VISIT 'LIC PENSIONERS CHRONICLE' - THE MOST POPULAR WAY TO CATCH UP ON PENSIONER RELATED NEWS!

10 February, 2016

Comments

10 Feb 16, 11:11 AM

subbu: Under the OCTOPUS is written " m v venuguopalan". Is it an octopus phenomena? !!! From another angle this could be true also, as he has ventured to analyse and take hold of Sec.48 from all angles.

09 February, 2016

MV Venugopalan

An Octopus phenomena

Dear Editor,

The spectre of Sec 48 has returned to haunt many people in many ways. Mr.Mahadevan has gone the extra mile to explain the probable scenarios arising out of Sec.48  in the Apex Court and  the probable outcome. Yet, Mr. M. S. Murty seems to be having his own reservations about it. My take on the entire issue is slightly different and I would seek the indulgence of our readers  if I make a bit of detouring to elaborate my viewpoints.

What is the complexion or true color of Sec.48?  LIC, as we all know, is not an autonomous body. GOI is a major stakeholder in LIC and the representative they have installed in the Board is the person who calls  the shots. LIC is permitted to take its own decisions only in very limited matters; sometimes with the approval of the Board and at times independently. There is no clear cut demarcation as to which are the  issues where there is a Board Resolution which need to go to the Government and the ones  where, without referring to the Govt. LIC can implement the Board  Resolution. This area has been deliberately left hazy and unclear because, as otherwise GOI fears it will lose its grip over LIC. Generally speaking, only such matters where ‘public interest’ is involved and the financial burden adversely will affect  them, it needs to be referred to the GOI. The DR parity and upgradation of pension do not fall in that category and logically LIC itself can  go ahead with the implementation of the  Resolution as it involves no financial outlay to GOI and the LIC Pension Funds can take care of it. Unfortunately, over a  period of time LIC has always preferred to look up to the Government for anything, and even where it could have used its authority  to take a decision. It is in this context, Sec.48 has become so important, and that is perhaps the reason why Justice.Bhandari found a way around Sec.48 to deliver his verdict. If Sec.48 is struck down, don’t you think it would mean handing over autonomous powers to LIC to take independent decisions in every matter where a financial outgo is anticipated. Therefore, let us not expect GOI/LIC to allow this to happen: they will try every trick in their bag to protect it.

Mr.Murty’s fear is that  until such time the ‘draconian’ provision is withdrawn or eliminated the danger of its presence  and validity remains.  First of all, until such time Govt. has disapproved the Board Resolution, we can’t call it draconian. Govt. has not done it so far.  Of course, we have to take pre-emptive steps, lest it might be used  against us any time in the future. But then, we have Mr.Ramanathan’s assurance , according to which the Parliament can’t put an Act in place which conflicts and runs  counter to the Constitutional provisions. If that be the case, as long as articles 14 and 16  are there, should we fear the Spectre of Sec. 48.?

Let us now run through the  meandering path traversed by our court cases so far. Both the writ petitions , one for parity in DR and the other for upgradation of pension, were admitted by the Jaipur H.C. Justice Bhandari delivered his judgment  conceding both. It was based entirely on our Board Resolution though he has drawn inspiration from similar supporting cases like DS Nakara and others. LIC went in appeal and both the Division Bench and the Bench which heard the Review petition   upheld  Shri.Bhandari's verdict. And again, when LIC dragged us to the Supreme court LICs SLPs were dismissed  and the Single Bench verdict of the Jaipur H.C was not stayed. All these happened because  they found merit in the arguments of the Single Bench and didn’t assign any significance to the restrictive Sec.48. This may sound a little far-fetched and unrealistic inference but is the truth.

DS Nakara  judgment, OROP , periodical upgradation of pension for the Central Govt. Employees  all can only help supplement our arguments and in no way directly help us win our case. If DS Nakara judgment is taken as the benchmark by all the judges, the decision making process can become utterly simplistic for them. That our Pension Rules were framed after C.G Employees  Pension Rules also can be quoted as comparable instances and not something which will clinch the issue for us. While the Board Resolution has to be approved by the Govt.,the pension rules amended suitably and gazetted, when it comes to implementation of provisions of Pay Commission, only administrative instructions are issued. The bottom line is our issues stand on a unique footing and we have to deal with it as deemed fit from time to time.” Horses for courses” should be the motto and not try to run the same horses in all the tracks! 

So, Mr. Murty, let us not fear the monster Sec 48. I don’t think you need to drag someone into the loop  for  legal assistance. You are the doer, and as  it happens to all doers, difficulties are to be faced by  the doers only and not the Observers.  No one has any doubt looking at the role you have played so far, even relegating your personal matters to the background for the sake of our court cases, you have the capability to steer the case to its logical end. What is needed is to have a deeper look into certain hidden grey  areas in the Board Resolution and Justice Bhandari’s judgment and  evolve a clear- cut strategy to tackle them. Success will be yours; success will be that of the 45000 pensioners all over the country. Good Luck.

With Greetings,
M.V.VENUGOPALAN

COMMENTS


9 Feb 16, 06:59 PM

baswaraj: I woke today morning to see a wonderful cartoon on my query yesterday. It is million dollar question now? No answer yet from management, unions and retired employees unions.

Good cartoon. We have very good life ahead of us.Thanks lic pensioners chronicle.


9 Feb 16, 01:32 PM

s m reddy: what happened to wage arrears pension fixation how long it will take why the lic looking retd people as step children what unions are doing they are meant only for collecting funds. 

CHAT COLUMN COMMENTS

9 Feb 16, 03:21 AM




Baswaraj: when will the arrears be paid to the retired/vrs employees who retired after 1.8.2012. How many more days/ months we have to wait?

'BANK NEWS'


UNION BANK RETIRED EMPLOYEES' ASSOCIATION
Date: 8th February,'16 
Friends,

(1) Circular dated 8.2.'16 by AIBRF regarding giving Report of a Meeting with Parliamentary Committee
(2) Letter dated 10.2.'16 by AIBRF to IBA
(3) Letter by All India Bank Officers' Confederation to IBA re. Domiciliary Treatment to Retired Employees

THE ABOVE MENTIONED THREE ATTACHMENTS ARE SENT HEREWITH.

Yours sincerely, 
B.G.Raithatha,
General Secretary

08 February, 2016

Pensioners vs. Pareto's principle


8 Feb 16, 06:07 PM


subbu: Of the 50000 + pensioners, it is quite possible that some 10000 may feel some shock resembling a mild heart(less) attack, which could be the result of either over joy or sudden gloom engulfing them.

Pareto's principle
Let their wards be having the ambulance number of nearby ICUs of all hospitals. Please remember that your dad has a cashless service if hospitalised. So memorize his id no. and cashless service provider also. 

ICE (in case of emergency) which is mouth to mouth resuscitation, roughly equivalent to 20% interim relief, be done. Some good friend from Kerala tells me how come 10000? Are bhaiya ? you know it is 20%. It is Pareto's principle.

8 Feb 16, 06:43 PM

subbu: Sorry Editor Sir. I forgot to mention the date when the event will happen. It is exactly 10th March 2016 around 4.p.m.


(Pareto Analysis is a statistical technique in decision-making used for the selection of a limited number of tasks that produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) the idea that by doing 20% of the work you can generate 80% of the benefit of doing the entire job.)

8 Feb 16, 06:35 PM

BALA_38: Good Doctor! Long live the doctor!!

AN UNTOLD STORY

The woods are lovely, dark and deep ...


Shri. M. Sreenivasa Murty has indeed vowed to leave no stone unturned to secure cent percent neutralisation in dearness relief and updating of pension along with the wage revision to about 50K LIC pensioners.


Shri Murty, in Part 3 - In the Supreme Court on 29th Jan. and more, has clarified in his unique style the meaning and circumstance that prompted him to say that the proceedings on that day was conclusively 'ominous'. He has also stated the path he wants to tread hereafter.

The dictionary meaning of 'Ominous'- giving worrying impression that some thing bad is going to happen. I, for one, found the word bit perturbing and hence, looked at

Shri Murty to judge if the situation was so serious, dismal and warranting.

Yes, as he has put his perspective candidly. Excerpts : (i) With glaring contradictions in approach and a lack of consensus strategy (speaking in different voices before the Bench) the situation is indeed ominous. (ii) Unless people like Mr.ASR step forward, take the lead and resolve differences - the situation indeed is (going to be the same) ominous.


Shri Murty has concluded his article indicating the true situation that exists as on date, "Ironically, although the ultimate objective of Jaipur, Chandigarh and Hyderabad is Identical, the strategies of Jaipur and the rest appear different."


A request : Whatever be the situation, Shri MSM may accept the facts of life and play his role effectively keeping the common objective in mind. This invitation is extended to others, as well.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep 
but I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go, before I sleep. 
And miles to go before I sleep. 
(Robert Frost).

SN (a 1992 pensioner)

(The four lines of Robert Frost quoted in the write up : 'The Woods...' served as an inspiration to Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first P.M. of India. He had placed these lines written by his own hand under the glass top of his office table. These lines reminded him of the service of humanity and of his people to whom he had dedicated himself.

There are promises to keep, and much a distance to travel before one rests, retreats and retires.
The line “And miles to go before I sleep” is repeated which indicates Frost's, the author's philosophy of continual and productive work. -SN)

07 February, 2016

AS RAMANATHAN





Hearing of our case on 10-3-2016


Mr. Venugopalan, in his very lucid and impressive article, has done very well in explaining the present situation in our case in the SC. People who have very limited knowledge of the nuances and technicalities of court craft can also easily comprehend the current situation in our case by reading Mr MVV's article. THANK YOU Mr.MVV

The OMINOUS CLOUDS hovering over our case in SC, according to Mr.MVV, is NOT a natural corollary of events of our case, but is CAUSED by the lack of effective and efficient presentation of important points in our case before the the Bench by our Sr Counsels which has led to Justice Misra's understanding of the case erroneously as that of the validity or not of Sec.48 of LIC Act, to put it in a nutshell. This has led to One Up-man ship temporarily to our Opponents, though not a big achievement.

Even now it is not too late to retrieve the lost ground, if only our Case Managers could provide vital and strong points in our favour to the Sr Counsels to enable them

to chalk out their strategies for the Final Assault on 10-3-2016.

The correct and real issues in our case , as we all know, are Upgradation of Pension on every wage revision in LIC and of course 100% DR to pre 8/97 Retirees. It is almost similar to the OROP which the veterans have wrested from the unwilling hands of GOI.

The validity or not of Sec 48 is only a procedural aspect with which we the pensioners are least bothered. It is sad that the MAIN ISSUES have been lost sight of and insignificant and secondary, nay tertiary issue has come to the fore.

Our aim should be that Equality before Law as enshrined under Article 14 of our Constitution is upheld and Upgradation ordered by the Apex Court.

Let us wish and hope that our Case Managers will make our Sr Counsels to effectively and forcefully argue our case with the vital inputs provided by them and win our long drawn out battle on 10-3-2016.

May GOD be with just cause of the Pensioners.

J.M. ABOOBUCKER

Arguments outside SC !

Further arguments to continue in SC on 10th March...

MV VENUGOPALAN


Dear Editor,

January 20th and 29th have come and gone.   As is customary, pensioners waited with bated breath to hear something positive and after knowing the outcome went into a stoic silence. The next item on the agenda viz: the “Blame Game” between Mr.Asthana and Mr.Murty reached dizzy heights. Each is blaming the other of colluding with LIC and torpedoing our case before the Supreme Court. The inevitable followed; the case was adjourned to 10th March. The less said about the contents and quality of the accusations levelled against each other by Mrs Asthana and Murty, the better.

Let them at least in this late hour understand that the pensioners are in the least concerned about, between the two, whose knowledge in law is better. We have no intention, whatsoever, to confer any specific honor on them by lauding their erudition and expertise in legal matters. We expect them to be honest, sincere and by using the resources at their command, deliver the goods and communicate in a language intelligible to the pensioners. All the three of the leaders, spearheading our legal battle have made mistakes: This is the perception of one about the other. The reality is that each one of them chose a legal procedure, independent of the other, thinking that it will yield the result they desired. It is also obvious that none of the three had any deleterious and malicious intentions against the pensioners and acted keeping that in their view. Some of their actions resulted in negativism and some emitted rays of positivity. Is it not their right to do that when we, the pensioners have entrusted them with the responsibility of handling our cases. Can we expect anything better when the three of them have decided to go their chosen path and sworn not to see eye to eye. I would request both Mr. Asthana and Mr.Murty to understand this reality and stop showering abuses at each other. Mr.Sridharan is doing the wisest thing by keeping a safe distance and a studied silence in the matter. Having left the majority of the pensioners in the lurch and placating 1200 of them with a paltry amount, this is, perhaps, the best posture for him to adopt! What I heard from their Vice-President was that Mr.GNS had no intention of furnishing the list of pensioners as demanded by LIC but had to finally succumb to their machinations as the incumbent pensioners pressured him to accept whatever was offered by LIC. It leaves us now with the rest of the two players to behave more responsibly and carry on the task cut out for them. I, therefore, fervently appeal to both to keep aside their bitter differences till such time a finality is reached in our case pending before the Apex Court.

Let me come to the Ominous Clouds hovering over our heads, as referred to by Mr. Murty. Before commenting on whether Mr.Murty’s remarks were right or misplaced, one would like to know the circumstances which led Justice.Dipak Mistra in making such an observation. Coupled with what he had said on similar lines on a previous occasion, it certainly gives us the impression that he is convinced that LIC has a point. This certainly makes us believe that in the limited opportunities that LIC got to present their arguments, their counsel has been able to convince the Judge that Govt’s approval of the Board Resolution is all that matters. In other words, our Sr.counsels have not succeeded in laying before the Judge a host of other legal points, favouring us, including the constitutionality. Therefore, THE OMINOUS CLOUDS are not a natural corollary of the stream of legal events we have passed through but our own creation.

I agree with Mr.Ramanathan in that we have a strong case, notwithstanding the brittleness of the often quoted Board Resolution and Justice Bhandari's judgment, the basic tenets involved in the core issue of our demand for equality before law will be sufficient ground for winning our case. Our judges, more often than not, swearing by the Constitution can never throw Articles 14 and 16 to the winds and proclaim a verdict vindicating LIC's stand that Sec.48 of the Insurance Act gains precedence over everything else in this dispute. But, the duty to articulate the essence of our Case and present such forceful arguments to convince the presiding Bench that it is so, lies entirely in the hands of our counsels. And the duty to equip and arm them sufficiently with all the legal ingredients to register a grand victory on 10th of March is in the hands of our leaders, particularly Mr.Murty and Mr.Asthana. Please, therefore, declare a long holiday to trading charges against each other and fully concentrate on ways and means of how to ensure that this happens. It also doesn't look proper criticising LIC all the time, including its Chairman. It is an open secret that generations of our former Chairmen, barring perhaps Mr.J.R.Joshi, have only toed the line of the Govt. and had their eyes fixed on the assignment, following after their normal retirement. When the number of pensioners is few, and LIC has the affordability to pay the enhanced liability arising out of revision of pension, the Govt., logically speaking, should not have any difficulty acceding to our request. That leaves us with only just one category of people, the Bureaucrats  who are standing in the way. Let us understand the ground realities and conserve our energy by not unnecessarily blaming others for our own deficiencies and shortcomings.

Let not HISTORY REPEAT on 10th March and take us back to the regressive path we have been taking all these years.

With Greetings,

M.V.VENUGOPALOAN

06 February, 2016

CH MAHADEVAN






My interactions with some senior pensioners point to some anxiety that in-fighting among pensioners' groups may adversely affect the outcome of our legal struggle in the Apex court.No doubt it is unfortunate that such a situation is existing and does no show any sign of abating.

I personally feel that we not get unduly get worked up with such happenings as differences are bound to arise when multiple Associations/Federations are in the field albeit for more or less common objectives.In the banking sector we are all aware that the Pensioners' Associations were openly sore with the in-service bank employees' Associations for having signed the eighth Bipartite Settlement including the Record Note clearly stating that pension was not a contractual liability towards bank pensioners.

The real threat to the interests of pensioners does not emanate from within the population of pensioners, but from some vested interests external to it notwithstanding conflicts in ideology and approach of the different groups many a time triggered by ego problems.

But this does not alter the situation as far as our expectation from the judiciary is concerned.The facts cannot be altered. The merits of the case cannot be diminished in the eye of the court if only the case is properly presented.There is no denying that glaring anomalies are allowed by LIC/GOI to persist for over 15 years both on account of an anomalous DR formula for pre- August 1997 retirees and lack of upgradation of pension for all pensioners.The fact cannot be altered that as per the method followed by LIC which has come in public domain,the family pensioners of pre-August 1997 retirees,instead of getting a higher pension will suffer reduction in pension.Out of an estimated number of about 22000 pensioners in the pre- August 1997. category who were alive as at 1/8/2003,there were only about less than 16500 surviving pensioners as at Februery 2009 and projecting the same trend as on date there may be hardly about 10000 surviving pre -August 1997 retirees at the most.It is anybody's guess how many of the more than 12000 family pensioners left behind are surviving today.It is a pathetically amusing situation today that all the family pensioners in this category are debtors to LIC if they are alive or have died as debtors to LIC if unfortunately they are no more,according to LIC's calculations. What a ridiculous state of affairs pensioners and family pensioners are placed in.

Now ,notwithstanding the differences among the different group of pensioners which need to be managed and sorted out independently,success in the Supreme Court for all the three sets of petitioners will depend on the deft handling and highlighting the glaring anomalies in a convincing manner before the Bench besides making full use of the inputs on points of law which have been abundantly made available by Mr A S Ramanathan through his writings by suitable briefing of the counsel arguing our cases.

Let us hope that it happens.

Greetings.
C H Mahadevan

All'll be well to righteous


I had, like a stubborn child, insisted that none other than Shri M. Sreenivasa Murty to elucidate at length the 'Issue/ s' before the Supreme Court of India. (PC : 02-02-2016). Now that, Sarvshri A.S.Ramanathan and C.H. Mahadevan have eloquently expressed their views and have cleared the daunting doubts in the minds of some pensioners, I suggest that Shri Murty, who is preoccupied, may not take the trouble to clarify further.

To recapitulate - Sarvshri Ramanathan and Mahadevan :

Apart from examining the strength and weakness of Sec.48 **- whether LIC (Board of Directors) can act, in pension related matters, on its own or with the approval / at the directive of GOI, the Apex Court have to consider the aspects of anomaly in DR and pension disparity on the Touchstone of Article 14 of (equality....etc. the fundamental right enshrined in) the Constitution of India. [** Shri CHM ]

The Apex Court would not, for sure, disregard or be oblivious to its own landmark judgement in D.S.Nakara & others v/ s UOI.

All'll be well to righteous.

SN (a 1992 pensioner)

M Sreenivasa Murty


(Part 3)

I am glad that my observation, towards the end of Part-2 of my last Post in PC ‘To me it is all OMINOUS’ generated some concerns and responses. I am asked by friends to ‘clear the air’, which I will attempt in this concluding part on the topic. As committed earlier, I also wish to unfold in this Part, the Hyderabad Plan of action which in our view could effectively tackle the issues with high stakes for all of us.

Mr A S Ramanathan, while attempting just to make light of my comment and I quote: ‘there is nothing ominous’ appears for once, to have compromised his known erudition on the facts and law in our case. If I highlight in the following lines, the major flaw in his approach, I do not mean to discount his command on the subject. I urge him and other well-informed contributors to the PC (not excluding SN & Sri C H Mahadevan), to take a holistic view of the gigantic task before us, because the outcome of the long drawn litigation before the Supreme Court is going to be the ‘last word’ on the aspirations of approximately 49,000 Pensioners and Family Pensioners of LIC. 

The OMINOUSNESS referred to in my last Post, cannot be wished away by telling ourselves and others listening to us, that ‘all is well, don’t worry’. I want to be down to earth practical and even blunt, in what I am going to say today, to make myself clear. 

In my view, the remarks and observations of the SC Bench made during the arguments on 29 January and earlier, are a challenge & an opportunity. I will frame a few questions, just to make my point clear and simple, if anybody is willing to take them and give direct answers. If I am repeating myself now, I cannot help.

Q1. Is the (Constitutional) validity of Section 48 of LIC Act, under challenge before the Supreme Court in our matters? If anybody wants to say ‘yes’, he has to explain ‘how’ and ‘where’. I have no doubt that, IT IS NOT.

Q2. When the validity or otherwise, of the Section is not an issue for decision before the Bench, where is the question of it (Sec 48) being upheld or struck down? 

Q3. Is it not a simple conclusion that a Section remains valid unless struck down? 

Q4. If on account of the above logic, we have to accept the (valid) existence of the Section, should we or should we not explore and test alternative routes to escape the rigors of the particular piece of the Statute on which LIC & the Government are heavily banking? 

Q5. If (at all) we accept (or obliged to accept) the validity of the Section, are we safe in banking on the logic of its (in) applicability to the Board Resolution dated 24.11.2001? (No public purpose is involved etc.,) I think that path is equally slippery because, the Resolution itself refers to the Government approval being a pre-requisite to implement the proposal as approved by the Board. 

My reference to the Ominousness, in the light of the remarks of the Bench sprouts from another angle also. I think I can explain that angle too more clearly through a few questions, as below:

Q1. On the validity of Section 48 and/or its applicability to the Board Resolution dated 24.11.2001, are the views of the Respondents in all the three CAs identical? 

Q2. If on the forceful persuasion of Mr A S Ramanathan or otherwise, Jaipur challenges the validity of Sec 48 or questions its applicability to the Board Resolution, are we sure the stand of Delhi going to be the same? 

Q3. What happens if Delhi were to say (it is going to) ‘we have no quarrel with Sec 48’ - let LIC implement the Resolution after obtaining Government approval? Is such a thing possible or even if it is, Mr A S Ramanathan, doesn’t find anything ominous?

We have a good case and we should win hands down. Not many can exceed my level of confidence about it. I have been describing it as ‘writing on the wall’. But our case does not remain or emerge strong by telling ourselves so, a hundred times through Chronicle or otherwise. With glaring contradictions in approach and a lack of consensus on strategy (speaking in different voices before the Bench) the situation is indeed ominous. 

By his own admission ASR is not in any panel on strategies planned. I wish he is. Otherwise how to ensure that the huge volume of ammunition he piled up over the years using all his knowledge and experience, is put to use when it is most critical to do so? I hope at least some of the people fighting the case and luckily known to him, would pay heed to his counsel. More importantly, in order to play some constructive and beneficial role, one should be in the front line while briefing the Counsel. If Mr AS Ramanathan, is not or does not want to be in that position, I am afraid, all his inputs however valid and valuable they may be, will not go to the rescue of the community of Pensioners. These write ups, if not adopted and used by those managing the cases and those who are arguing, could at best help saying ‘I told you so’ when it is too late. 

Our situation is indeed ominous. Unless, even now, people like Mr ASR step forward, take the lead, resolve differences and help consensus of approach. 

(Our PC Cartoonist may like to correct his perspective; Or is this how he is making amends due to the chastising by Mr Ishwar Dayal?) 

It is in this background, Hyderabad Association is striving not to let things go out of hand. Ironically, although the ultimate objective of Jaipur, Chandigarh and Hyderabad is identical, the strategies of Jaipur and the rest appear different. 

Ironically again, after all the havoc perpetrated in the matter of interim payment, GNS (along with a trusted colleague) reportedly found time to descend on Hyderabad today, possibly to muster some sympathisers and to reclaim Federation’s lost presence here. A desperate search for some solace from the impossible heat generated against him by the Hyderabad Association. 

What a sense of priority, Dear General Secretary?

AS Ramanathan



Arising out of the remarks, two main points comes out. One is the discriminative point and the other is the Board Resolution for removal of gross anomalies. Even the latest wage revision has given rise to the same type of anomalies that have arisen with every earlier wage revisions. The Board Resolution is an acknowledgement of this fact, and hence the recommendation to the Govt to put an end to this gross discrimination. Both the points are crucial for our demand for parity in the rate, manner and method of the D.R neutralization and revision to remove the absurdity of a retired Senior Officer getting a very low pension than a retiree lower down in the grade structure.

For the first point for parity in the rate, manner and method of neutralization I again repeat my argument, there is no necessity for another notification, for two reasons. Forget for some time the Sec.48 notification. At the time of notification on the revised pattern for payment of DA to those who retired from 1-8-97, the Govt was well aware of the decision of the SC delivered in 1983 itself in the now leading case of Nakara. It was a decision against a G.O issued by the Govt. and that is a law of precedence. The Jaipur HC correctly applied that ruling while deciding our case. This decision was that of a Constitution Bench and the Bench hearing our case will find hard to ignore it. Since the point of contention is violation of the Fundamental Rights under the Constitution, there cannot be a different opinion from saner legal pundits. The Jaipur HC has not struck down the impugned notification but only held that the benefits of the notification are equally applicable to all retirees as a single class. All these arguments are based decided SC cases.

On the basis and strength of the Board Resolution, nobody seems to have any idea. While the Govt’s thinking seems to be that of the Shakespearean era of the Divine Right Theory, the LIC’s thinking is to go by his Masters Voice, making one to wonder whether LIC is autonomous or only a department of the Govt. (and even then revision is a precedence). Even some of our own retired friends seems to be bewildered by the presumed iron curtain of Sec.48 and fail to see the inherent power of the LIC as an autonomous institution. In fact Sec.48 is no impediment and the Govt. cannot use that section to deny any legal right protected by the Fundamental Rights of equality of law and equal protection of laws. Under microscopic examination, it will be seen as violating the basic structure of the Constitution. Hidden in the LIC Act is the power of the LIC to determine the terms and Conditions of service of its employees !. The truth is none of us have any need to examine Sec.48 or consider its weakness. But now the Govt says it is omnipotent and do whatever it wants to do with it, even against the provisions of the Constitution!!.  If we are to examine it in the lime light of the Constitutional provisions, it will become clear that the Govt. has no such powers as it is made out to be. This approach is to add support to our argument that there is no alternate solution to the perpetual problem of discrimination arising with each revision of the salary structure. With the Resolution of the LIC board to support our claim, proving legally LIC has powers to decide on the term and conditions of service of its employees is the stress here.

The final para of the judgement in Nakaras case itself supports this argument and of course there are many other case laws also.  

To conclude as far as DR anomaly, there is no need for any notification as a decision based on a judgement of a Constitution Bench needs no approval from the Govt and is enforceable at the pain of contempt of court. Further factually the impugned notification still survives, with the benevolent reading given by the SB of the Rajasthan HC, obviating the need for further notification.

As for the revision, it is essential to revise pension also along with the revision of salary structure, if discrimination is not to be perpetuated. The LIC has inherent powers to do this but the Chairman lacks the courage to exercise it. The Govt’s claim, only it has the powers, is hollow, and the assumed powers under Sec.48 is against the provisions of the Constitution. Nowhere in the LIC Act is a provision, to show that it is the sole privilege of the Govt. The SC by the exclusive powers of interpretation of law may enforce its writs. Finally to quote Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer “It is elementary that a non obstante tail should not wag a statutory dog….” The tail refers to a rule made by the Govt. against a statutory provision and the import is that when the head is there, the tail should not wag.   

A.S. RAMANATHAN

A question of ego !


6 Feb 16, 10:39 AM

B.R.Mehta: No body denies contribution of KML for LIC Pensioners Cause by winning a case in Jaipur court. But problem is he has already encashed much more than his contribution.

And above all real issue is his very large ego and arrogance that no body else knows more than him. Either you become his follower or he will hit you like his enemy calling you as LIC or GOI or AIIPA man.

Crystal clear analysis


6 Feb 16, 06:38 AM

G. Narayanaswamy: The crystal clear analysis of CHM deserves all praise. It focuses on the prime issue of unequal treatment of different groups of pensioners and the injustice done to them. It will be a landmark judgement. And our struggle historic.

05 February, 2016

One-upmanship

Comments

5 Feb 16, 10:22 PM

S.r.Nagarajan: Yes, Shri, Asthana might have unwittingly expressed certain things. Let us remember his unique contribution to the cause and as age advances, we, humans do have tolerance deficit.

OUR PENSION CASE


Mr AS Ramanathan has boosted the sagging morale of the old pensioners by his reassurance that there is nothing ominous in the remark of the Bench that the issue is one to determine whether the power to approve the Board Recommendations is that of the Government or whether LIC can go ahead with implementation of its own Board decision without approval of the Government.

Let us for a moment imagine two scenarios,viz one where Sec 48 is upheld by the Supreme Court and the one where Sec 48 is struck down by the SC.

Scenario 1: Sec 48 is upheld by SC

This means that Government approval is required for implementation of the Board Resolution. But the question arises, whether this will lead ipso facto to allowing the Civil Appeals of LIC thereby setting aside the judgment dt 12/1/2010 of the Single Judge Bench at Jaipur. My answer is ‘No’.

Scenario 2 : Sec 48 is struck down

This means that Government approval is not required for implementation of the Board Resolution. But the question is still open whether the Civil Appeals will be dismissed without any directions to LIC or with some directions clarifying apparently grey areas in the judgment or Board Resolution lending themselves to varying interpretations.

Here we have to go into the cause of legal action that arose leading to the Jaipur Bench judgment and subsequent legal proceedings leading to CAs filed by LIC in the Supreme Court.

The first writ petition 6676/1978 was filed because the DR formula for pre-August 1997 retirees was anomalous whereby the DR was reduced to 50% of that for in-service employees while 100% DR neutralization was adopted for in-service employees as well as those who retired after 1/8/1997.

The second writ petition No 654/2007 was filed because of discrimination between pensioners who had retired on different dates whereby a retiree after a subsequent wage revision period was getting more pension than a pre-wage revision retiree, sometimes even belonging to a higher cadre. This anomaly could be removed only by upgradation of pension of earlier pensioners in tandem with wage revisions effected for in-service employees.

The Single Judge Bench Judge in Jaipur allowed both these petitions by its judgment dt 12/1/2010 which is still sta-refused although LIC’s Civil Appeals re pending in Supreme Court. The effect of this judgment is as follows:

1. The DR formula as per Annexure IV of  LIC Pension Rules is to be modified on par with that applied for in-service employees as is done after 1/8/1997 wage revision.This should take effect from the date of retirement or 1/11/1993 whichever is later.

2. The pension should be upgraded on 1/8/1997 as decided in the LIC Board Resolution dt 24/11/2001 by providing weightage of 11.25% after merger of DR (without anomaly) with Basic Pension as is done for in-service employees. (It must be noted that 11.25% should be taken only as an average as the actual weightage may range from 8% to 13% depending on the cadre).

Two points to be noted in this context is that (i) the Board Resolution was passed to benefit the pre-August 1997 retirees who were victims of the DR anomaly which came in sharp relief after the wage revision w.e.f 1/8/1997 was notified in the year 2000; and (ii) subsequent wage revisions were yet to be notified. It should also be noted that the Board did not specify that this suggested upgradation is an one-time benefit given to pre-August 1997 retirees.

The operative part of the judgment states,” 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 24.11.2001 passed by the Board. The respondent Corporation cannot provide different criteria for grant of dearness allowance to the 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”.

The directions on implementation of the Board decision is only one part of the judgment. 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 only means that LIC should modify Annexure IV of the LIC Pension Rules on par with the DR formula for in-service employees from 1/8/1992 to 31/7/1997..The last sentence stating “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.” Has to be construed as a direction for upgradation of pension with every wage revision as prayed for in the WP No 654/2007 allowed by the Bench.

Thus the Jaipur Single Judge Bench order dt 12/1/2010 has to be viewed from an integrated perspective providing for DR anomaly removal and equitable DR neutralization for pre-August 1997 retirees and upgradation of pension for all pensioners with every wage revision, whereas the tendency of LIC has been to equate the judgment wholly to implementation of the Board Decision dt 24/11/2001 only that too according to its own convenient interpretation .This has resulted in its playing havoc with the interpretation of the LIC Board Resolution and making payment of an inadequate amount of arrears due to the petitioners while depositing in Jaipur & Chandigarh HC Registries and also while paying interim relief to the 1200 pre-August 1997 retiree-Class I Officers recently.

So my view is that in the Scenario 1, even if the powers of the Government under Sec 48 are upheld, it need not necessarily ipso facto lead to allowing of the CAs by the Supreme Court. The Apex Court will still have to consider the aspects of anomalies in DR and lack of pension parity on the touchstone of Article 14 of the Constitution. So along with upholding the powers of the Government under Sec 48, the Apex Court may like to give suitable directions to the Government and LIC to remove the anomalies and disparities that violate Article 14 of the Constitution .This would mean directions for amendment of pension rules to the benefit of LIC Pensioners.

If Scenario 2 happens, and the SC finds it proper to dismiss the CAs, it may not stop with a simple order of dismissal, but may give suitable directions to LIC giving clarifications on grey areas in the Jaipur judgment and the Board Resolution which LIC has been exploiting to the detriment of pensioners.

Either way, I feel that there is no need for pensioners to be worried about- whether LIC has the powers or the Government has the powers. In my view, Supreme Court will focus primarily on justice to be done to those for whom it is denied. But there is a caveat; the case managers and the counsel have a crucial role to play to make that happen.

Greetings.
C H Mahadevan

Develop a spirit of compromise and mutual trust


Our revered leaders, time and again, keep telling the history of successes and failures in the long drawn legal battle with LIC and GOI. The readers of the PC are by now very much familiar with them.

The pensioners are more concerned and pray that the leaders try their best to succeed in getting the judgement on their side. It is difficult to find leaders of the same disposition.The leaders are at liberty to play their decisive roles in the matter of court cases as guided by their learned counsellors and in other aspects, within the established rules of accountability, impunity etc but above board completely. 

Some readers have rightly expressed in the recent past that there is a need for warring groups to call for permanent truce for good. It is time that our leaders develop a spirit of compromise and mutual trust.

SN (a 1992 pensioner)

SN WRITES


Many thanks to Shri A.S.Ramanathan for his encouraging reportage. 

It is from an authority. It is from the horse's mouth. I may be permitted to repeat a few words from the last paragraph : Please be patient, do not discourage the fighters..we will succeed...our case may create history.

Comments


5 Feb 16, 12:28 PM

ramesh rao: just gone through sri asr remarks through pc it is very motivating narration and encouraging however let us proceed with strong will for winning the case with patience.

AS RAMANATHAN

            
There is nothing ominous in the remark. It only gives us, in very clear terms that the Hon Judges on the Bench have understood our case. What remains to be heard is only, what reasons the SG is going to advance in support of the LIC/Govt and the reply thereto by the pensioners counsels. Normally, to my little knowledge, it appears that after the SG, it will be the turn of the main Respondent followed by others to reply. Usually other counsels will supplement, if there is any new point of argument but otherwise go with the main arguments. The Judges usually may not show interest to hear the same arguments and may ask only for any other points. Afterwards the court will reserve the judgement to be pronounced later. We should be happy if this happens in one or two hearings.

Having said that, we should remember that there are certain points to be noted. Some questions such as if the Bench says, Govt’s approval is necessary, and they are empowered to, no doubt we will lose our case. It will be na├»ve to come to such a simple conclusion and I don’t think those who are in the know of things, from the legal angle, will agree. It has to be understood that many may not be aware of the niceties of the arguments that will arise during the course of the hearing. No one, including myself, for the pensioners have come out openly with our arguments nor is it wise to disclose. So it is not ominous but necessary to foresee what can be expected. I am not in any panel on strategies planned. I was lucky to know some of those fighting and having been before the bar fighting legal battles for the LIC, I ventured to sharing my views with them.

The LIC’s civil Appeal was allowed to be listed by the SC. Counter has been filed opposing the admissibility of it, because LIC is not considered as aggrieved by the decision of Justice Bhandari. The Division Bench of the Rajasthan HC has made it clear while dismissing the LIC’s appeal. The Govt. did not appeal along with the LIC nor did they file any counter after the DB gave notice to them, even after adjournments to do so, as stated by the DB. The SLP filed by the LIC was dismissed. The litigation has come to an end then and there and nothing remains to be decided by the SC. But there is another set of SLPs filed by the Govt. after a lapse of more than three years of the Judgement of the SB of Jaipur. When the Govt. did not file an appeal itself before the DB, within the normal time for moving the SC of 90 days from the date of the judgement appealed against, how can the SC now be persuaded to admit and hear a hopelessly time barred SLP, which in effect is a permission to file an appeal, despite bold attempts through top lawyers of the Govt. with all persuasive presentations in flowery language. If in spite of this, the petitions are heard, our argument will continue.

May I also inform you that the sum up of our case by the Bench, as reported, was anticipated soon after the filing of the appeal, and enough ammunition is at hand to break the seemingly impregnable shield worn by the Govt. with the LIC hiding behind.

Please be patient, do not discourage the fighters, allow law to take its own course, we will succeed. May be our case may create history. We are all old, and in a war many soldiers and others are laid to rest but let us hope those of us now here, will be there to enjoy the fruits of our labour, which is not far away. We have, I believe very good chance to win our case hands down. Please don’t despair. All these years we have worked following the principle of ‘utmost good faith ’and have faith in those handling the case and our counsel. Let us believe that Senior Advocates is the SC are worth their salt. 

04 February, 2016

Gratuity difference


4 Feb 16, 08:43 PM

K.Madan Mohan Rao: Ramesh Kumar, you are eligible for difference of gratuity as per staff regulations. For class I officers first 15 years full basic plus FPA will be taken and after 30 years half basic plus FPA will be taken. The amount of gratuity received above 10 lakhs is taxable.

Comments


4 Feb 16, 04:28 PM

Karunakaran: Dear Mr.Aboobucker, if GOI approval is necessary for LIC's Board Resolution, then the NAKARA and other court cases regarding pensioners rights lose the relevance.

CARTOONS ON SHRI ASTHANA

ASTHANA HAS A PIVOTAL ROLE TO PLAY


4 Feb 16, 02:59 PM

r.ishwar.dayal: Shri KML Asthana has unfortunately become a favorite subject for your cartoonist.
cartoonist
An interesting side of these cartoons is that nobody comes forward to defend KMLA from Fedn side, not even ramanathan from the South who usually goes to the victims of your cartoon subjects with consoling words. 

What I observe is that when it was LIC Pensioners Calicut, you never appeared to come out with cartoons against Asthana. But as Chronicle you have changed your editorial policy, especially after Asthana came to attack the Editor over phone saying what you write is “non-sense” as I remember to have seen in one of your old write-ups. It is true Asthana has many weaknesses. He has no knack to keep public relations. When one has a public mission, sober conducts must be a MUST. 

He may have under-estimated your striking power. It is well known that he doesn’t keep good relations with AIRIEF leadership. After the Jain (?) era, it is not easy going for Asthana especially after the emergence of the Hyderbad faction of GNS Federation as separate entity with Shri Murty at the helm of affairs. 
  • All said, I have a feeling that the long fight Asthana had against LIC and the tremendous advantage he was able to bring about for the pensioners shouldn’t be forgotten. For thousands of pensioners, he is still a hero although Shri RB Kishore in his inimitable flattery style made him a Kurukshetra hero which perhaps played havoc and Shri Kishore’s flattery went into his head and if I may borrow your cartoonist’s words, that song has to be surgically removed as he is still suffering from the ‘hero’  status thrust upon him. 
That is one side of the picture. On the other side, I wish you had changed your editorial policy to make Shri KMLA successfully complete his unfinished task. I am a person who believes he has a pivotal role to PLAY.

Gratuity

4 Feb 16, 01:17 PM

R.RAMESH KUMAR: I retd from LIC services in march 2015 and got a sum of rs.10 lacs as gratuity. now after the revision my monthly emoluments is Rs 96000/-. Am I eligible to get arrears of gratuity? 

Modern avatar !


BR MEHTA'S QUESTIONS

Dear Editor,

All of us were very happy when we read A Rejoinder from Sh. KML Asthana in response to Part -2 Version of Supreme Court Proceedings dated 29.01.2016 from Sh. Murty on your blog day before yesterday asking a few questions addressed to Sh. Murty.

Yesterday, we were extra ordinarily happy to read answers from Sh. Murty to all questions raised by Sh. KML.

Now, I also have a few questions to be answered by Sh. KML honestly. But before raising my questions , I wish to place on record my deep appreciations for Sh. KML as a chief architect of current legal battle on behalf of all LIC Pensioners.

My Questions to Sh. KML

1. Is it not a fact that he happens to be one of an All India Vice Presidents of AIRIEF and expenses for his entire legal battle so far are being reimbursed to him in total by AIRIEF out of its legal fund ?

2. Being an All India Vice President of an All India LIC Pensioners Organisation called AIRIEF, how can he accept donations from LIC Pensioners in his personal bank account ?

3. Whether till date he has submitted a detailed account statement of funds collected by him in his personal bank account to AIRIEF and further whether he has transferred amount collected by him in person till date to AIRIEF Bank Account ?

4. In organisational command, he happens to be at Third Place after President being no One and General Secretary being no Two. Now, whether he had sought prior approval from AIRIEF President before filing An Impleadment Application at Supreme Court seeking himself to be a party in pending LIC Civil Appeal against Chandigarh High Court ? And what is current fate of such application filed by him ?

5. On 07.09.2015 during hearing of IA filed by Panchkula AIRIEF Unit before Justice Dipak Misra bench at Supreme Court, his AOR Sh. R.K.Singh opposed our IA despite very clear telephonic instructions by AIRIEF President to him and RKSingh both to support our IA. Can Sh. KML tell why he over ruled his President ?

6. The contempt Petition against LIC filed by him at Jaipur High Court was disposed in February 2014 with an order " Dismissed as Withdrawn "

Will Sh. KML tell us reasons for withdrawl of his contempt petition ?

7. Will Sh. KML tell us whether he had sought prior approval of AIRIEF President before filing his latest stay application at Supreme Court against current Wage Revision for LIC Working Staff wef 01.08.2012 ? And what is current status of this stay application filed by him?

Regards,
B.R.Mehta

To be or not to be upgraded is the question


4 Feb 16, 11:37 AM

JM Aboobucker: The sum and substance of the issue in our case according to the observation of Justice Misra is whether LIC by its Board Resolutions implement decisions or the approval of GOI is necessary.

Supposing the Court decides that the GOI approval is required for implementing LIC Board Resolutions, I am afraid the matter will not get resolved in SC but the issue will revert to the GOI for final decision. This situation will place us the poor pensioners again at the mercy of the Babu's of MOF who are known for their negative approach on the vexed question of 'to be or not to be upgraded'.

Clear the air


Justice Misra made a specific remark intervening in the arguments on 29-01-2016 that ‘as we look at this matter, the issue before us is whether the LIC through its Board can take its own decisions and implement or it needs Government Approval for the same’. 


The SGI .......endorsed the observation of the Bench responding: ‘that is exactly the
issue My Lord’. (Shri M.Sreenivasa Murty in LIC PC on 31-01-2016).

It is the sum and substance of the cases pending at the Apex Court? 

What is bit worrisome is that Shri Murty has said that it is ominous.

There can be no other person than Shri Murty himself to make the doubt / point clear. He may kindly elucidate the observations for better understanding of pensioners, at his convenience and not at the cost of personal front.

Let us clear the air. Let the sky be clear, bright and beautiful.

Meaning of these idioms, in short : to eliminate confusion, dispel controversy, emotional tensions, to get rid of hard feelings nurtured over a period of time knowingly or unknowingly.

The idioms allude to an atmosphere cleared of thick black clouds, torrential, heavy to very heavy rains accompanied by storm, thunder, lightening etc.

SN ( a 1992 pensioner )