The Sixth Central Pay Commission recommendations have brought some cheer to Central government employees in these difficult times. But a sizeable number of retired senior citizens have been left in the lurch. They include those who retired from some senior levels before January 1, 2006. The Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare’s clarification of October 3, 2008, has reduced to naught all accepted official norms, contravening the decision of the Supreme Court. It has brought despair to an arbitrarily created section of the same grade of pensioners.

A spate of representations pointing out this anomaly has not met with any response. The government, in fact, reinforced the arbitrariness in its next clarification order dated October 14, 2008. The clarification has resulted in the denial of the minimum basic pay and the resultant minimum pension to those on one side of the chronological divide as on January 1, 2006.

As a typical example, between two officers at the level of Joint Secretary, the one who retired before January 1, 2006, will draw a pension of Rs.23,700 whereas the others retiring on or after the same date will draw Rs.27,350 per month.

P.K. Ranganathan,