The Corona pandemic has further delayed a resolution of pensioners’ woes due to lack of hearing in the Delhi High Court. The next date for the hearing is scheduled next month, when the NCUI Board has decided to appeal against the direction of the court to pay DAs to pensioners.
It bears recall that earlier the Delhi High Court had sought the physical presence of both the President and Chief Executive of the apex co-op body in the court and had asked them to clear dues by March 31, 2020.
The matter was taken up in the NCUI Board meeting held in April when it was decided to appeal against the judgement in a double bench of the Delhi High Court. NCUI Advocate is presently preparing a note sheet for the same, sources add.
It is learnt that NCUI consulted lawyers to know the chances of admission of appeal in the matter, some of whom were for the appeal while some others saw little chance, sources add.
The whole issue has its basis in the fund crunch being faced by NCUI in the wake of dwindling grants from the Agricultural Ministry. Ministry and NCUI is face to face with the issue of delink of NCCT from its parent body. Knowledgeable sources say it has become a cat and mouse game in the sense that while NCUI does not give money to NCCT, the ministry does not credit annual grants to NCUI.
The poor pensioners are, meanwhile, suffering as their DAs stand frozen. “We have not got DAs instalments for quite some time now”, a pensioner expressed his anguish to Indian Cooperative.
There are about 65 pensioners who have not been paid DAs. Tired of petitioning before the management they approached the High Court for relief. The court has sympathetically dealt with their case so far.
The High Court took a dim view of the way the matter has been dealt with by the apex co-op body and asked them to sort it out sooner than later. The Delhi High Court even called both the President and the CE of the apex body to help find a solution in the last hearing.
The affected pensioners meanwhile argue that the total amount involved is not much. “It’s not more than Rs 20 lacs; peanuts for NCUI”, one of them said. Admitting the amount is not much the NCUI Chief Executive says there is no provision of diverting funds to the Pensioners DA. Only the Board is competent to take a call in the matter, he added.
It indeed goes to the credit of N Satyanarayan as he cleared all their dues pending since 2012 after he took over. But since a couple of years the Ministry stopped giving grant leading to this situation, said an official of NCUI.