Pensioners’ case: United they stand

Pensioners’ case: United they stand

Twelve petitioners want reimbursement not only for them but for all 450,000

The Appeal Court yesterday ordered the Pensions Department to reimburse the Rs.50 deducted from the February pension of 12 pensioners last year but the petitioners requested that the reimbursement be given not just to those who went to Court but to all the 450,000 pensioners.

They said Rs.50 had been deducted from each of the 450,000 pensioners and this amounted to a massive Rs.22.5 million therefore reimbursing Rs.600 to the 12 petitioners was not acceptable to them.

The 12 pensioners went to Court after the Department deducted Rs.50 saying it was for the purpose of building a holiday home for pensioners but when they objected the Department had said the funds would be used for national security.

When the case came up for hearing, the petitioners said the application was filed on behalf of all the pensioners and refused
 to arrive at a settlement as the matter affected not just 12 but 450,000 pensioners.

“The application was in the public interest and it was filed on behalf of 450,000 pensioners,” Counsel J. C. Weliamuna said.

The state counsel told Court that the 12 petitioners had filed action against the deduction and that they had been reimbursed.

Considering the objection raised by the petitioners, the Bench comprising Justices Sathya Hettige and Anil Gunaratne fixed the next hearing for March 18.

Pensioner B. Ranpatabendi and 11 other pensioners cited Director General of the Pensions Department; Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Director General of the Department of State Accounts and Auditor General as respondents.

The petitioners were told of a Pensions Department circular dated January 26 last year informing them that a deduction was being made to construct a holiday home for pensioners. They had objected to this deduction done without their consent and had complained to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs. Subsequently the Ministry had agreed to repay the monies deducted from the pensioners but this had not been done and they were later told about a circular in August last year that the money was to be utilized for national security.

/ English

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Comments (1)

  1. Das Sabapathy :

    I am a sri lanka pensioner abroad. I would like to know what happened when above case was taken up on March 18th.
    Pensions of all pensioners abroad have been stopped since the date of the Pensions Circular 16/2009 (25.9.2009) though most have complied with it and forwarded the Data Entry Forms information in it.This circular limits payment of pensions of pensioners abroad to only a Savings Account of ONLY one branch of only bank in sri lanka, from which the pensioner can withdraw funds personally ONLY,during a visit to sri lanka.Earlier pensions were sent to all of their bank accounts in sri lanka.In the alternative, pensioners will be sent their pensions in their bank accounts abroad, by sri lanka missions abroad.This is an unnecessary and unjust circular.

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