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Business News/ News / India/  Pay arrears to pensioners, gallantry winners of armed forces; SC gives deadline to Centre

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to pay arrears to eligible family pensioners and gallantry winners of armed forces. The payment has to be made as per One Rank One Pension (OROP) Scheme by April 30, ANI reported.

“Centre is duty-bound to comply with 2022 judgement in terms of OROP scheme," SC said.

Eligible pensioners above 70 years must be paid by June 30 while the rest of the eligible pensioners must be paid in equal instalments on or before August 30. November 30 and Feb 28, 2024, respectively. Around 11 lakh pensioners will be paid in three equal instalments by February 28, 2024.

Six lakh family pensioners and gallantry award winners will be paid OROP dues by April 30, SC added.

As per estimates, six lakh family pensioners and gallantry award winners will be paid. SC has clarified that the payment of OROP dues will not affect further equalisation of pension of ex-servicemen to be done in 2024.

The Supreme Court, on March 20, refused to accept the Centre's sealed cover note about its views on the payment of OROP arrears to ex-service personnel.

“We need to put an end to this sealed cover practice in the Supreme Court... This is fundamentally contrary to basic process of fair justice," said a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala.

“I am personally averse to sealed covers. There has to be transparency in court... This is about implementing orders. What can be secret here," the CJI said.

The bench is currently hearing the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement's (IESM) plea over payment of OROP dues.

The top court, on March 13, came down heavily on the government for "unilaterally" deciding to pay OROP dues in four instalments.

The defence ministry has recently filed an affidavit and a compliance note in the top court, giving the time schedule for payment of the arrears of 28,000 crore to ex-servicemen for years 2019-22.

(With agency inputs)

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Updated: 20 Mar 2023, 12:47 PM IST
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