The said writ petitions have been transferred to this Court, in pursuance of applications for transfer filed by the Union of India. To understand the grievance of the petitioners, it is necessary to give an illustration : Lt. The benefit extended was that irrespective of their date of retirement, their pension shall not be less than the 50% of the minimum pay in the revised scale of pay introduced with effect from 1.1.1996 of the rank held by the respective pensioner.The words "minimum pay" should be interpreted as minimum pay in the revised pay-scale plus NPA, in so far as Medical Officers entitled to NPA, as in their cases, the term 'Pay' wherever it occurs, means and includes basic pay plus NPA.9.3) In the case of Medical Officers who retired on or after 1.1.1996, even after the clarificatory circular dated 11.9.2001, NPA is added to the basic pay in the revised pay-scale and 50% of the aggregate is being paid as 'retiring pension'. That decision has attained finality and the Union of India has implemented it by reverting back to addition to NPA to minimum pay, for purposes of stepping up the pension in regard to pre 1996 civilian Medical Officers. It only effectuates the President's decision that the pension (Which has already been determined in accordance with the applicable rules/orders) irrespective of the date of retirement, shall not be less than 50% of the minimum pay in the revised scales of pay introduced with effect from 1.1.1996.Adding NPA to the basic pay for arriving at the pension in the case of those who retired on or after 1.1.1996 and omitting to add NPA in the case of pre 1996 retirees amounts to hostile discrimination of pre 1996 retirees, violating Article 14 and the principles relating to pension laid down by this Court in D. Union of India has to extend to similar treatment, even in the case of Defence Service Medical Officers, by ignoring the clarification dated 11.9.2001. Pension is determined as per relevant rules/orders, by calculating the average of reckonable emoluments (basic pay, Rank Pay and NPA) drawn during the last 10 months of service and then taking 50% thereof as the retiring pension applicable to retirees with 33 years of qualifying service, with proportionate reduction for retirees with lesser period of qualifying service.9.5) At all events, irrespective of the validity of the clarification dated 11.9.2001, even if any amount has been wrongly paid to petitioners, the Respondents cannot recover such excess amount paid in pursuance of the Circular dated 7.6.1999. On the contentions urged, the following questions arise for consideration : (i) Whether the Circular dated 11.9.2001, is only a clarification, or an amendment, to the Circular dated 7.6.1999. The basis for calculating the pension in respect of those who retired prior to 1.1.1996, and those retired on or after 1.1.1996 happens to be the same.(ii) Whether the Circular dated 7.6.1999 as clarified by Circular dated 11.9.2001, leads to unequal treatment of those who retired prior to 1.1.1996 and those who retired after 1.1.1996 solely with reference to date of retirement. The retiring pension is 50% of the average reckonable emoluments for retirees with 33 years of qualifying service, with proportionate reduction for those with lesser years of qualifying service. Ministry circular dated 2.11.1987 clarified that NPA will be treated as 'pay' for all service matters, and will be taken into account for computing Dearness Allowance and other allowances as well as for calculation of retirement benefits. and a maximum of upto 50% of the highest pay applicable to Armed Forces personnel but the full pension in no case shall be less than 50% of the minimum of the revised scale of pay introduced w.e.f.
It is also not to be added to the minimum of the revised scale of pay as on 1.1.1996 in cases where consolidated pension is to be stepped up to 50%, in terms of Ministry of Defence Letter No.1(1)/99/D (Pension/Services) dated 7th June, 1999." [Emphasis supplied] The Circular also directed the Controller General of Defence Accounts to recalculate the pension by excluding NPA from Basic Pay and await further instructions regarding recovery of excess payments made with effect from 1.1.1996.
In view of it, the pension of the petitioners have been revised by excluding the NPA element, by issuing corrigenda to their PPOs. The writ petitioners are aggrieved by the said clarification contained in the Circular dated 11.9.2001 and the consequential corrigenda to their PPOs reducing their pension. 419 Fitment Weightage (40% of existing pension) Rs.
The petitioners therefore filed writ petitions, in different High Courts for the following reliefs :- i) For quashing the circular dated 11.9.2001 and/or for a direction to respondents not to give effect to the said circular. 1845/2002 on the file of Delhi High Court corresponding to T. 833/2002) : Pension with effect from 1.7.1991 Original pension sanctioned as per PPO No. 1674 Rs.10346 Stage II : Pension as per Ministry's circular dated 7.6.1999 (vide corrigendum PPO No.
[Note : The actual prayers in each case vary slightly in form. As a consequence, in respect of Medical Officers, NPA was always treated as part of 'pay' for purposes of pension.
What is given above is the general purport of the prayers in these petitions]. By Circular dated 7.6.1999, the benefit of stepping up was extended to all armed forces pensioners, including medical officers, with effect from 1.1.1996.