The intention of conducting Pension Adalats is to examine the grievances of pensioners so as to redress the same by taking on the spot decisions and to obviate the delays, if any, in the settlement of their dues. Such a step would go a long way in instilling a sense of being cared for and attended to in the minds of pensioners and thus dispel their feeling of neglect and isolation.
2. Detailed guidelines have been circulated to the Railways for holding the Pension Adalats on the lines of similar guidelines formulated by the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare (DOP&PW) who are the nodal Department for looking after the welfare of Central Government Pensioners. The guidelines are given below: —
2.1. The Pension Adalats should be held on Railways/ Production Units on 15th December each year or the first working day after that date in case 15th is a holiday.
2.2 Wide and adequate publicity through print and visual media and other means like posters at prominent places should be given in advance to enable the pensioners to send their cases in time for consideration in such Adalats. This is necessary, as reference to various records is very often essential before a grievance can be redressed. For this purpose, the following time frame should be adopted:
|(a)|| Issue of notice by Railway through print and visual media and other means about holding of Pension Adalats indicating date, venue, time of Adalat and the name of Officer to whom the grievances have to be submitted.|| ||By first week of August every year.|
|(b)|| Last date for submission of grievances by Pensioners, which should be indicated in the Notification mentioned above.|| ||31st October every year.|
2.3. The representation of Pensioners may be acknowledged indicating the date, venue and time of Pension Adalat.
2.4. The Pension Adalats should be conducted at the level of very senior Officers i.e. General Manager/Addl. General Managers, Chief Personnel Officers, FA&CAOs and DRMs/ADRMs besides other Officers of Personnel, Accounts and other Departments concerned. The representatives of Bank/other Pension Disbursing Authorities should also be co-opted in the Pension Adalats.
2.5 All Officers dealing with pension viz. Senior Officers of Personnel and Accounts Department and Managers of the pension-disbursing Banks of Zonal or Divisional Headquarters should be present with all the relevant records so that decisions are not postponed for the sake of referring to the records.
2.6. The Officers present in the Pension Adalats should be able to take decisions on the spot to redress the grievances. In this connection it is pertinent to note that such meetings are not to take up policy matters but they should deal with specific grievances of the individual pensioner, when represented by him personally or by a family member of the Pensioner.
2.7 Cases involving purely legal points e.g. succession etc. cannot be taken up in the Adalat.
2.8. The authorised representatives of the Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) and the recognised Trade Unions may also be invited to attend the Pension Adalats. But, they should not be permitted to present the grievances of the Pensioners.
2.9. However, in the case of illiterate Pensioners, widows, minors etc. it may not be possible for them to effectively prepare and present cases before the Adalat. In such cases, if the pensioner is not able to present his/her case and he/she seeks the assistance of the representatives of the SCOVA attending the Adalat, the SCOVA representatives may be permitted to present the grievances of such pensioners.
2.10. There are only 2 members in the SCOVA representing the Railways. It may happen that the Railway nominees on the SCOVA may not be available when Pension Adalats are held on different dates, at different places of the Zonal Railways. In such cases, representatives of SCOVA, as authorised by the Members of the SCOVA and whose credentials are sent in advance to the Railway Administrations should be allowed to attend the Pension Adalats and to present the cases, if necessary.
2.11. It should be ensured that all the cases which are tenable are settled at the time of Pension Adalat itself, but in cases where it is not possible to settle the same on the spot, it should be settled and finalised within a period of three months from the date of holding the Pension Adalat.
2.12. In those cases of grievances, which are not tenable, the Pensioners may be suitably advised in writing.
2.13. While DRMs may be instructed to hold Pension Adalats on their respective Divisions, once in 3 months or so, the working of this grievance machinery should be monitored at Headquarters level.
2.14. After holding the Pension Adalats, the requisite details in the prescribed proforma as laid down in Board's letter No. E(W)92 PA 1-1/1 dated 17.11.1993 should be furnished to the Railway Board by 31st January every year.
3. It must be mentioned that efforts should always be made to make payment of settlement dues immediately on retirement as per normal practice. No case should be held up for decision in Pension Adalats unless the delay is absolutely inescapable.
4. As the conduct of Pension Adalat is being monitored at the level of the Board and DOP&PW, the guidelines should be followed scrupulously to ensure that the grievances of Pensioners/ Family Pensioners are settled expeditiously without giving any room for complaint whatsoever.
D. O. 86/ACII/21/29 dated 10.07.1986
E(W)92 PA 1-1/1 dated 25.04.1994 (RBE 34/1994).
E(W)92 PA 1-1/1 dated 23.11.1994 (RBE 106/1994).