Removing anomalies of the Sixth Pay Commission, the Armed Forces Tribunal has allowed a petition which will benefit all the army Majors and officers in the same rank in the three services who had retired before 2006 and entitle them to enhanced monetary benefits.
"We direct that the pension of pre (2006) retirees should be decided on the basis of minimum of the pay in the pay band that is Rs 23,810 with all other benefits and shall be given to them," the Tribunal Bench headed by Justice A K Mathur said in its verdict.
The Tribunal has asked the Defence Ministry to complete the whole exercise within next three months.
Pointing to an earlier pay commission policy that said that the pension of all pensioners shall not be less than 50 per cent, the Bench said, "then naturally 50 per cent of this will have to be treated as a basic pension and rest of it will be added to it as grade pay and other benefits which are given to the persons of that rank".
Over 150 Major and officers of equivalent rank had filed the petition in the Tribunal to do away with the anomalies, which had resulted in the pre-2006 retirees getting lesser pension than post-2006 retired honorary captains, their Counsel Commodore Sukhjinder Singh told PTI here.
"But even after this, there will be difference between pension of pre and post 2006 retired majors and equivalents. Pension of officers retiring after 2006 would be calculated by taking 50 per cent of the highest pay scale into account whereas ours will be the same proportion of the lowest pay-scale," he added.
After this verdict, more than 5000 similarly placed retired officers will get the additional monetary benefit, which will be to the tune of Rs 5000.
The gap in pensions had increased after the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, which came into effect from January 1, 2006.
After the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, pension of majors was fixed at Rs 14,100 per month.
The petitioners had contended that the existing basic pay, inclusive of grade pay and military service pay, worked out to be Rs 36,410, hence their pension at the stipulated 50 per cent of basic worked out to be Rs 18,205 per month, to which they were entitled.
The pension of lieutenant colonel is fixed at Rs 25,700 whereas that of majors who retired before 2006 is Rs 14,100, creating a huge difference of Rs 11,600, the petitioners claimed. Prior to the Sixth Pay Commission, the difference was just Rs 950.
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