Day 3 Hearing: One Rank One Pension

One Rank One Pension

A Bench consisting of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Surya Kant reserved Judgment in the challenge to the Union Government’s existing One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.

Presenting the Affidavit of the Union, Additional Solicitor General N. Venkatraman argued that the Union Government’s OROP scheme ensured uniform pension for veterans of the same rank who retired after the same period of service. The ASG claimed that servicemen with fewer years of services would not be provided with the same pension as those who had served for longer. Treating them differently did not amount to discrimination, as they were unequals. This classification did not violate the principles of equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India, 1950.

Senior Advocate Mr. Ahmadi appeared for the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement that  challenged the Union Government’s existing OROP scheme. Mr. Ahmadi argued that this was not their claim at all—instead, the ex-servicemen argued that the existing scheme discriminated against those servicemen who had retired earlier, despite their having put in the same years of service. The OROP scheme was introduced in 2015, with retrospective effect from 2014. This meant that those servicemen who retired prior to 2014 earned less pension that those who retired after 2014 with the same rank and same length of service. The scheme was not ‘one rank one pension’ in its true sense.