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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Late Sam Bahadur : A tale of a military legend and legendary protocol & red-tapism of our officialdom

Reports in newspapers that the late Field Marshal was not accorded a State funeral because of the fact that his name did not appear in the Warrant of Precedence left me aghast. Either the news-reports were based on rumours or our official machinery is absolutely oblivious of the rules and precedents of precedence.

Firstly, is there a requirement of featuring on the Warrant of Precedence to be accorded the status of a national hero ? I don’t think so. Secondly, the rank of a Field Marshall is a rank for life and in military protocol it is on top of the hierarchy above a full General and hence if a General is featured on Article 12 of the Warrant of Precedence, naturally a Field Marshall has to be accorded a status above Article 12. And where is it stated in the Warrant of Precedence that national military heroes would not be granted their due status by the nation because they do not feature on this one-sided piece of paper called Warrant of Precedence ?. The WoP does not talk of State funerals, period.

Our senior leaders and MHA top shots also seem to be unaware of the following note by none less than the then Prime Minister of India reflected in Order No 12/2/56-Public dated 02 August 1956 issued by Govt of India, MHA :-

“It should be remembered always that non-officials, although not included in the WoP, can always be given a high place and sometimes a very high place in accordance with their general standing….There can be no hard and fast rule about this matter and some discretion has to be exercised on particular occasions. This should be made clear to State Governments, as well as, of course, at the Centre”

Now how do they justify what happened in light of the above ?

To see Govt of India Order dated 02-08-1956 with the PM’s remarks,
Click here for Page 2

The Precedence list of the United States is much better in this aspect. It accords the same precedence to retired and serving officers. The only thing is that retired officers take precedence immediately after active duty officers.

See Note 8 of the US Precedence list through the following link :


Pragmatic said...


Fair call, but what prevented the service chiefs from going there?

Anonymous said...

I am an exserviceman from INDIAN AIR FORCE getting disability pension and service elements. Through your blog I came to know that my comlete pension is exempted from income tax. since last two year I have been paying income tax so please post me the copy of letter for exemption as clarified by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue vide Instruction No 2/2001 dated 02 July 2001 and Instruction No 136 dated 14 January 1970. Thank you

Anonymous said...

I ex- Sgt SC Tripathi have retired from IAF after getting 80% of disability in may 2011.I reemployed in bank. Am I exempted for IT return. pl.send me authy.letter and IT sec under which it is exempted on under mentioned e mail id.

Anonymous said...

Dear sir, I have read your entire blog and felt proud of you for rendering such service to exservicemen.I an exservice man took premature retirement in LMC after completing 16 yrs of service. Iam gtg 50% disability pension along with service pension.When I read the blog I come to knew that I am exempted from IT. Now i am working in a public sector bank and pay fitment has been done. But retirees after 2006 getting MSP with salary and the public sector banks are not taking MSP element and GP pay element in fixation. I think you have already taken up the matter at Chandigargh HC. Sir my clarification is whether my DA in pension element is not entitled to me as I am retired in LMC and getting disability pension.thank u sir.Prakash

Anonymous said...

Respected Sir,

I am an exserviceman from INDIAN ARMY and released from Service on completion of 26 yrs of service being LMC. I am in receipt of Service elements and 30% disability pension. Through your blog I came to know that my complete pension is exempted from income tax. Recently I have paid my income tax on my total income (pension). Sir, may I request you to kindly post or e-mail the copies of policy letters for exemption as clarified by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue vide which I can be exempted from paying income tax. My e-amil is ajaypalsinghmahar@gmail.com

Thank you

Ex-Nb/Sub APS Mahar