CAT asks centre to justify its decision to stop family planning allowance

New Delhi: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has sought the response of the Centre and the Delhi Police on a plea challenging government’s decision to abolish Family Planning Allowance for those of its employees who have themselves or their spouses opted for sterilisation.

The family planning allowance was abolished from July 1, 2017, on the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendation.

A bench headed by member K N Shrivastava sought their stand on the petition by a constable, who had undergone vasectomy in 2011 and was granted the Family Planning Allowance of Rs 210 per month till June last year, and posted the matter for further hearing on May 21.

The Centre had in 1979 introduced the incentive to promote small family norms saying central government employees who undergo sterilisation after having two or three surviving children may be granted a special increment in the form of personal pay.

However, it decided to abolish the scheme from July 1, 2017, on the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendation that there was no need for an allowance for population control as the level of awareness regarding small family had gone up.

“The abolition has not just put an end to the scheme for future but also stopped the Family Planning Allowance to Central Government employees who had already complied with the terms of the scheme for being entitled to the incentive for the entire period of service,” the plea, filed through advocate Gyanant Singh, has said.

Constable Babu Lal Mitharwal, who underwent permanent vasectomy, has said in his plea that the decision violated his fundamental rights under the Constitution.

In his petition he has contended that the discontinuance of the allowance after an employee had already undergone sterilisation, bringing about an irreversible change in his body/life, is in gross disregard to the fundamental rights of the beneficiaries of the scheme.