A retired Military officer has moved the Supreme Court urging a direction for the Centre to de-freeze the dearness allowance owed to the retired personnel which was frozen retrospectively with effect from January 2020.
The Central Government decided to freeze the disbursement of dearness allowance retrospectively from January 2020 for retired Central Government employees in view of the crisis arising out of COVID-19. The allowance was otherwise scheduled to pay in the month of April.
The petitioner stated that he has no other source of income and he is a cancer patient, living in a rented apartment. He further stated,
“I and lakhs of Veterans are aggrieved by arbitrary act of Union of India through Secretary Finance Govt of India New Delhi who were committed to pay arrears of DA or dearness allowance in first week of April 2020 but purposely not payed and on 20th April 2020 has FREEZED “DA or dearness allowance” retrospectively with effect from 01st January 2020.”
The petitioner stated about the irreparable loss because of it and said that the same is important for them to “survive honourably.”
The petitioner also pointed out that owing to various issues faced by people in these times of COVID-19, the Prime Minister had also urged all the employers to refrain from slashing the salaries or terminating anyone from their jobs.
Despite this, the petitioner has raised grievance that the government itself has decided to freeze the dearness allowance it owed to various classes of its employees and retired personnel.
The orders of the Finance Ministry are “arbitrary” and “mala fide”. Petition stated.
“This arbitrary and illegal mechanical step of Union of India without applying mind must be struck down immediately and all beneficairies paid their legitmate authorised “DA or dearness allowance” wef 01st January 2020 and continued to be paid.”
The petition prayed for the de-freezing of this money, adding that the Centre should also be directed to immediately stop various financial stimulus packages being given or which are being planned to be given in the near future to business houses, considering the government’s claims of having poor financial health at present.