Pending issues of LIC pensioners – AIIPA’s letter to the Chairman
As part of its organisational initiatives to pursue the issues of the LIC pensioners, AIIPA has written a letter on 19th February 2014 to the Chairman, LIC of India, urging for early solutions without waiting for culmination of the legal process, which is reproduced herein below.
Long pending issues of LIC pensioners
It is common knowledge that All India Insurance Pensioners’ Association (AIIPA) has been pursuing with perseverence and with weighty arguments and if we can say so, pressurising, presumably to the extent of creating a feeling of annoyance, issues of grant of uniform rates of Dearness Relief, especially to the pre-August 1997 pensioners and enhanced ex-gratia to pre-1986 retirees, both with the management of LIC and the Government of India.
However the management of LIC, probably at the instance of the government, has been going ahead with its legal pre-occupation and our pleadings to find solutions even before the culmination of judicial process - as not the merits of the issues are under dispute - have gone unheeded.
We know, now the legal nuances of the issues are set to be decided at the Apex Court, with various SLPs of LIC getting converted into Civil Appeals and the proceedings in the Hon’ble Jaipur High Court having come to an end.
The repeated attempts of invoking contempt proceedings against LIC for non- implementation of the judgement dated January 12, 2010, of the Hon’ble Jaipur High Court, we have reasons to believe, were some of the contributing factors that had hardened the attitude of the authorities and their deciding against initiating steps to find solutions after the indication of favourable inclination on the part of the Government earlier. However, we are of the firm view that such an attitude should not have been there on the part of the authorities, if it had been so.
With the Contempt Petition allowed to be withdrawn by the petitioner by the Hon”ble Jaipur High Court, the matter now rests with the Apex Court to decide whether LIC Board Resolution can be implemented without formal amendment of Pension Rules under Section 48 of LIC Amendment Act,1981.
AIIPA has been stressing that LIC has a moral responsibility towards pre-August 1997 pensioners as LIC Board, as early as in November 2001, had decided on uniform rate of Dearness Relief and LIC has also recognised that the eligibility for uniform rate of Dearness Relief is from August 1997 from when, post-August 1997 pensioners became entitled.
Our organisation has also been impressing upon for enhancement of ex-gratia for pre-1986 retirees with no legal implications involved in the Civil Appeals before the judiciary.
The constant refrain of our organisation for immediate solutions has got fortified now. The methodology for grant of uniform rates of Dearness Relief now under question may have to be decided in judicial forum but LIC can immediately ensure that justice is meted out to pre-August 1997 pensioners by granting the benefit and extending a similar benefit to other pensioners and by enhancement of ex-gratia to pre-1986 retirees.
We feel the management of LIC should not cite pendancy of Civil Appeals as a reason for postponing decisions.
It is an earnest and urgent request from the organisation that LIC respects its decision of the Board, takes steps immediately for its implementation, keeping in mind the deep sentiments and pent up feelings of the pensioners and its moral duty and pave way for immediate solutions of long pending demands.