On Friday, the Supreme Court ordered the Central Government to pay the arrears to qualifying armed forces pensions within three months. It increased the three-month grace period given to the Central Government in the Apex Court's decision dated 16.03.2022, which affirmed the "One Rank One Pension" (OROP) Scheme in the Defense Forces.
"Time period of 3 months fixed in the judgment of this Court passed on 16.03.2022 is extended until 3 months from today."
According to the OROP Scheme, uniform pension is required to be paid to military personnel leaving in the same rank with the same amount of service, regardless of the date of retirement, and the rates of pension would be updated at regular intervals.
The Central Government has requested an extension of time to complete the payments, a bench made up of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli noted. The Cabinet note in this regard has already been posted.
Senior Attorney Mr. Huzefa Ahmadi informed the Bench that the Central Government had broken its obligation to pay the arrears by July 1, 2019, and was speaking on behalf of the petitioners, which included the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement. The Apex Court then ordered the Centre to calculate and disperse the arrears within 3 months in its ruling from 16.03.2022. Mr. Ahmadi asked the Bench to order the Central Government to pay interest for the delay since the same has not yet been paid.
The Bench hoped that the earliest possible payment of arrears would be made. Mr. Venkataramanan, Additional Solicitor General, was tasked by Justice Chandrachud with looking into the matter.