The Supreme Court on Monday directed the petitioner, a trust, to approach the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Union of India (UoI) on the removal of disparity in pensionary benefit to the personnel of armed forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defence.
A two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao and also comprising Justice S Ravindra Bhatt, asked the petitioner, Humara Desh Humare Jawan Trust, to approach the Delhi High Court with its prayers.
The petition, filed by Humara Desh Humare Jawan Trust in the apex court, sought orders to the UOI to remove disparity in pensionary benefit and to extend the same benefit (old Pension Scheme) to the personnel of armed forces under the Ministry of Home, as is given to the Armed forces personnel under the Ministry of Defence.
The petitioner, Humara Desh Humare Jawan Trust, which works for the cause of armed forces personnel of the country and their families, had filed the plea before the Supreme Court, through a lawyer, Ajay Kumar Agrawal.
The petitioner pleaded to the Supreme Court to direct the Union of India (UOI) to remove the disparity in pensionary benefit and to extend the same benefit (old Pension Scheme) to the personnel of armed forces under the MHA.
"These includes forces which come under the Ministry of Defence i.e., Army, Air Force and Navy and armed forces which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs i.e., Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guard, Assam Rifles and Shashastra Seva Bal," the petition claimed.
On January 1, 2004, a new contributory pension scheme was launched by the Government of India which came into effect from January 1, 2004, the petition said.
"The Central government is applying a hybrid pension scheme which is a mixture of the old and new pension scheme to the personnel of armed forces which came under the MHA, and who joined the service after January 1, 2004. But it is specifically provided that this new contributory pension scheme is not applicable to the armed forces of UOI," it claimed.
The Central Government had erroneously extended the provisions of notification of December 22, 2003, to Armed Forces of the Ministry of Home and despite several representations, nothing has been done so far, the petition filed through a lawyer, Ajay Agrawal said.
This is a violation of the principle of equality and armed forces under the Ministry of Home are these are being discriminated. Both are armed forces of the Union under the Ministry of Defence and Home, therefore, there should be no disparity and same pensionary benefits be given to both, the petition stated.