Justice (Retd) L Narasimha Reddy, former Chief Justice of Patna High Court, will head the Judicial Committee which will look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, it was officially announced on Monday but the protesting veterans rejected it.
The Committee has been given a six-month deadline for submission of its recommendations.
The Terms of Reference for the Committee shall be to examine and make recommendations on references received from the Central Government on various issues concerning the scheme announced by the government last month.
These include measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise in the implementation of the OROP as notified by the government on November 7.
He will also look into the measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise out of inter-services issues of the three forces due to implementation of OROP besides implications on Service matters.
The Committee will also look into any other matter referred by the Central Government on implementation of the OROP or related issues, a statement by the Defence Ministry said.
In a statement, the protesting veterans said “We reject the notification as it is one of the seven anomalies pointed out by us to government after issue of notification on OROP and repeatedly thereafter”.
They said that their recommendations on an inescapable commission, if at all, should be multi-member has been discarded.
“Paragraph one of the commission notification says it will consider “Govt references” only. Thus leaving the veterans high and dry. Also by doing so the door kept open with a mediator in the form of Gen (Retd) V K Singh has been shut on our face too,” they said.
The statement said the way forward is to approach the Supreme Court which would be taken procedurally as per the advise of their counsel Ram Jethmalani very shortly.
“Notwithstanding the legal option the agitation will be intensified across the country,” it said.
The government said that in making its recommendations, the Committee shall take into account its financial impact. “The Committee shall make its recommendation within six months of the date of its constitution. It may, if necessary, give interim reports to the Government on any of the matters related to its terms of reference,” the official statement said.
The Committee will devise its own procedure and may call for such information and take such evidence, as may be considered necessary.
Ministries and Departments of Government of India shall furnish such information and documents and other assistance as may be required by the Committee, it said.
The Committee will have its headquarters in Delhi and all administrative support to the committee will be provided by Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence.
Protesting veterans had on sunday threatened to intensify the protest if their demands were not met by the Centre within three weeks even as they decided to not vote for BJP in the upcoming assembly elections.
The government came out with a notification on OROP on November 7 for over 25 lakh ex-servicemen and war widows but the veterans still remain unsatisfied. They have demanded that OROP should be implemented from April 1, 2014 and not July 1, 2014 as in the government notification.
OROP principle is in perpetuity and cannot be fiddled with, they contended.
They had objected to the judicial commission saying that it should have representatives from both government as well as the veterans.
They had also demanded a fixed time period of one month rather than six months for the Committee to submit its report.
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