Supreme Court accepts Centre’s plea on implementation of OROP scheme, given additional time of three months

The Supreme Court on Friday gave the Central Government time till December to implement the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme. The Central Government had told the Supreme Court that the re-fixation of One Rank One Pension was a time-consuming process for which additional time was sought. In fact, in a direction passed by the Supreme Court on March 16, the OROP scheme had directed to re-fix the pension within three months.

The central government had moved an application in the Supreme Court in June, seeking three more months, just before the three-month deadline, citing the reason for the delay. Now a bench of Justice Dhananjay Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli allowed the Centre’s application and granted time till December. The Court acknowledged that there has been some progress since the passing of the Court’s order.

Center put this argument before the Supreme Court

The government told the court that steps were being taken to comply with the directions passed by the court, which required the approval of the cabinet. After the cabinet approval, the Controller General of Defense Accounts (CGDA) will need to prepare various types of pension tables, thus it is a time-consuming process. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) N Venkataraman told the court that three months have elapsed since the filing of the application, the government still needs three more months.

Time given till 15th December

Accepting the request of the central government, the bench was ready to grant time till December 31, but later modified it to three months from today. After which now the government has been given time till December 15. The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement opposed the application of the Central Government. The Indian ex-servicemen movement itself challenged the One Rank One Pension scheme before the Supreme Court in 2016.

Rescheduling of pension every five years

The scheme envisaged rescheduling of pension after every five years. This process was to be done in the year 2019 but due to pending in the court, the Center did not do this exercise. In its March order, the court said, “We direct that with reference to the communication dated 7th November, 2015, the re-assessment shall be made with effect from 1st July, 2019 on the expiry of five years.”

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