OROP : Payment of Arrears on Supreme Court Orders

          After Active hearing of the case of One Rank One Pension (OROP) in Supreme Court was listed during February and March 2022, the apex court has delivered the verdict on 16th March 2022.   Case Title: Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (An All India Federation Of Military Veterans Organisation Represented Vs. Union Of India Department of Exservicemen Welfare Ministry Of Defence Secretary| Writ Petition (Civil) 419/2016.  In this article we willknow about the Payment of Arrears on Supreme Court Orders.

Demand of OROP was left pending for 40 years. The legitimate demand of the Soldiers ignored by the then govt for long years. Our soldiers were patient for 40 years, have never been out of discipline and always respected the system. Ex-Servicemen had been agitating for implementation of OROP for more than 40 years, but the same was not finalized prior to 2015.

Highlights of Supreme Court Order on OROP Revision for Armed Forces Pensioners

  • The bench has directed that the re-fixation exercise as per the policy should be carried out with effect from July 1, 2019 and the arrears should be paid to the pensioners within 3 months.
  • The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath refused to accept the challenge made by the Exservicemen  association “Indian Ex-Service Movement”.
  • The Court has delivered that “We accordingly direct that a refixation exercise must be conducted by the Govt. for a period of 5 years with regard to pension payable to Army Personnel as stated in the OROP policy in accordance with the November 7, 2015 notification.  Refixation exercise to be carried out from July 1, 2019 and arrears to be paid to Army personnel within 3 months”, the bench ordered while disposing of the petition.

The Court observed on OROP case as follows

“We find no constitutional infirmity in the OROP principle as defined by the communication dated 7 November 2015 for for the following reasons:

i) The definition of OROP is uniformly applicable to all the pensioners irrespective of the date of retirement. It is not the case of the petitioners  that the pension is reviewed ‘automatically’ to a class of the pensioners and ‘periodically’ to another class of the pensioners;

(ii) The cut-off date is used only for the purpose of determining the base salary for the calculation of pension. While for those who retired after 2014, the last drawn salary is used to calculate pension, for those who retired prior to 2013, the average salary drawn in 2013 is used. Since the uniform application of the last drawn salary for the purpose of calculating pension would put the prior retirees at a disadvantage, the Union Government has taken a policy decision to enhance the base salary for the calculation of
pension. Undoubtedly, the Union Government had a range of policy choices including taking the minimum, the maximum or the mean or average. The Union government decided to adopt the average. Persons below  the average were brought up to the average mark while those drawing above the average were protected Such a decision lies within the ambit of policy choices;

Orders which summaries the whole matter are as mentioned below:-

“50.   In terms of the communication dated 7 November 2015, the benefit of OROP was to be effected from 1 July 2014. Para 3 (v) of the communication states that “in future, the pension would be re-fixed every five years”. Such an exercise has remained to be carried out after the expiry of five years possibly because of the pendency of the present proceedings.

51.   We accordingly order and direct that in terms of the communication dated 7 November 2015, a re-fixation exercise shall be carried out from 1 July 2019, upon the expiry of five years. Arrears payable to all eligible pensioners of the armed forces shall be computed and paid over accordingly within a period of three months.”

During the hearing process, the petitioner’s lawyer, Huzefa Ahmadi said, veterans who retired in 2014 are drawing more pension than those who retired between 1965 and 2013, which defeats the purpose of OROP.

One Rank One Pension Revision Update 2022 is described in this article. Defence personnel used to retire at very early age and reemployment opportunity is inadequate. So , large number of ex-servicemen are earning their livelihood with only the little amount of Pension awarded by the Govt.  Pay scales of serving personnel are revised to the higher side generally on the recommendation of Pay Commissions. 

Before implementation of OROP, revision of pension of Ex-servicemen/family pensioners carried out once after every pay commission only  by multiplying the earlier basic pension with the multiplication factor recommended by the Pay Commission.  The computation of pension was linked to the pay drawn by the personnel in a particular pay scale/ pay band at the time of his/her retirement.  

As such, the personnel retiring after the revision of the pay scales got more pension than those who had already retired. Hence, the gap remained in the pension of the past and present retirees. Since a large number of defence pensioners are surviving without any rehabilitation/reemployment after retirement/discharge from Armed Force, it seems to be difficult to earning livelihood with this little amount of pension. So, a necessity has been felt by the Armed Forces pensioners’ community to introduce one rank one pension.

 Keeping in view the magnitude and complexity of Defence pension, extensive consultations were held with experts and ExServicemen before issue of Government order on implementation of OROP. Demonstrating its commitment to the welfare of Ex-Servicemen, Government of India took the historic decision to implement OROP by issuing order on 07.11.2015. Armed Forces Personnel retired up to 30.06.2014 were covered under this Order.

To read the original Verdict of Supreme Court on OROP case click the link below :

OROP benefits awarded earlier to the Armed Forces Pensioners

This is a probable chart of OROP Re fixation wef 01.07.2019 given below . No official Chart has been released by any Govt authority relased. This chart is just for educational purpose and has no legal validity.

OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service regardless of their date of retirement. Salient features of OROP order were as under:

  1. Pension of past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective from 01.07.2014
  2. II. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retired in 2013 in the same rank and with same length of service.
  3.  Pension for those drawing above average shall be protected.
  4. Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly installments. However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pension and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one installment.
  5. Pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.

Financial Benefits received by the Pensioners  

                To quicken the process of revision of pension/family pension under OROP, Government issued detailed orders on 03.02.2016 along with 101 pension tables indicating rates for revision of pension/family pension under OROP.

The existing pension of all pre 1.7.2014 pensioners/family pensioners were enhanced with reference to applicable table for the rank (and group in case of JCOs/ORs), with reference to the actual qualifying service as shown in the tables subject to maximum term of engagement for each rank as applicable from time to time.

 Financial Benefits Financial year Amount disbursed on account of OROP arrears 2015-16 Rs.2,861.55 crore 2016-17 Rs.5,370.61 crore 2017-18 Rs.2,563.24 crore Total Rs.10,795.40 crore

The Armed Forces pensioners expressed their views in various media that they are quite deprived due to non receipt of their entitled amount of pension since July 2019. The 2nd Revision of OROP scheme was scheduled to be done at that time is awaiting due to various reasons.  The Govt has formed a committee on the alleged anomalies raised by the various ex-servicemen organizations and the committee is still working as per their report.

A legal case has been filed in the  apex court for proper implementation of OROP scheme so that the Armed Forces pensioner may get their entitled due as per recommendations of the committee constituted  before formulation of the OROP scheme.   This is a major concern that is still being debated. As stated above, this matter has reached the apex court and the decision is awaited. As per the orders of OROP published by the Govt, the revaluation of the rate of pension would take place every 5 years.

However, this was criticized by Armed Forces Pensioners. They believe that such a provision would defeat the very purpose of the scheme. They demanded that such evaluation should take place every year and not after gaps of 5 years. SC bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and KM Joseph acknowledged that the government had taken steps towards the implementation of the scheme and the main issue is to analyze whether equalization every 1 year will be feasible or not.

Recently in July 2021 a meeting was held between the Ex-servicemen Associations and the Defence authority where they have expressed their positive expression to implement the OROP scheme as soon as possible.

 Finally it is important to maintain equity of pension. Especially for defence personnel who risk their lives for the country. There have been certain problems faced in the implementation of the scheme. However, most of the time it is due to politics that take place in the country. To sum up, the objective of the scheme is justified and to motivate our jawans such a scheme must be implemented with its actual mode of operation.

 It has some drawbacks but they can be solved. For this, coordination and proper communication are needed between the Ex-servicemen and the government. Though it is evident that due to this program, the expenditure on pension has increased but this should be seen in a wider scope with regard to benefits that  which may encourage to make a motivated soldier means a motivated and stronger nation.

OROP Court Case Latest News

The Supreme Court on 15th and 16th Feb 2022 commenced hearing the plea seeking implementation of the “One Rank One Pension”/ (“OROP”) in the Defense Forces.

The plea filed by Indian Ex Servicemen Movement states that despite the assurance on floor of Parliament, what is being implemented is “different pensions for same rank depending on when the person retired”, was listed before the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath., in court of HMJ Dr YV Chandrachud, HMJ AS Bopanna and HMJ Vikram Nath. OROP case was listed at no 7.on 15 Feb 2022.  

The petitioners had questioned the notification dated November 7, 2015, issued by the Union Government wherein while implementing OROP, it had adopted a modified definition of the expression under which the gap between the rates of pension of current and past pensioners were to be bridged at “periodic intervals”.

Appearing for the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi submitted that the notification dated November 7, 2015 regarding implementation of OROP was arbitrary and contrary to the Executive Decision itself.

The petitioners seek annual revision of pension under OROP and for calculating the pension based on 2014 salary of ex-servicemen. As per 2015 notification, the periodic review of pension was fixed at five years and the pension was fixed based on notional pay of 2013.

Latest News on welfare matter of Exservicemen :


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