D S NAKARA Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) With a slight variation to suit the context Wolsey's prayer : "had I served my God as reverently as I did my King, I would not have fallen on these days of penury"; is chanted by petitioners in this group of petitions in the Shellian tune: 'I fall on the thorns of life I bleed'. Old age, ebbing mental and physical prowess, atrophy of both muscle and brain powers permeating these petitions, the petitioners in the fall of life yearn for equality of treatment which is being meted out to those who are soon going to join and swell their own ranks.
(2.) Do pensioners entitled to receive superannuation or retiring pension under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 ('1972 Rules' for short) form a class as a whole' Is the date of retirement a relevant consideration for eligibility when a revised formula for computation of pension is ushered in and made effective from a specified date Would differential treatment to pensioners related to the date of retirement qua the revised formula for computation of pension attract Art. 14 of the Constitution and the element of discrimination liable to be declared unconstitutional as being violative of Art. 14 These and the related questions debated in this group of petitions call for an answer in the backdrop of a welfare State and bearing in mind that pension is a socio-economic justice measure providing relief when advancing age gradually but irrevocably impairs capacity to stand on one's own feet.
(3.) Factual matrix has little relevance to the issues raised and canvassed at the hearing. Petitioners 1, and 2 are retired pensioners of the Central Government, the first being a civil servant and the second being a member of the service personnel of the Armed Forces. The third petitioner is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, formed to ventilate the legitimate public problems and consistent with its objective it is espousing the cause of the pensioners all over the country. Its locus standi is in question but that is a different matter. The first petitioner retired in 1972 and on computation, his pension worked out at Rs. 675/- p.m. and along with the dearness relief granted from time to time, at the relevant time he was in receipt of monthly pension of Rs. 935/-. The second petitioner retired at or about that time and at the relevant time was in receipt of a pension plus dearness relief of Rs. 981/- Union of India has been revising and liberalising the pension rules from time to time. Some landmark changes may be noticed;
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