2006 till 30 June 2009 since from 01 July 2009 onwards the anomaly stood removed and rendered redundant since all such personnel were as it is fixed on notional top of scales. For Commissioned Officers and Civilian pensioners, the instructions would apply from 01 Jan 2006 till 23 Sept 2012 since the anomaly was only removed on 23 Sept 2012.
Those who are cursing the Government and Commissioned Officers and Civilian pensioners must realize the contours of the controversy before jumping the gun based on half-baked information. It is for the information of all, that pre-2006 retiree ranks other than Commissioned Officers are granted pensions based on notional maximum while Commissioned Officers and Civilians are granted pensions based on notional minimum within the pay band. The Government letter rather protects the enhanced pensions of Jawans and JCOs from 01 July 2009/24 Sept 2012 and this should have brought joy to such pensioners, even if the arrears are not that massive, rather than disaffection.
Please do not go by chain-mails being circulated based on half baked information of self styled experts since reliance on such information leads to needless frustration based on non-existent controversies.