The financial burden of pension on the government is set to rise as hundreds of paramilitary personnel who cleared recruitment exams in 2003 but joined the force in 2004 or later due to administrative delays have all been made eligible for pension under the old norms.
The government had in December 2003 scrapped the old pension scheme that allowed a constable in paramilitary forces a pension of Rs 10,000-12,000 and officers in excess of Rs 15,000 every month. Through a notification on January 1, 2004, government made the pension scheme contributory i.e. to be deducted from salary of the employee.
However, administrative delays led to many paramilitary personnel joining the force much later in 2004 despite having cleared the exams in 2003. This led to litigations which the government lost in Delhi High Court last year.
To prevent more litigations of this kind, the government has now written to all paramilitary forces such as CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB to identify personnel whose appointment was delayed due to administrative reasons as they have to be given pension according to the old scheme.
In an office memorandum to all paramilitary forces by Police II division of Home Ministry, the government has said, “This ministry after detailed deliberations & in consultation with DoLA (Department of Legal Affairs) and DP&PW (Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare) agree to implement the judgement i.e. to extend the benefit of old pension scheme without any back wages or seniority in case of petitioner and other similar placed left over candidates.”
It added, “Competent authority desires all other CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces) — except BSF (it has already got the instructions from court) — may also check their record and if any similar case is found they may examine & take appropriate action on the similar lines by taking reliance of BSF case, to avoid similar litigation in future.”
The memorandum is result of some BSF personnel filing a writ petition in Delhi High Court to challenge the government’s decision to exclude them from the old pension scheme even though they cleared the exams in 2003.
Granting them relief, the high court judgment said: “The respondent shall treat the petitioners as members of the Old Pension Scheme under the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules 1972.”