Pension is a deferred wage, paid in consideration of past service which an employee rendered sacrificing the prime of his youth for the sake of the Government & the quantum of such pension should be such that he is able to lead a dignified Life in his twilight years maintaining as far as possible the standard of living he was used to during his service life!
It is in view of this basic principle that the apex court of the country has repeatedly ruled that any classification of pensioners at any time will have to answer the test of article 14 of the Constitution and further concluded that pensioners for the purpose of pensionary benefits form a homogeneous class and such a homogeneous class could not be arbitrarily divided on the basis of dates of retirement whenever the pension undergoes an upward revision and hence the fixation, at any time, of any cut off date for any new benefit is arbitrary.
Any act which seeks to classify or divide pensioners into two or more classes is not based on any rational principle, and hence it would constitute a violation of article 14 of the Constitution. Thus, parity of pension as between one who retires with a certain pay and a certain rank on a particular date and another one who draws the same pay and with the same rank but retires on a subsequent date is thus a constitutional right guaranteed under article 14 of the Constitution and sanctified by the apex court and many High Courts in their landmark judgments.
The demand for one-rank-one pension for all Defence personnel or pension equal to 50%of the pay as notionally revised in the new pay structure corresponding to the scales from which the employee retired is therefore a just one, which the government should readily accept .The argument of huge financial burden on the national exchequer and the danger of the economy being thrown out of gear to reject this just demand is just a bogey and indeed this has never been accepted by the apex court and many High Courts.
If the arbitrary and frequent increase in the remuneration of Members of legislatures without any public discussion and generally by voice vote, and of Ministers & top bureaucrats (read IAS) or those in the higher echelons of administration, the huge expenditure on the security of politicians, which is generally more of a status symbol than any genuine security cover, the circulation of fake Currency, the absence of any effort to rein in the parallel grey market economy, the gobbling of resources earmarked for social welfare schemes by politicians and vested intermediaries etc. are not going to involve a huge drain on the national exchequer and thereby derail the Indian economy, then how can the just demand of those who actually spared no effort and bore on their shoulders during the prime period of their lives the brunt of running the administration to meet the loud articulations of the rising hopes and aspirations of the common man in the newly emerging independent India, can be thrown out on the ground that it would cause a serious financial imbalance and throw the Indian economy out of gear? Why is only the poor pensioner being made to suffer for no fault of his? He is suffering perhaps because he has so far not realized his own power i.e. the power of vote.
It need hardly be pointed out that generally one retired person has in his hands the power of 6 votes i.e of himself, his spouse, his son, his daughter-in-law, his grand daughter & grand son. There are almost two crores of such pensioners (i.e from the Centre, the States, the Defence establishments, the Railways, the PSUs, Banks, the Education department etc.) and they would thus constitute a vote bank of about 12 crores. So the clarion call to all the pensioners is: “Stop crying, wake up and realize the enormous power in your hands. The Governments & the politicians seem to understand only the language and power of the Vote Bank. You cannot fight your battle individually, nor do you generally have the wherewithal to do so.
So, join the larger community of senior citizens and consolidate your own Vote Bank. Once you do so, the politicians will come running to you & you will get what you want. Let not any further time be lost in consolidating the vote bank. So, hasten, lend your helping hand and strengthen the hands of the organizations that have dedicated themselves to improving the lot and welfare of the pensioners”.
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