‘You tell the secretary to…’, SC scolds Center for paying OROP dues in installments

Supreme Court Stand On Defense Ministry: The Supreme Court on Monday (January 27) took a strong stand on the Defense Ministry’s January 20 letter regarding payment of ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) arrears in installments to eligible pensioners of the armed forces. A bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud took exception to the letter issued by the secretary of the ministry and directed him to file a personal affidavit clarifying his stand.

What did the SC bench say?

A bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud said, “You tell the secretary that we are going to take action against him regarding the January 20 letter.” Either it should be withdrawn, otherwise we are going to issue a contempt notice to the Defense Ministry. The sanctity of the judicial process has to be maintained. Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala are also included in this bench.

Additional Solicitor General N Venkataramani told the court that the ministry should be given time to act as per the court’s order. On this, the Supreme Court listed the matter for hearing after the Holi vacation. It is noteworthy that on January 9, the Supreme Court had given a deadline of March 15 to the Center to pay the total dues of OROP to all eligible pensioners of the armed forces.

Soldiers filed a petition

In fact, a group of ex-servicemen had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, demanding that the dues of the One Rank-One Pension (OROP) scheme be paid in a single installment instead of 4. This group had demanded the Supreme Court to give instructions to the Central Government in this matter. In the petition, a demand was also made towards the Ministry of Defense to cancel the dialogue of the Center on January 20, 2023.

The petition was filed by the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IEMM). On Monday (February 27), a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala conducted this hearing.

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