How Far EPF Pensioners Have Received Justice
In the context of five States going to polls within the next few months, the fate of EPS pensioners deserves to be pondered over by all. All are well aware of the reasons why our genuine entitlement of actual salary-based higher pension as per court verdicts remains only a dream even after the elapse of more than four years. The sheer denial of justice and the right to live with dignity to EPF pensioners is a blatant reality. Pensioners are in a really frustrated and helpless state. Cost of living is gripping us in a manner which cannot be expressed in words, due to lack of financial security by way of a reasonable pension.
In the context of the ensuing polls, the above reality deserves serious pondering by EPF pensioners from an apolitical perspective. We should also weigh the extent to which we have received justice.
Even after the elapse of four months after the two judge SC bench ruled on August 23rd, 2021 that EPF cases be referred to a larger bench, there are no indications about the constitution of the larger bench. It is learnt that formation of higher bench in SC will be done at Parliament only. So anyone can guess how much time it would take.
And after constitution of the larger bench, it will take at least 3 to 6 months for the bench to take up the hearing as they have to acquaint with the facts of the cases, which have an enormous document back-up. The reasons why formation of the larger bench continues to be a mirage are not far to seek. EPF pensioners are being taken for a ride in this fashion and discounted as a senile lot and there is no united forum for them.
The ulterior motive in prolonging a verdict in the matter is very evident. It is to be noted that so far the honourable courts passed judgements in favour of the pensioners in the matter of allowing higher pension on full salary mainly because of the issue of denial of natural justice involved in the matter.
Time is running out. Thousands of disillusioned pensioners are bidding farewell to the world after waiting for a positive outcome. Lakhs of pensioners are struggling in utter penury. Waiting further in anticipation of positive developments at this juncture does not seem to make sense. It is time that all groups and associations of EPF pensioners across the country came together and launched an intensified stir which receives media attention and national attention.