New Delhi: The Central government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it will not revise the formula for One Rank-One Pension (OROP) scheme nor would it bring down the timeline for periodical revision of the pensionary benefits for retired armed forces personnel.
Appearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh made the government's stand clear in response to a PIL.
"We will not revise the OROP formula. The government has already gone out of its way," Singh submitted.
The law officer added that whatever has to be decided by the government has already been done.
"More than Rs 10, 000 crore has been sanctioned after much deliberation. This has huge ramifications on the exchequer and any interference would further burden us," Singh told the Court.
The ASG sought dismissal of the petition by Indian Ex-servicemen Movement also on the ground that there is a limited scope of reviewing a policy decision.
"This petition is not maintainable because it seeks to challenge a policy decision," said Singh.
Representing the petitioner, senior advocate Vivek Tankha replied that he is ready to argue on both maintainability and merits of his plea.
The Court then asked Singh to file a formal affidavit in reply to the petition and fixed the matter for hearing after four weeks.
The Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) and others have challenged the government’s policy of periodic review of pension once in five years.
It has sought a direction for the government to implement OROP as recommended by the Koshyari Committee with an automatic annual revision, instead of the current policy of periodic review once in five years.
“OROP is the uniform desire of all three defence services. Ex-servicemen are presently drawing pension that is not consistent with their rank and/or length of service... the pension of past pensioners be automatically and contemporaneously enhanced, whenever there is any future increase or enhancement in the rates of pension,” said the petition.
It added the government should be directed to fix the pension on the basis of highest pension of financial year 2014-15 and not 2013.