Substance of PB CAT Judgment in simple terms
As I understood, I am bringing here the substance of the judgment in its simplest form, as possible as I can. The interpretations are mine, one may differ. kindly Read carefully
The relief sought by the Associations gone to CAT are
1. Revision of Pension by DOT on the basis of fitment in IDA as on 1-1-2017 for all those BSNL absorbed Retirees prior to 1-1-2017 (that is for pre 2017)
2. Revision of Pension - FP- Minimum pension by DOT for the BSNL combined service pensioners w.e.f 1-1-2017 based on the recommendation of 7 th CPC ( max pension is not sought explicitly)
3. Revision of pension by DOT for BSNL combined service pensioners parallel to revision of pension to the CG servants without linking with pay revision in BSNL ( here the parallel sought is BSNL pensioners to CG servants not BSNL absorbed employees to CG servants)
4. Any other order fit and proper to this case
In nut shell , the reliefs sought are - revision of pension w.e.f 1-1-2017 for pre 2017 pensioners, fitment on IDA, based on the recommendation of 7 th CPC, without linking to pay revision of BSNL.
The sought relief by the applicants in this case , whether they belong to pre 2017 or post 2017 or associations having them as members, all demanded before PB CAT is ‘only revision of pension ‘ to those retired before 2017 on the basis of 7 th CPC and fitment on IDA. No remedial explicit prayer for post 2017, even though included applicants may be from the side of post 2017.
The relief sought by everyone gone to CAT is revision of pension w.e.f 1-1-2017, for only those who were all getting pension on 1-1-2017. The relief is not sought to those getting pay on 1-1-2017 , the employees- post 2017 pensioners. They were not getting pension on the relief sought date that is on 1-1-2017, and so no question of revision of pension to them on that date.
Pay revision of BSNL is only to its employees on the roll as on 1-1-2017. The relief sought is that it should be delinked. That is delinking the pensioners on 1-1-2017 from the employees on roll on that 1-1-2017 - regarding the demand of revision of pension as per 7 th CPC.
OK good. Let us see the substance of the PB CAT order for the sought reliefs.
-The OAS stand allowed
-The competent authority is directed to forthwith revise pension
-Revision of pension wherever applicable
-Revision of pension strictly in accordance with the relevant rules and entitlement governing pension to employees of the Central Govt
-Maintain strict parity
-Revision of pension as notified by the CG on the recommendations of pay commission shall stand extended in favour of the applicants, analogous to the revision of such pension in case of CG pensioners.
The PB CAT is directing the competent authority from the respondents side to revise pension , wherever applicable. The PB CAT felt the demand of revision of pension is justifiable one , analogous to CPC recommendations and rules governing pension of the CG employees .
Kindly note the order saying -Revision of pension wherever applicable . From this, I presume revision of pension is not applicable to those who were not getting pension on 1-1-2017, the post 2017. This order is not a binding one to them.
One can understand -Revision of pension analogous to CG pensioners
But ‘Revision of pension strictly as per rules and entitlement governing pension of CG employees’ Directed by CAT is creating ambiguities. One can understand fixation of pension strictly as per CG rules. 37 A ccs rules serves the purpose of fixing pension not any pension revision to the employees, and the CG employees are getting their pension fixed as per CCA rules. Employees are entitled to pension on retiring, but not revision of pension on their date of retiring, unless a change in pay that caused fixation of their pension . In this case CPC is helping the CG employees. For BSNL employees PRC is helping to change their pay.
Absence of any mentioning of terms like 7 th CPC, date w.e.f, delinking, pre 2017 pensioners , specific fitment rate are all there, but order is to revise pension wherever applicable . Applicability for revision of pension comes only to those getting pension . The latest CPC date of effect is from 1-1-2016 for revision of pension. The relief sought is from 1-1-2017 by the applicants. In the case of death cum retirement gratuity, the enhancement to 20 lakhs was given effect from CPC date that is from 1-1-2016.
Then what is the course for post 2017 ( as per PRC) or post 2016 as per CPC is the biggest question that need all our attention. Unless any pay change actually or notionally on 1-1-2017 as per 3rd PRC or on 1-1-2016 as per 7th CPC ( here on what scales) is solved, it is difficult to settle the issue favourably to all the stakeholders pre or post 2017.
The PB CAT , if at all given any relief, it is only to pre 2017 even one can interpret to only pre 2016 , as date of effect is silent in the judgment.
Trade unions in BSNL need to study the impact of this judgment, as they are all fighting for wage revision on 3 rd PRC. Rejection or welcoming is not the question. The question is whether this judgment is compatible with their demand of wage revision on 3rd PRC.
These are all my interpretations only. Associations or Respondents like DOT may think differently and can give their versions.
0600 hrs 29-9-2023 R. Pattabiraman