New Delhi Aug 12(ILNS): The Delhi High Court today disposed of the plea by ‘Humara Desh Humare Jawan Trust’ seeking directions to the Centre 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.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw heard the matter through video conferencing. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, on his lordship’s retirement today was sitting with Chief Justice DN Patel as a part of the tradition.
Justice Endlaw said a bunch of petitions on a similar issue is already under consideration by the court, and that the decision in those matters will be ‘in-rem.
Advocate Ajay Kumar Agrawal, representing the petitioner Trust, sought permission to withdraw the petition with a view to avail another remedy or to file an application in pending matters on a similar issue. Accordingly, the petition is disposed of as withdrawn.
The plea was filed by a Trust working for the cause of Armed Forces personnel and their families, the plea alleges that the Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs are also the Armed Forces of the Union and at par with the Armed Forces under the Ministry of Defence.
The Armed Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs include Border Security Force, Central Industry Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Force, National Security Guard, Assam Rifles, and Shashastra Seva Bal
A new pension scheme was announced by the Government in the year 2003, in respect of new entrants to Central Government service, which came into effect from January 1, 2004, and the same excluded from its purview the Armed Forces. The old pension scheme was denied to the Armed Forces under the Ministry of Home of Affairs, while the same was allowed to be applicable upon the Armed Forces under the Ministry of Defence, on the ground that the Forces under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs are not Armed Forces of the Union. A clarification letter issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on August 6, 2004, declared “the Central Forces under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs as the Armed of the Union,” the plea claims.
The plea stated: “The duties of the Armed Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs are no less than the Armed Forces under the Ministry of Defence.” Any form of discrimination between the Armed Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs and those under the Ministry of Defence is a violation of the principle of equality, the plea adds.
In light of the above, the plea prayed for extension of the same benefit to the personnel of Armed Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs as is given to Armed Forces personnel under the Ministry of Defence.
A petition was moved by the petitioner Trust before the Supreme Court, wherein the Top Court, vide order dated February 8, 2021, directed the petitioner Trust to approach the Delhi High Court./ILNS/BG/KR/SNG