SC grants Centre time till March 15 for payment of OROP arrears to armed forces

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha asked the Centre to ensure that all arrears are paid by March 15. The apex court also granted ex-servicemen association the liberty to file an application if they were aggrieved by any action of Centre with regards to the payment of OROP arrears.

Anwesha Mitra
Updated9 Jan 2023
Supreme Court of India | Representational image
Supreme Court of India | Representational image(HT_PRINT)

The Supreme Court on Monday permitted the Centre time till March 15 for payment of arrears under One Rank-One Pension (OROP) to all eligible pensioners of the armed forces. This is the second such extension given to the Union government after it moved the top court in June 2022, and then again last month.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha asked the Centre to ensure that all arrears are paid expeditiously without any further delay. The apex court also granted ex-servicemen association the liberty to file an application if they were aggrieved by any action of Centre with regards to the payment of OROP arrears.

In March last year, the Supreme Court had called for the payment of arrears following a plea filed by the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement against the Centre's formula.

Attorney General R Venkataramani who was appearing for the Centre told the court that all tabulations had been completed. The details have now been sent to the Ministry of Defence for final approval.

Earlier in December, the Narendra Modi government had approved a revision of pension of ex-servicemen under OROP with retrospective effect from July 1, 2019.

The decision will benefit around 25 lakh pensioners. According to the Defence Ministry, the decision will lead to an additional annual expenditure of 8,450 crore. Officials said that 23,638 crore will be paid as arrears to the pensioners from July 2019 to June 2022.

Pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of defence forces retirees of the calendar year 2018 in the same rank with the same length of service. Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected. The benefit would also be extended to family pensioners, including war widows and disabled pensioners.

(With inputs from agencies)

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