×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Supreme Court upholds validity of 'One Rank-One Pension' for defence personnel

The top court found no constitutional infirmity in OROP principle, noting it is uniformly applicable to all the pensioners
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 16 March 2022, 13:24 IST
Last Updated : 16 March 2022, 13:24 IST
Last Updated : 16 March 2022, 13:24 IST
Last Updated : 16 March 2022, 13:24 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the validity of Union government's decision of November 7, 2015 related to One Rank One Pension (OROP) for defence forces personnel, saying the Executive is well within its limits to prescribe a policy keeping in view the financial implications.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath, however, directed the Union government to carry out re-fixation exercise from July 1, 2019 as per the terms of the communication of 2015, since it was to be done every five years and could not be undertaken possibly because of the present proceedings.

The top court found no constitutional infirmity in OROP principle, noting it is uniformly applicable to all the pensioners irrespective of the date of retirement.

"Since the OROP definition is not arbitrary, it is not necessary for us to undertake the exercise of determining if the financial implications of the scheme is negligible or enormous,” it said.

Justice Chandrachud, who authored the judgment on behalf of the bench, said, “OROP is itself a matter of policy and it was open to the makers of the policy to determine the terms of implementation. The policy is of course subject to judicial review on constitutional parameters, which is a distinct issue".

The court also pointed out it is not the case of the petitioners led by advocate Balaji Srinivasan on behalf of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement that the pension is reviewed ‘automatically’ to a class of the pensioners and ‘periodically’ to another class. The petitioners sought implementation of OROP, as recommended by the Bhagat Singh Koshyari Committee with an automatic annual revision.

"Undoubtedly, the Union government had a range of policy choices including taking the minimum, the maximum or the mean or average. It decided to adopt the average. Persons below the average were brought up to the average mark while those drawing above the average were protected. Such a decision lies within the ambit of policy choices," it added.

The bench said, "The cut-off date (July 1, 2014) is only prescribed for determining the base salary used for computing the pension. While for those who retired on or after 2014, the last drawn salary is used for computing the pension; for those who retired prior to 2014, the average of the salary drawn in 2013 is used. This policy only seeks to protect those who retired before 2014 since the last drawn salary of the prior retirees might be too low and incomparable to the pay of the 2014 retirees."

Moreover, if the maximum salary drawn is to be used as the base value instead of taking the average salary, an additional outlay of Rs 1,45,339.34 crores would be incurred, the court added.

Check out the latest videos from DH:

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 16 March 2022, 06:36 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT