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Pension is a right to life

December 17 is celebrated as “Pensioners’ Day” across the nation. It was on this day in 1982, pension was defined as a “deferred wage” payable to the retiree till the date of death by the Supreme Court, which further declared that grant of pension is not a bounty but a right and a social obligation of the government under the Constitution.

In another judgement, the court laid down that no discrimination in the matter of pension benefits can be meted out to pensioners merely on the basis of the date of retirement.

The Bombay High Court has held that pension is a vital aspect of social security and that the right to receive it constitutes a right to life under the Constitution. Moreover, it held that pension must be paid regularly in the first week of the month. To deprive a pensioner of the payment is to deprive him or her of the right to life.

Delayed pension payments place a pensioner in a position of uncertainty and dependence which impinges on the quality of life under Article 21, and the right to dignified existence of the aged. This means pensioners couldn’t be left to the mercy of the administration to receive what is a matter of right.

In light of these judgments, pension is a part of right to life and governments of the day should accept this reality and not encroach upon the right to life of the pensioners. Thus pensioners must lead their lives with a sense of self-respect and dignity.

SK KHOSLA, Chandigarh.

Quota conundrum

There is no justification in giving reservation to candidates from well-to-do families as mentioned in the editorial “Politics of quota” (December 14).  Rather, such families should themselves come forward to surrender such benefits so that the more deserving people are accommodated.  

While the court is not opposed to reservation in promotions per se, it has left many critical questions unanswered and has not clarified the precise content of the conditions on which it is willing to permit reservation in promotions.

It might serve us well to understand the position of the Supreme Court on this issue before evaluating the contents of the proposed amendment.

The envisaged constitutional amendment in the quota Bill is the least legitimate option because any political consensus will be based on electoral compulsions.



The Haryana government has, in principle, accepted the report of the Haryana Backwards Classes Commission (HBCC) that proposes 10 per cent quota for the upper caste people like the Jats, Jat Sikhs, Bishnois, Rors and Tyagis in government services. With such an arrangement, the overall reservation quota will go up to 67% which certainly violates the Supreme Court judgment that limits “all reservations to 50 per cent”.

Despite this, as news reports indicate, the Jats of Haryana are not happy and are demanding 27 per cent reservation. They have warned of an agitation, which is unjustified.

The Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda who himself is a Haryanvi Jat, knows well that the Jat community dominates the state in all fields including government services. The Supreme Court and the Central government should interfere in the matter immediately before the situation takes an ugly turn.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


Most of the people belonging to the upper caste are enjoying the best of government services. They are the people who are sitting on all key positions and make it a point to see that the benefit of reservation is denied to Dalits through all means and manipulations, like deliberately giving lower grades to Dalit employees in their annual CRs. Why is the percentage of Dalits at higher levels so low inspite of reservations?



Quota in promotion is a farce, when the benefit has already been availed at the time of joining government service. The failure of the reservation system in the last 60 years has not made politicians see reason.

Each community wants the most for itself, while denying the other, which is undemocratic. It is time the constitution is amended to stop reservation based on caste. The mention of the word ‘caste’ should also be stopped. The only reservation justified is one based on economic basis, as poor need education to put them on a level playing field.

SANTOSH SONI, Nagrota Bagwan

Anna should explain

All of a sudden Anna seems to have disowned Kejriwal. This statement has come as a shock and has bewildered supporters of the two. A few days ago, Anna was ready to campaign for Kejriwal but now according to him, Kejriwal is a ‘part of filthy politics’. What happened within a week is a mystery? It is sending a wrong message. It is necessary that records are put straight and some clarification comes from Anna, otherwise this political and social alternative will die before its birth.


Live to the full

We must value and cherish each day with our loved ones. Life is precious and so are those whom we share it with. Life depends on the way we take it. Each and every person goes through one or the other hurdle in life but what is important is how we face the situation with a smile on our face. This will surely make our life worth living and all the more beautiful.

Remember, in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to nurture and the decisions we waited too long to make. So go out and live to the fullest and without any regrets.




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