As all of you are well aware that, AIRF had been a major part of discussions held in the “All India Safety Samvad” during the year 2003 with the then Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Shri Nitish Kumar, whereupon Safety Related Voluntary Retirement Scheme was introduced for two major Safety Categories, i.e. Loco Pilot and Gangmen/Trackmen……..
No.AIRF/24(C) Dated: September 27, 2018
The General Secretaries,
All Affiliated Unions,
Sub: Restoration of the LARSGESS – Observance of “Black Day on 4th October, 2018” – Reg.
Ref.: Railway Board’s letter No.E(P&A)I-2015/RT-43( RBE No.150/2018) dated 26.09.2918
As all of you are well aware that, AIRF had been a major part of discussions held in the “All India Safety Samvad” during the year 2003 with the then Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Shri Nitish Kumar, whereupon Safety Related Voluntary Retirement Scheme was introduced for two major Safety Categories, i.e. Loco Pilot and Gangmen/Trackmen.
AIRF further pursued the issue with the successive Railway Ministers and succeeded in enhancing its scope to cover other safety categories when Ms Mamata Banerjee was holding chair of the Hon’ble Minister of Railways, whereby all the Safety Categories staff working in GP Rs.1800 was covered under this scheme and further those in GP Rs.1900 in the Safety Categories were also made eligible to opt for the said scheme, which was modified as “LARSGESS”. Obviously, entire LARSGESS was evolved by sustained and tireless efforts of AIRF. It is, however, quite unfortunate that, owing to some litigations in the case of Shri Kala Singh, Loco Pilot, Ferozpur Division (Northern Railway), Hon’ble High Court of Haryana and Punjab delivered a judgment that, “Safety Related Voluntary Retirement Scheme 2004 (later renamed as the Liberalised Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff(LARSGESS), 2010), prima facie does not stand to the test of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. It had directed, before making any appointment under the offending policy, let its validity and sustainability be revisited keeping in view the principles of equal opportunity and elimination of monopoly in holding public employment”.
Railway Board, instead of finding some way-out, had put the scheme on hold, as a result of which, all the appointments of the wards of the railway employees, seeking Voluntary Retirement under LARSGESS,
AIRF, right from its inception, has been regularly pursuing this issue at various levels and has repeatedly deliberated the matter with the CRB and Hon’ble MR also. We had also taken-up this issue in all the negotiating fora as well as in our communications, addressed to the CRB and Hon’ble MR, from time to time. We were given to understand that, Ministry of Railways would try to evolve some solution, keeping in view legal aspects, so that, the scheme could be continued, which, of course, has proved to be beneficial, both for safe rail operations as also in the interest of Railway Staff working in the identified Safety Categories. We are, however, shocked to note that, Railway Board have arbitrarily issued instructions to the General Managers of all Indian Railways to terminate LARSGESS w.e.f. 27.10.2017, with effect from the date it was put on hold, without having any discussion with AIRF on the subject.
It would, therefore, be quite appropriate that, we should observe “Black Day” on 4th October, 2018 all over the Indian Railways, by wearing black badges, involving maximum number of Safety Categories of staff, to lodge serious protest against these arbitrary instructions of the Railway Board, issued vide RBE No.150/2018 referred to above.
I would, request all of you to observe the “Black Day” in a befitting manner, and report to this effect be forwarded to this office for better appreciation.