In the One Rank One Pension case, the Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict today i.e. on Wednesday. A petition has been filed on behalf of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement demanding One Rank One Pension. According to media reports, while completing the hearing on the matter, the Supreme Court had reserved its decision in February last month itself.
In this case, the petitioner Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) challenged the decision given on November 7, 2015, on One Rank One Pension. The petitioner Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement had argued in this that this decision is arbitrary and malicious. IESM says that it creates another class within the class and effectively gives separate pension to one rank, separate to another.
During the hearing on the matter, the bench of Justice DY Chandrachud of the Supreme Court asked many questions to the government. During the hearing, the Supreme Court had asked the Center whether the Center has gone back on the decision of automatic increase of pension. Why was pension revision fixed at 5 years? The court asked why it cannot be done annually?
In the hearing last month, a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Vikram Nath asked these questions to Additional Solicitor General (ASG) N Venkataraman, appearing for the Centre. The Additional Solicitor General tried to justify the notification of November 7, 2015. The bench asked Venkataraman, "In 2014, after the announcement by the Defense Minister in Parliament that the government has agreed in principle to give OROP, will the government at any point of time go back on its decision to automatically increase it in future."
The ASG said that there are several judgments of the Supreme Court which hold that statements made by ministers in Parliament are not law as they are not enforceable and so far as future automatic increase in pension is concerned, it does not amount to any type of service is beyond comprehension. They said that the 2015 decision was a policy decision taken by the Government of India after extensive consultations between various stakeholders, inter-ministerial groups.