Anomalies in Pension of Pre-2006 HAG / S-30 Grade Pensioners of Organised Group ‘A’ Services – Recommendations of 7th CPC for Pensioners : D.K. Jain’s view
One of our regular and genuine viewer, Shri. D. K. Jain, ADG (Retd.) Military Engineer Services send an exclusive report of anomalies in Pension of Pre-2006 HAG Grade pensioners of Organised Group ‘A’ Services to us and given below for your reference…
Anomalies in Pension of Pre-2006 HAG / S-30 Grade Pensioners of Organised Group ‘A’ Services: 7th CPC Recommendations by D. K. Jain, ADG (Retd.) Military Engineer Services
1. 7th CPC has recommended pension formulation of past civilian employees retired prior to 01.01.2016, based on notional pay of the retiree which will be the minimum of the Level in the Pay Matrix corresponding to the Pay Band and Grade Pay at which he/she retired, duly raised by adding number of increments earned in that Level while in service, at the rate of three percent. The revised pension computed based on these parameters, i.e. minimum of the Level in Pay Matrix and number of increments earned in that Level will not be reasonable and will not impart due justice to pre-2006 HAG / S-30 grade pensioners of Organised Group ‘A’ Services. The pre-2006 pensioners of HAG / S-30 grade retired from Organised Group ‘A’ Services have been put to a great disadvantage compared to the pensioners of junior Levels and compared to post-2006 pensioners of the same Level who retired after getting non functional financial upgradation (NFFU) to the scale of HAG / S-30 grade in 2006 onwards, on implementation of 6th CPC recommendations. The issue needs to be examined in view of following submissions and remedial action taken so that the method of formulation of pension is not unreasonable and discriminatory to the above mentioned class of pensioners.
2. The revised pay scales for all Levels including Level 15 of 7th CPC Pay Matrix are based on implemented pay scale of 6th CPC. Anomaly in any of the implemented pay scales of 6th CPC therefore gets carried forward to the revised scale of that Level in 7th CPC Pay Matrix. Level 15 of the 7th CPC Pay Matrix corresponds to the scale of HAG and S-30 grades of 6th CPC and 5th CPC respectively. In connection with the anomalies in the implemented scale of HAG grade of 6th CPC, the following is relevant.
a. The pay scales of HAG / S-30 and HAG+ / S-31 have always been almost identical. The minimum of both the scales has always been same throughout right upto 5th CPC. The maximum of HAG+ / S-31 has, however, been slightly more than the maximum of HAG / S-30 scale. These scales from 3rd CPC to 5th CPC were as under:
HAG / S-30 HAG+ / S-31
3rd CPC 3000 Fixed 3000 – 3500
4th CPC 7300 – 7600 7300 – 8000
5th CPC 22400 – 24500 22400 – 26000
b. 6th CPC had recommended both these scales in the Pay Band PB 4 with Pay 39200 – 67000 and Grade Pay of 11000 for S-30 and 13000 for S-31. The difference in the recommended scales was 2000 only.
c. Both S-30 and S-31 scales were almost same in 6th CPC recommendations with slight difference of 2000, due to the following reasons:
i. S-30 and S-31 both grades were direct promotional grades from S-29, with the same experience of 3 years in S-29 grade.
ii. Promotion from both S-30 and S-31 to the next grade, i.e. S-32 was admissible directly. The experience required for promotion from either of these grades was same, which was 2 years.
iii. Wherever there was provision for promotion / upgradation from S-30 to S-31 scale, experience required in S-30 grade was nil.
d. During implementation stage of 6th CPC, S-30 and S-31 scales were taken out of PB 4 Pay Band and were placed in separate scales of 67000 – 79000 for S-30 and 75500 – 80000 for S-31 with no grade pay. At this stage, a substantial difference in starting pay of these scales, which was never there earlier, occurred. This had no justification keeping in view submissions at sub-paras (a) to (c) above and was unjust and discriminatory.
e. The pay scales of S-29 and S-30 grades from 4rd CPC to 6th CPC were as under:
SAG / S-29 HAG / S-30
4th CPC 5900 – 7300 7300 – 7600
5th CPC 18400 – 22400 22400 – 24500
6th CPC 37400 – 67000 plus 10000 Grade Pay 67000 – 79000
Upto 5th CPC, the officers of S-29 grade always got less/equal pay than S-30 grade. Consequently retirees from S-29 grade could never get higher pension than S-30 retirees. After implementation of 6th CPC w.e.f. 2006, the scale of S-29 extended upto 77000 (67000 pay in the band + 10000 grade pay) whereas the minimum of S-30 scale was 67000. After 2006, the retirees of S-29 scale, drawing pay above 67000 upto 77000, got pension above 33500 upto 38500, which was more than the admissible pension of 33500 of S-30 scale retirees at the rate of fifty percent of 67000, the minimum 6th CPC pay of the scale. The equation between the pension of S-29 and S-30 scale retirees thus got disturbed for the first time, when lower scale S-29 retirees got more pension than higher scale S-30 retirees, as the minimum pay of 6th CPC scale was less than the maximum of S-29 scale.
3. In view of submissions in para 2 above, the implemented 6th CPC pay scale for S-30 grade was anomalous with reference to both S-31 and S-29 scales. The justified and reasonable minimum pay of S-30 scale of 6th CPC should have been equal to the minimum of S-31 scale and not less than the maximum of S-29 scale which was 77000. Based on this justified minimum pre-revised pay of 77000, the revised pay scale of S-30 grade (Level 15 of Pay Matrix of 7th CPC) should have been 209500 (77000 x 2.72). Accordingly minimum revised pension for retirees of HAG / S-30 grade (Level 15 of Pay Matrix) at the rate of fifty percent of 209500 should be 104750.
4. After 2006, on implementation of 6th CPC scales, not only retirees from S-29 scale, even some of the retirees from S-26 and S-24 scales which were also in Pay Band PB4 and were two to three grades junior retired at pay exceeding 67000 and started drawing pension above 33500 which was more than the pension admissible to S-30 grade retirees. This being highly unreasonable, unjust and discriminative, the pre-2006 retirees from S-30 scale had to approach the courts for legal remedy. The issue came up for judicial scrutiny keeping in view the rules and legal position, reasonability, natural justice, constitutional provisions and various judgments of Apex Court on pension admissibility. CAT PB New Delhi in OA No. 937 / 2010 reviewed under RA No. 10 / 2015 between All India S-30 Pensioners Association and U.O.I. and High Court Patna in Civil Writ Case No. 10757 / 2010 between Shri MMP Sinha (a pre-2006 retiree from S-30 grade) and U.O.I., upheld that pre-2006 retirees of S-30 grade getting pension less than post-2006 retirees of lower grades is absolutely unreasonable, unjustified and against natural justice. The courts ordered that the pension of pre-2006 S-30 grade retirees should be stepped up to 38500 which the pensioners of lower grade were getting. As per courts’ verdict, based on pre-revised pension of 38500, the revised pension of S-30 retirees will be 98945 (38500 x 2.57). On implementation of 7th CPC scales in accordance with these judgments, the pension entitlement for S-30 grade (Level 15) pensioners has to be not less than what is admissible to post-2016 S-29 (level 14) retirees which is 109100 (fifty percent of 218200). Accordingly the justified revised pension of Level 15 / S-30 retirees should be 109100.
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5. Before implementation of 6th CPC, promotions of the officers of Organised Group ‘A’ Service were much delayed as compared to those of IAS. 6th CPC commented that the huge time gap in promotion to various pay scales between Organised Group ‘A’ Services and IAS needed to be minimised and recommended that the officers of Organised Group ‘A’ Services should be given financial upgradation such that a particular batch of these services gets promotional scale of higher grade at various levels when any IAS officer of two year junior batch gets posted to the centre to those grades / levels. Based on these recommendations, from 2006 onwards, Non Functional Financial Upgradation (NFFU) was given to the officers of Group ‘A’ Services on non functional basis and the upgraded officers continued to work in the lower grade posts from which they were upgraded though given the promotional scale of the higher post. With NFFU, after 2006, the officers’ pay got upgraded to the next promotional scale much earlier than prior to 2006, when higher scale was available only on regular promotion to higher grade / post.
6. The same method of pension formulation based on increments earned in retirement scale of Level 15 (HAG / S-30) of the Pay Matrix recommended for both, i.e. pre-2006 regular promotees to the grade and to post-2006 promotees who were upgraded to the same scale under NFFU after 2006, is therefore unjust for pre-2006 regular promotees who have been put to a great disadvantage. Pre-2006 promotees to HAG / S-30 grade (Level 15 of Pay Matrix) were promoted to HAG / S-30 grade against the vacant posts in higher grade and the entire period spent in the scale was much less, the maximum being around three years. The increment earned by them ranged from nil to two and as per 7th CPC formulation, their notional pay will range from 182200 to 193300 and revised pension will range from 91100 to 96650. As far as post-2006 promotees to HAG / S-30 grade are concerned, they were granted NFFU from SAG / S-29 grade on non functional basis to the higher Level scale tenable by HAG / S-30 grade officers irrespective of availability of posts in that grade in the year in which two years junior IAS officers batch got promotion to that grade. The period spent in the scale by them was around six years during which they were either functioning in the post of SAG / S-29 (Level 14) or could have got regular promotion / higher post for part of the period. These officers earned at least five increments in the higher Level unless they retired earlier and the period when they were working in lower posts is also being counted towards the increments earned in Level 15. As per 7th CPC formulation, their notional pay will be at least 211300 in recommended scale at Level 15 of Pay Matrix and pension will be 105650 minimum against the entitlement of 91100 to 96650 for pre-2006 promotees in that Level.
7. All the pensioners promoted before 2006 or upgraded after 2006 to the same Level, i.e. Level 15 form the same class of past pensioners having joined the same service through the same recruitment procedure and having retired at the same Level. Entitlement of different pensions to these two group of officers who are of the same class is unreasonable. The group of post-2006 promotees were not holding higher post for the entire period for which increments are being considered in the formulation of pension. The method of 7th CPC pension formulation is therefore discriminatory to pre-2006 promotees to the scale. In the past, the Apex Court has struck down any such unreasonable, unjust and discriminatory pension entitlement of the past pensioners. With a view to provide justice to pre-2006 pensioners of HAG grade (Level 15), their minimum notional pay needs to be stepped up by maximum number of increments drawn by post 2006 officers, upgraded under NFFU to HAG / S-30 scale from the year 2006 onwards, for the period they functioned in the lower post of SAG / S-29 or upto one year of their regular promotion / placement in posts tenable by higher grade of HAG. The revised minimum pension should be according to this stepped up notional pay.
8. In view of foregoing, the reasonable and just minimum pension entitlement of the pensioners of Organised Group ‘A’ Services, who retired from Level 15 (HAG / S-30) works out to be as under on the basis as mentioned against each:
a. 104750. As per minimum pay of 209500 for Level 15 of Pay Matrix based on reasonable and just minimum pay of HAG / S-30 in 6th CPC scale (para 2 and 3 refer).
b. 98945 (38500 x 2.57). As per pension entitlement of the past pensioners retired before 2016 from lower level, i.e. Level 14 of Pay Matrix (SAG / S-29 grade), based on pension of 38500 being drawn by them prior to 2016 (para 4 refers).
c. 109100. As per pension entitlement of the pensioners of lower level, i.e. Level 14 of Pay Matrix (SAG / S-29 grade) retiring in 7th CPC regime, i.e. 2016 onwards (para 4 refers).
d. Pension entitlement as per (a) to (c) above needs to be further stepped up, based on increase in the minimum pay of 218200 (for pension entitlement of 109100) for Level 15, by maximum number of increments drawn by post 2006 officers, upgraded under NFFU to HAG / S-30 scale in the year 2006 onwards, for the period they functioned in the lower post of SAG / S-29 or upto one year of their regular promotion / placement in posts tenable by higher grade of HAG.
9. For justice to the pensioners retired from HAG / S-30 (Level 15 of 7th CPC Pay Matrix) grade, the minimum pension entitlement of the officers retired from Level 15 of 7th CPC Pay Matrix is required to be raised in accordance with 8 (a) to (c) above. The minimum pay of Level 15 in Pay Matrix is required to be revised to 218200 in place of 182200. Further, the revised minimum notional pay and minimum revised pension of the officers of Organised Group ‘A’ Services retired from Level 15 after promotion to HAG / S-30 grade prior to 2006 against the regular vacancies / post in the higher grade is required to be further stepped up in accordance with para 8 (d) above so that a class of pre-2006 and post-2006 within the class of pensioners of Level 15 is not created, otherwise officers retiring from Level 15 scale after NFFU to HAG / S-30 scale on implementation of 6th CPC recommendations from 2006 onwards will be eligible for higher pension as per the formulation recommended by 7th CPC due to more increments in Level 15 pay scale which include increments earned by them while continuing to be functioning in the posts of lower grade, i.e. SAG / S-29 grade.