Illegal denial of pension benefits to Pre-2006 Retiree Honorary Naib Subedars: Status on the recommendations of the Raksha Mantri Committee
DEPARTMENT OF EX-SERVICEMEN WELFARE (DESW)
STATUS ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE OF RAKSHA MANTRl’s COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS CONCERNING DESW
2.2.4 ILLEGAL DENIAL OF PENSION BENEFITS TO PRE-2006 RETIREE HONORARY NAIB SUBEDARS
2.2.4 ILLEGAL DENIAL OF PENSION BENEFITS TO PRE-2006 RETIREE HONORARY NAIB SUBEDARS: The committee recommends the following to tackle this issue once and for all since it has resulted in massive litigation which shall soon get further compounded due to faulty policies:
(a) Pensions of Pre and Post 2006 Honorary Naib Subedars be calculated using the same base of the new scale of Honorary Naib Subedar/ Naib Subedar introduced after the 6th CPC as directed by the AFT and upheld by the Supreme Court. This must be the only category of employees wherein pensions are being calculated on different scales· those of pre·2006 Honorary Naib Subedars are being calculated based on the scale of a Havildar while those of post-2006 retirees are being calculated based on the scale of a Naib Subedar. To take an example, when a new scale was introduced in the year 2009 for Additional Secretaries to Govt of India and Lt Gens of the Army over and above the recommendations -of the 6th CPC, the pensions of all pre”2006 retirees of the grade of Additional Secretary (HAG) as well as Lt Gens were re-calculated on the basis of the newly introduced scale, which system is a standard practice since the 5th CPC, hence there was no occasion for treating the rank of Honorary Naib Subedar differently. In any case, any personal opinion to the contrary is irrelevant.
(b) Since the pay for the purposes of fixation of pension for Honorary Naib Subedars and Naib Subedars has been equated by the Govt for post”2006 retirees and the distinction between post” 2006 and pre-2006 has been struck down and the striking down has been upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the pension of pre-2006 Honorary Naib Subedars vis·a·vis pre-2006 Regular Naib Subedars may also be equated since a wide disparity has been perpetrated between the two which should have been taken care of by the establishment itself since the said issue also stands covered in spirit by the ibid decisions. The system as followed for Honorary Naiks and Honorary Havildars can be followed for Honorary Naib Subedars too, that is, pension of Honorary Naib Subedars can be fixed one rupee (Re 1/·) lower than Regular Naib Subedars as per the dispensation in vogue for Honorary Naiks and Honorary Havildars. Any discrimination limited to the rank of Honorary Naib Subedar is hence highly incongruous.
6th CPC vide Para 5.1.62 has recommended that Honorary Rank of Naib Subedar granted to Havildars will be notionally considered as a promotion to the higher grade of Naib Subedar and benefit of fitment in the pay band and the higher grade pay will be allowed notionally for the purpose of fixation of pension only. Accordingly, additional element of pension of Rs. 100/· pm payable to Havildars granted Hony rank of Naib Subedar will cease to be payable. The provisions of the MoD letter dated 12.06.2009 were applicable to those HNS who retired/discharged from service on or after 01.01.2006.
Hon’ble AFT, Chandigarh vide its order dated 27.10.2017 in OA No. 2755/2013 filed by Ex. HNS Hoshiar Singh held the following:
(a) No res judicata, as provided in Order 2, Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure would be applicable in the facts and circumstances of the present case.
(b) As inter se parity between the Hony. Nb. Subedar and Nb. Subedar could neither be established, nor is acceptable to this Tribunal. The fundamental difference between the said two categories has always remained and shall remain so. However the limited parity, conferred on acceptance of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission vide Go! Circular dated 12.06.2009 to the following extent ” …… that Honoray rank of Nb Subedar granted to Havildar will be notionally considered as a promotion to the higher grade of Nb. Subedar and benefit of fitment in the pay band and the higher grade pay will be allowed notionally for the purpose of fixation of pension only” is required to be accepted and implemented in letter and spirit of the judgment of this Tribunal in Virender Singh’s case (supra), as upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court
(c) The pension of the applicant and all other similarly situated persons, fixed w.e.f. 01.01.2006 at Rs. 7750/· in pursuance of the above judgment 1 is not disputed and need not be gone into.
(d) On the basis of the conclusion at (b) & (c) above, the pension of the Hony. Nb. Subedar needs to be re-calculated based on the principles of determining the highest of notional pay in the revised pay structure corresponding to maximum of pay scales of 5th CPC across the three Services equivalent to the rank and group in which pensioned. In essence, we hold the applicant and similarly situated Hony. Nb. Subedar entitled to minimum level of the pension available to regular Nb. Subedar. It is needless to state that further improvement/enhancement, if any, as and when available to regular Nb. Subedar in grant of pension shall also be available to the applicant and other similarly situated Hony. Nb, Subedar, subject to what is stated above.
The above order dated 27.10.2017 of the Hon’ble AFT, Chandigarh has been implemented vide MoD order No. 1(13)/2016/D[Pen/Pol) dated 21.02.2020.