OROP panel hearing ex-servicemen issues: Govt tells HC

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The Centre on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it has extended by six months the term of the one-member judicial commission on OROP which has commenced public hearings on grievances of ex-servicemen from Tuesday.
The submission was made by the government before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar which was hearing a PIL for a public hearing of ex-servicemen’s grievances as well as an extension of the term of the commission, headed by Justice (retired) L Narasimha Reddy.
Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia told the court that the first public hearing was held at Chandigarh on Tuesday and would be held at various other places across the country, ending on September 21.
He said the hearing in Delhi would be held on August 19, after which the petitioner’s lawyer, Satya Ranjan Swain, said details of the time and venue of the hearing have not been disclosed.
Pursuant to the submission by the petitioner’s lawyer, the court directed the government to provide the time and venue details of the public hearing in Delhi to the petitioner today itself and listed the matter for hearing on August 24.
After the hearing and order by the court, Swain said he received an email from the government stating that the public hearing in Delhi would be held on August 19 at 11 AM at Vasundhra Vatika, Raj Rif Centre, Delhi Cantonment.
The petitioner, S P Singh, who is an ex-serviceman, has sought directions to the Ministry of Defence and the commission “to give an effective public hearing to those affected or aggrieved by the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP)”.
According to the petition, as per a Ministry letter dated April 13, “Defence Forces pensioners/family pensioners, Defence Pensioners’ Associations can submit their suggestions/ views on the revised pension as notified, to the MoD, through post or by email within 15 days i.e. by April 29, 2016″.
The petitioner has contended that this information was not published in the newspapers and, therefore, people were not informed and added that even the time limit given to forward the representations was “very short”.
The Centre today told the court that the date for forwarding suggestions and representations was later extended to May 15.
It also told the court that the commission which was set up in December last year and had to give its report by June this year can now do so by December.
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