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Supreme Court warns Defense Ministry in One Rank One Pension payment case, said- Do not try to take law in your hands

The Supreme Court on Monday once again took a strict stand in the matter of pension payment under the One Rank One Pension (OROP) policy and made it clear that the notification issued on January 20 regarding the payment of OROP arrears would have to be withdrawn.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud said, ‘The Ministry of Defense should not try to take the law into its hands. The notification of 20 January should be withdrawn. Only then will we hear the application for more time to pay the pension arrears of the Centre.

Along with this, the Supreme Court has also sought a note from the Attorney General regarding the payment of pension arrears by next Monday, in which it will have to be told how much payment is due and in what time it will be paid. The next hearing of the case will be on March 20.

‘No right to take law in one’s own hands’
Even in the last hearing held on February 27, the apex court had objected to the letter issued by the secretary in the ministry and directed him to file a personal affidavit in the matter. The Chief Justice had told Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, representing the Defense Ministry, “You tell the secretary that we will take action against him for issuing the letter on January 20, it is better that he withdraws it before the next date.” … The sanctity of the judicial process has to be maintained. Either the secretary withdraws that communication or we will issue a contempt notice… There is no right to take the law into our own hands.

In March last year, the apex court had given its verdict on a petition filed by the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) through advocate Balaji Srinivasan against the Centre’s formula. The top court had on January 9 given the Center time till March 15 to clear the total OROP dues to all eligible pensioners of the armed forces. Later, the government moved the apex court seeking extension of time till March 15 for payment of OROP scheme dues to all eligible pensioners of the armed forces.