Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, Chairman IESM on OROP
I feel there is a lot of merit in what Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, has said. It may not be appropriate at this stage to go to court on OROP, when already the Rank Pay case is muddled and suffering with some major anomalies created deliberately by the bureaucracy and PCDA (O), in simply and judiciously implementing the judgement of apex court. I also very much feel that there may be another stint of court battle, if the authorities fail to act on its proper implementation sooner than later. The time to go to the court as suggested by Lt Gen Raj Kadyan seems quite appropriate, and it may be best to wait for an year at least. Suggest all veterans to maintain good and green health to be able to enjoy the benefits in this life itself. Col LK Anand Retd
1. A few senior veterans have been berating the IESM for not going to court on OROP. In support of their argument they use some of the recent court judgments purportedly supporting OROP in an indirect manner. They feel any delay on this account will result in OROP not coming in their life time. Their lament is not without merit and we respect their sentiments. This issue has been discussed at length. Let me spell out the IESM thought process.
2. Going to court is very much an option. However, doing so at this stage has the following pitfalls:
A. The case would become sub judice and would provide the govt a good alibi for not making any more pension related concessions including OROP.
B. Anyone with experience in litigation would agree that despite the optimism created by some seemingly related court judgments, the case may take several years before reaching judicial finality. Those pressing for an early resolution through courts may not achieve their aim.
C. Once the case is in the courts, other forms of protests would lose their moral sting.
3. The alternatives need to be war-gamed. There is a possibility that the present UPA Govt may grant OROP on the eve of 2014 Parliamentary elections. The fact that as an unprecedented development they have sanctioned two increases in pension between the VI and VII pay commissions and have been promising a gradual bridging of the gap between old and new pensions are pointers in that direction. Besides, the veterans should be increasing the pressure by using the power of vote as elections approach. Grant of OROP before elections would be the best outcome for us.
4. Let us assume the UPA does not sanction OROP till the elections are held. As things stand, and leaving out any unforeseen political alignment, two possibilities exist. Either the NDA comes to power or the UPA is returned. If the NDA wins, OROP already stands approved by their main constituent, the BJP; it was part of their election manifesto in 2009 and no reversal of that stand should be expected. If on the other hand the UPA returns, we then go to court on the issue of OROP and give it our best fight.
5. There never is and never can be any certainty in such issues. There is no fail-safe course we can adopt. We can only weigh options and adopt what appears the best option. I will implore the veterans to show patience and bear with us.
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan
262, Sector - 17A
Gurgaon - 122 001