The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) programme in the Armed Forces is a policy decision with no constitutional flaws.
The OROP policy decision of the Centre is not arbitrary, according to a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and Vikram Nath, and it is not for the court to intervene in government policy decisions.
It was ordered that the pending OROP re-fixation procedure, which had not been carried out due to the pendency of a matter before the court after the five-year period had expired, be carried out from July 1, 2019, and that arrears be paid to the pensioners within three months.
The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by the Ex-Servicemen Association, which sought to implement the Bhagat Singh Koshyari Committee's recommendation of one rank, one pension, with an automatic annual review instead of the current policy of once every five years.
The top court had said that whatever it will decide, it will be on the conceptual ground and not on figures.
It said, When you revise after five years, the arrears of five years are not taken into account. The hardships of ex-servicemen can be obviated to a certain extent if the period is reduced from five years to a lesser period.
The Centre has said when the revision takes place after five years, the maximum last drawn pay which has all the factors is taken into account with the lowest in the bracket and it is the golden mean which is being given.
On February 16, the top court had said that Centre’s hyperbole on the OROP policy presented a much “rosier picture” than what is actually given to the pensioners of the Armed forces.
On July 11, 2016, the top court had issued notice on the plea filed by IEMS through advocate Balaji Srinivasan seeking implementation of OROP as recommended by the Koshyari Committee with an automatic annual revision, instead of the current policy of periodic review once in five years.