Monday, 15 February 2021

SENSELESS CIRCULAR ON NOTIONAL PENSION ISSUED BY DOPT

 A recent circular F.No.19/2/2018-Estt (Pay-I) dated  3rd  February, 2021 issued by the DOPT (Department of Personnel & Training)  goes on telling that the Department is getting large numbers of representations on the issue of granting notional increment for pensionary benefits to those Central government servants who have retired on 30th June/ 31st December of a year, in pursuance of the judgement dated 15.09.2017 of Hon'ble High Court of Madras in W.P. No. 15732 of 2017 in the case of P. Ayyamperumal Vs Union of India & Ors”.

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But the real issue is something else. Actually what happened is, the Department of Telecommunications filed a similar SLP (C) Dy. No.6468/2019 against the judgment dated 03.05.2017 of the Hon'ble High Court, Lucknow Bench in WP No.484/2010 in the matter of UOI & Ors. Vs. Sakha Ram Tripathy & Ors.. It was dismissed by the Hon’ ble Supreme Court, vide judgment dated 29.03.2019 with the following observation:

"There is delay of 566 days in filing the special leave petition. We do not see any reason to condone the delay. The Special leave petition is dismissed on delay, keeping all the questions of law open."

Therefore, the DOPT advise the various departments that the question of law is open and not yet decided, decision for implementation of the judgement dated 15.09.2017 of Hon'ble High Court of Madras in W.P. No. 15732 of 2017 in Shri P. Ayyamperumal case, in rem has not been taken. But the DOPT overlooked the fact that the HC decision of the Ayyamperumal case was already confirmed by the Hon’ ble SC and not yet set aside and valid even  now by the Supreme Court.

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The funniest part of this circular is that the crooked methods of Departments are already exposed by the SC in a similar decision of the Hon’ ble SC in which the court said, “15. To make matters worse, in this appeal, the Union of India has engaged 10 lawyers, including an Additional Solicitor General and a Senior Advocate! ….. 17. To say the least, this is an extremely unfortunate situation of unnecessary and avoidable burdening of this Court through frivolous litigation which calls for yet another reminder through the imposition of costs on the Union of India while dismissing this appeal. We hope that someday some sense, if not better sense, will prevail on the Union of India with regard to the formulation of a realistic and meaningful National Litigation Policy and what it calls ‘ease of doing business’, which can, if faithfully implemented benefit litigants across the country. 18. The appeal is dismissed with costs of Rs.1,00,000/- as before to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks from today for utilization for juvenile justice issues. Pending I.As. are also disposed of”  (UOI & Ors Vs Pirthwi Singh & Ors., Diary no.8754/2018). But there is one relief in the present case referred by the DOPT in their circular. At least they accepted the advice of the SC and reduced the number of lawyers from 10 including an ASG & a Sr. Adv. to 4 lawyers including an ASG in this case!!!!!

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