The Supreme Court on Monday refused to accept the Centre’s sealed cover note about its views on the payment of One Rank One Pension (OROP) arrears to ex-service personnel.
“We need to put an end to this sealed cover practice in the Supreme Court… This is fundamentally contrary to basic process of fair justice,” said a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala. “I am personally averse to sealed covers. There has to be transparency in court… This is about implementing orders. What can be secret here,” the CJI said.
The bench is currently hearing the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement’s (IESM) plea over payment of OROP dues. The top court, on March 13, came down heavily on the government for “unilaterally” deciding to pay OROP dues in four instalments.
The defence ministry has recently filed an affidavit and a compliance note in the top court, giving the time schedule for payment of the arrears of Rs 28,000 crore to ex-servicemen for years 2019-22.