This refers to “Bitten by the litigation bug” (February 7). Going by media reports, recent years have seen the Indian judiciary at the receiving end. The Bench and the bar together should share the major portion of the blame for the present pendency of millions of cases across the country. In these cases remain hidden the fate of lakhs of under-trials languishing in jails without getting an opportunity to be heard to thousands of pensioners dying every year whose claims for higher pension or even payment of pension remain tagged to undecided petitions before courts.
There is a live case before the Lucknow High Court now about pension revision in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The same issue is pending before the Mumbai High Court for more than 15 years now. A routine pension revision effected by the RBI (when Bimal Jalan was the Governor) with reference to 1997 wage revision was withdrawn under the finance ministry’s instructions. When retirees approached the Mumbai High Court, the withdrawal of pension benefits was stayed by the court, giving material relief to the petitioners. The stay still remains and the finance ministry has so far succeeded in preventing RBI from revising pension after 1997 under one pretext or the other. In such cases, courts should at least hear all the pending cases in one court and decide the issue once for all.
M G Warrier Mumbai
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