AFT Cases / Pension

Effect of Judgment of Larger Bench of AFT Chandigarh on Arrears

Dear Members of TSEWA,

The article below clearly states larger bench of AFT Chandigarh ruled that  arrears are to be paid from date of failure of Govt of India to give a benefit illegally denied or not implementing judgment of hon’ble Courts. I sent earlier a newspaper cutting of ruling of larger bench of AFT Chandigarh. The article below gives more clarity.

The effect of ruling of the larger bench of AFT Chandigarh on defence services pensioners as per my understanding is given below. Caveat is my understanding may not be correct and we must wait for our Advocate in AFT Delhi to educate us more on this from legal point of view.

1.    OA – 34/2016 and AFT – 1B. Petitioners of OA – 34/2016 filed in Sep 2015 and AFT – 1B which will be filed by Dec 2017 will get benefit of higher arrears not from Jan 2006 to Jun 2014 but from the time of their retirement.

2.   To illustrate for easier understanding let us assume a Major Ajit Singh retired in Sep 1976 (3rd CPC Period) with Last Pay Drawn of Rs 4,000, his pension is 0.50 x 4000 = Rs 2,000 from Oct 1976 to Dec 1985.

3.    w.e.f. Jan 1986 his pension is fixed as if he retired with no increment in Jan 1986 though he might have earned 7 to 10 increments. Officers become Majors at service of 13 years and retire prematurely  at  20  to 22 years if not promoted. Suppose the minimum pay of Major in Jan 1986 (4th CPC) is Rs 10,000, pension of Major Ajit Singh is Rs 0.50 x 10000 = Rs 5000.

4.   Suppose the pension of another Major who retired in Jan 1986 is Rs 6000 which was corresponding to the number of increments drawn by Maj Ajit Singh in Sep 1976, then Major Ajit Singh also should be fixed pension from Jan 1986. Arrears is Rs 6000 – 5000 = Rs 1000 pm + DR for every six months.

5.  But the judgment was given to this effect by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Maj Gen SPS Vains Vs Union of India in 2008. As per my understanding of the judgment of larger bench of AFT Chandigarh then the arrears for the officer could either flow from Jan 1986 or from 2008. This needs legal interpretation.

6.   Pre – 2006, 14 Maj Gens. These officers who filed a case in AFT Delhi in Apr 2016 got arrears from Jan 2006 to Jun 2014 when their pension was fixed at Minimum of their rank i.e. Rs 30,350 w.e.f. Jan 2006. But their pension in Jan 2006 should have been much higher corresponding to their Last Pay Drawn at the time of their retirement in the period Jan 1996 to Dec 2005. In simple terms treat the pre – 2006 Maj Gens as if they retired in Jan 2006 with the number of increments. If a Maj Gen did not have any increment when he retired in 5th CPC then his pension is Rs 30,350 which is the Minimum for the rank of Maj Gen. Suppose another Maj Gen retired with 4 increments then his pension might be Rs 33,000 pm and another Maj Gen who might have retired with 8 increments would be Rs 35,600 w.e.f. Jan 2006 to Jun 2014. Govt of India has already issued instructions for payment of arrears and PCDAs hava paid arrears to most of them.

7.   Broad Banding Benefit. In a similar manner, disabled soldiers were given benefit of broad banding from Jan 1996. But the Govt of India, Ministry of Defence for reasons not known to us made this benefit applicable to only invalid soldiers who retired on or after Jan 1996. Pre – 1996 Invalid soldiers went to court of law and got judgment in their favour and they were paid arrears based on higher disability element due to broad banding w.e.f. Jan 1996. Seeing this 800 disabled soldiers who are superannuated also filed a case and finally they won their case in hon’ble Supreme Court and got their arrears. PMR and NA – NA disabled soldiers till date have not been given broad banding benefit. T SEWA filed cases in AFT Delhi. I am sure they will get the benefit of broad banding as disability occurred in their service life.

8.    BB – 1 and BB – 2 Cases of TSEWA. I am of the opinion that petitioners of BB – 1 and BB – 2 of TSEWA are also eligible to get broad banding benefit from Jan 1996 or from date of their retirement whichever is later and not from three years from date of filing the case in AFT Delhi. I have requested Brig SKS Rana, VSM, President, Legal Division of TSEWA to get legal opinion from Brig Anil Srivastava, VSM, advocate of AFT Delhi. As soon as legal opinion is received then I will advise all petitioners to join fresh case to get benefit of arrears of broad banding from Jan 1996 or from date of retirement after Jan 1996. As on date AFT Delhi gave a judgment that their arrears be restricted to three years from the date of filing the case in the court.

9.      Similar Benefit for Other Cases filed / to be filed by TSEWA in AFT Delhi. The ruling of larger bench of AFT Chandigarh will as per my understanding benefit a number of cases filed by TSEWA as under:-

(a)   Pension of Col for Lt Cols who put in 26 years of reckonable service from 16 Dec 2004.
(b)  Pension of Lt Col to Majors who put in 21 years of reckonable service from Jan 1996.
(c)  Pension of Lt Col to Majors who put in 20 years of reckonable service from 2000.
(d)    Pension of Nb Sub to all pre – 2006 Hony Nb Subs from Jan 2006
(e)   Arrears on account of wrong fixation of initial pay of Rs 11,600 to Majors from Jan 1996 to 28 Feb 2000 whereas the initial pay got amended to Rs 11925.
(f)    Benefit of broad banding to PMR Officers from Jan 1996 or from date of their retirement whichever is later.
(f)      Pension of Sub to pre – 2006  Hony Sub and pension of Sub Maj of pre – Hony Sub Maj from Jan 2006.
(g)   Pension of Hony Lt and Hony Capt on Reserve list from date of their retirement.
(h)   Pension of Major to Pre – 2004 Capts who put in 6 years of reckonable service from Dec 2004.
(j)   Arrears to JCOs / OR who were  paid arrears at Minimum of Fitment Table on account of de-linking of 33 years to earn full pension. The pensions were paid on Maximum of Fitment Table but arrears were paid at Minimum of Fitment Table. Arrears to flow from date of issue of letter by Govt of India, Ministry of Defence.
(k)    Benefit of ACP to pre – 2006 JCOs /OR from Jan 2006.

10.   TSEWA is Legal Aid Cell to Ex-Servicemen and Veer Naris. TSEWA does not charge any legal fees from Wives of Deceased Havs to Sepoys. In two cases i.e. Enhanced Rate of Ordinary Family pension to wives of deceased soldiers who were sanctioned ordinary family pension and Reservists to get Special pension, TSEWA did not charge any legal fees for these two cases though we pay administrative charges to our Advocate in AFT Delhi.

11. The legal fees charged for others is very small. Therefore Legal Aid Cell as envisaged by AFT Chandigarh is TSEWA. TSEWA makes every effort to disseminate to Ex-Servicemen and Veer Naris located in remote and inaccessible areas to avail legal services rendered by TSEWA at very minimal and affordable cost without stirring from their homes after submission of documents to HQ TSEWA.

12.   All Ex- Servicemen and Veer Naris whether you are members of TSEWA or not are advised to see TSEWA Blog at www.tsewa.org . This Blog gives latest information to all. This Blog is open to all. No user id and no pass word are required. Please pass on the contents of this mail through your own mail groups.

Warm Regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)
9493191380 (Mobile connectivity is very poor in my residential complex)
040-48540895
Whatsapp: 9052345814

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