The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it has complied with a 2008 judgment for implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) principle for retired armed forces personnel.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand apprised a bench led by Justice T S Thakur.
In its affidavit, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated that it has abided with the mandate of the top court and issued a pertinent government order on August 10. In February, the government was given three months by the court to implement its order, and the period expired in May.
On this, the MoD said: “Due to procedural process and the fact that number of agencies were involved in issuing government orders for implementation (of the court order), the compliance could not be done within three months. But the delay is neither intentional nor deliberate, and is deeply regretted.”
The government was facing a possible contempt proceeding over its failure to comply with the seven-year-old judgment. The issue in this case was whether there could be a disparity in payment of pension to officers of the same rank because they had retired prior to the introduction of the revised pay scales.
Effectively ruling in favour of the OROP, the apex court had held no defence personnel senior in rank could get a lower pension than his junior irrespective of the date of retirement.
“The object sought to be achieved was not to create a class within a class, but to ensure that the benefits of pension were made available to all persons of the same class equally. To hold otherwise would cause violence to the provisions of Article 14 (equality) of the Constitution,” it had ruled in 2009.