Supreme Court Warns Defence Ministry Over OROP Pension Arrears
A bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala directed the ministry in providing a note concerning the quantum and modalities of the pension
The Supreme Court on Monday alerts the defence ministry not to take the law in hand against the matter concerning the disbursement of arrears to eligible pensioners of the armed forces.
The warning of the judiciary comes under the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
Further a bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala directed the ministry in providing a note concerning the quantum and modalities of the pension.
According to reports the court has earlier ordered the center to disburse the arrears of eligible armed force pensioners, before the 15th of March 2023. But the unilateral extension from the Ministry caused the court to order an issuing communication dated 20, January. The issued order mandates paying the pension arrears in four equal half-yearly installments.
Further, CJI DY Chandrachud notified the Attorney General for India that the Court will be considering the center’s application regarding the deadline extension only after the earlier communication is withdrawn.
Commenting on the orders Attorney General (AG) R Venkatramani, said, the notification of the Defence Secretary is directly against our orders.
He hinted after the withdrawal of the communication the application can be heard further. The AG then questioned the timeline for the pension payments.
Venkatramani then underlined that the arrears would be rolled out shortly and that the first installment shall be paid before the 31st of March.
The AG emphasised he is personally looking into the matter and stated that there were a total number of 25 lakh pensioners whose pensions' tabulation had come to the Ministry for final vetting and out of the same, 7 lakh applications were cleared.
He stressed facing a lot of "operational hurdles" in the process.
Pointing at the grave dilemma of pension extension, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi appearing on behalf of the petitioners, including the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, argued, “the prolonged wait has witnessed the death of four lakh pensioners before receiving their hard-earned pension”.
The Ministry is also ordered to provide a detailed note concerning the amount paid so far, the future payments and the arrears to be disbursed, said CJI DY Chandrachud
He remarked our only concern is that the army personnel get the amount and the oldest, pensioner and widows should be taken up first.