The Supreme Court on Wednesday will pronounce its judgment on a petition claiming that the government’s implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) for the Armed Forces has been faulty. A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had reserved the case for judgment on February 23.
The petition was filed by the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement represented by senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi and advocate Balaji Srinivasan. It had alleged that OROP had led to the creation of a separate class among personnel equally situated in rank and length of service.
OROP meant a uniform pension would be paid to retired servicemen of the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement.
The petitioners had also challenged the government’s stand that equalisation of pension would happen periodically every five years. They had contended that a gap of five years would leave them at a great disadvantage. They said periodic equalisation would “cause great injustice to 24 lakh ex-servicemen, 6.5 lakh war widows and veteran widows and their families by creating a situation of One Rank Different Pension’.
In a hearing in February 16, the top court had orally remarked that the Centre’s hyperbole on the OROP policy presented a much “rosier picture” than what was actually given to the pensioners of the Armed Forces.
In its affidavit, the government, to a query about the financial outflow likely to be incurred, had said it would be, from 2014, in the range of ₹42,776.38 crore.
The government had clarified that same rank and length of service were necessary for claiming OROP benefits.