Home/ News / India/  SC rejects Centre’s sealed envelope in OROP case, asks ‘what can be secret here’

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Monday refused to accept a ‘sealed envelope’ from the Attorney General of India R Venkataramani while hearing the case on payments of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme to ex-service personnel in India. 

'This is fundamentally contrary to basic process of fair justice", the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala. “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," the bench said. 

“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 Attorney General insisted that the CJI accept the sealed covers, howveer the latter refused to do so. "Sorry sorry we will not take this sealed cover. Please take it back or read it," Bar and Bench quoted the CJI.

The AG then proceeded to read out the contents of the report.

According to Bar and Bench, the bench also directed the attorney general to share the findings with the opposite party. "Please share the sealed cover with opposite side or take him to the chamber. We want to put an end to the sealed cover business being followed by Supreme Court since High Courts also follow it," Bar and Bench quoted the CJI. 

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

The top court, on 13 March, 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, 03:53 PM IST
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