The Supreme Court bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bela M. Trivedi dismissed a petition by an organisation of ex-servicemen society seeking an order to pay revised pensions to those who retired prior to 1.1.2016. The court ruled that since pensions fall under Service-related matters, they must approach the Armed Forces Tribunal, which must make a prompt decision.
The petitioner ‘Voice of Ex-Servicemen Society’ argued that the 6th and 7th pay commissions and the government via gazette notification had accepted that those who retired before and after 1.1.2016 would receive a revised pension.
Even during implementation, the government acknowledged that those who had retired prior to January 1, 2016, would be covered. However, in a U-turn, the government declared that the revised pension would apply only to those who retire after January 1, 2016.
The petitioner argued before the court that they could not approach the tribunal collectively and that the entire procedure would be burdensome because thousands of senior citizens are affected by this issue.
The court ruled that retired officers could represent themselves in the case but that federations would not be permitted.
Union of India v. Voice of Ex-servicemen Society, 2023