Feel free to contribute on burning issues concerning the armed forces. Contributions would be acknowledged - Use the 'Comments' tab or email navdeepsingh.india[at]gmail.com. No operational/business/commercial matters to be discussed please. Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained. Information on this blog is opinion based and is neither official nor in the form of an advice. This is a pro bono online journal in public service related to issues, policies and benefits, and the idea behind it is to educate and not to create controversy or to incite. Be soft in your language, respect Copyrights.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On popular demand, main recommendations of the 6th CPC : The good, bad and ugly

Some of the recommendations and new features introduced by this pay commission dealing with employees / former employees, both defence and civilian, are :-

(a) Introduction of new pay scales with effect from 01-1-2006 (Allowances however would be admissible from date of acceptance of recommendations).

(b) Introduction of Performance Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS).

(c) Removal of 33 years’ qualifying service condition for earning a full pension. Employees would now be entitled to full pension on completion of minimum qualifying service required for earning a pension.

(d) Higher rates of pension for pensioners and family pensioners attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 years.

(e) Enhanced rate of ordinary family pension increased to 10 years from the earlier 7.

(f) Death cum Retirement Gratuity (DCRG) limit increased to Rs 10 lacs.

(g) Employees seeking voluntary retirement after 15 years of service (but with less than 20 years of service) to be entitled to a lumpsum retirement benefit equivalent to 80 months’ salary last drawn or average salary whichever is beneficial.

(h) Staggered working hours, special child care leave and enhanced maternity leave recommended for woman employees.

(i) Shifting of all Group D Employees to Group C.

(j) Minimum Pay of Rs 6660/- and Maximum pay of Rs 90,000/-.

(k) Percentage based annual increments. Date of increments to be 01st of July every year

(l) Increase in all allowances.

(m) Allowances to be protected against inflation.

Recommendations dealing with the defence services :-

(a) Parity with civil pay-scales recommended.

(b) Recommendation for lateral shift of defence personnel (including officers) into the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs/CPOs).

(c) Recommendation of a fixed Military Service Pay (MSP) @ Rs 1000/- for PBOR and Rs 6000/- for officers till the rank of Brigadier. No MSP recommended for officers of the rank of Major General and above.

(d) Removal of edge enjoyed by defence personnel in their pay-scales vis-à-vis civil employees including the IAS. Now pay-scales of defence officers have been recommended to be at par with other Group A Services and lower than the IAS at certain levels.

(e) Higher starting pay to officers of the Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps and Remount and Veterinary Corps.

(f) Military Nursing Service (MNS) Officers to be granted same pay as other Commissioned Officers. MSP for MNS offices however placed at Rs 4200/-.

(g) Merger of ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ groups of PBOR.

(h) Additional pay of Rs 1400 to be granted to PBOR of ‘X’ Group.

(i) Honorary officers to be granted pay-scales of regular officers with MSP of Rs 6000.

(j) Time bound promotions recommended for PBOR.

(k) Maximum available commutation of pension in case of Commissioned Officers and PBOR recommended to be increased to 50%.

(l) Military Service Pay to count towards pension.

(m) Pension for Honorary Naib Subedars to be calculated by treating it as a regular promotion as opposed to the Rs 100/- additional being granted as on date.

(n) Widowed daughters, unmarried and divorced daughters to be sanctioned family pension for life without any age restriction.

(o) It has been recommended that liberalized family pension should also be paid to the families of military personnel dying during trials of indigenously developed weapon system and ammunition.

(p) Disability element to be computed on the basis of pay as in the case of civil employees. For 100% disability, disability element to be computed @ 30% of pay. For lesser percentage of disability, the rates to be proportionately decreased. Flat rate system for disability element to be abolished.

(q) Constant Attendant Allowance (CAA) to be increased to Rs 3000/- per month from the existing Rs 600/-.

(r) Bar of Disability Pension on voluntary retirement removed. Voluntary retirees also recommended to be granted disability pension.

(s) Amounts of ex-gratia awards recommended to be doubled.

The above however, are only recommendations. Let's wait and watch what is implemented and what's not !!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Grant pension to 80 year old soldier (reservist) living in an Old Age Home : HC

Ex-Reservist Harjinder Singh of the Corps of Signals, a veteran of two wars, retired in 1967 after putting in more than 17 years of combined colour and reserve service in the Army. During those times, an individual was entitled to receive 'reservist pension' after putting in a total of 15 years colour and reserve service in accordance with Regulation 155 of the Pension Regulations for the Army. The said pension was refused to this old soldier on the pretext that at the time of his discharge, there was a clause which prohibited the grant of reservist pension to individuals seeking discharge on own request. Harjinder Singh in 1967, was forced to seek discharge on own request since his terms of engagement were unilaterally changed from 15 years to 20 years during the course of his service so he had no option but to put in his papers after 15 years which was the length for which he had agreed to be recruited.
The Hon'ble Punjab & Haryana High Court has however held that refusal of pension to this old soldier on the ground of voluntary retirement is 'inexcusable' and has directed the Govt to release his pension to him. In this case too, the Army had time and again taken up the issue with the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) [PCDA(P)] who did not agree with the Army and rejected the pension claim of this old soldier who is all alone living in an old age home in Chandigarh. A long fight but a fruitful one....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Six-decade-long struggle ends, WWII veteran gets pension arrears


Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21A six-decade struggle by a wounded war veteran to get disability pension has finally yielded dividends. After having restored pension benefits to him, the government has now sanctioned him arrears for the past 59 years.
Former gunner Bachan Singh, now aged about 95 years, received the letter announcing the payment of arrears from the Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA) two days ago. Noticeably, despite a long period of intense struggle, his benefits came through without him moving court.
A resident of Khokhran village, near Ropar, he had served with the Second Field Artillery in Libya during the Second World War, where he was wounded in battle by a German shell. He was ultimately discharged from the Army in November 1947 with a disability pension of Rs 15 per month. He was enrolled into the Royal Indian Artillery in January 1941.
In November 1949, his pension, however, was abruptly stopped by the Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA) and thereafter began a protracted battle for getting his dues. The CDA held that his disability had reduced below 20 per cent despite the fact that a duly constituted medical board by the Army had confirmed a disability of 30 per cent. His pleas for a resurvey medical board fell on deaf ears.
It was only in 2005 that the case came to the knowledge of the then Vice-Chief of Army Staff, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman, who took up the case with the artillery records as well as the Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions). Things then started moving and a resurvey medical board was held at the Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir. His pension was restored in 2005.
Though being illiterate and unaware of provisions, he had kept trying to get his pension restarted, but to no avail. Repeated appeals for resurvey medical boards, accompanied by certificates from doctors were not acceded to. Even the service element of his pension was denied and he was forced to live a life of poverty without any support for the government.
Finally in 2001, he came to know about a similar case where a World War-II veteran, whose pension was discontinued in 1951, had been granted compensation and his disability pension restarted. Thereafter, he renewed his efforts, but was again denied his pension or a resurvey medical board on the grounds that his papers had been destroyed and there was no documentary proof of his disability.
Though he had written several letters to the authorities concerned, copies of which were attached to his latest representation submitted last year, a communiqué from the records instead questioned him as to why he had remained silent for the past so many years.
His appeal for justice and assistance to the defence minister, the Director General Artillery, the Director General Ceremonials, Welfare and Discipline, at the Army Headquarters as well as the artillery records did not elicit any action till the case came to the notice of the Vice-Chief

Monday, April 21, 2008

WW II Veteran gets pension after 59 years

Ex-Gunner Bachan Singh, an Arty vet of the Second Great War living in extreme penury, was given a bad deal by us. He got injured in North Africa, treated in a Military Hospital in Cairo during WWII and was medically boarded out in 1947. He was granted disability pension which was abruptly discontinued by the CDA in 1949 while holding that his disability had gone below 20%, this despite the fact that a duly constituted medical board by the Army had confirmed a disability of 30%. His pleas for a resurvey medical board fell on deaf ears. However, with the help of our ex-Vice Chief, Gen Pattabhiraman (then GOC-in-C WC), his case was taken up with the PCDA(P) as well as the Govt for re-consideration. A thorough medical examination of this 90 year old soldier was carried out in 2005 at Command Hospital Western Command and the board opined that the disability was such which could not have improved in any manner, and that it had remained constant / static all these years since 1949. Our persistence and Gen Pattabhiraman’s help has resulted in the sanctioning of his disability pension with arrears with effect from 1949, a historical landmark, and something which goes to show that the govt is not all that insensitive as it is projected to be. Of course the arrears are not much since till 1986, disability pension was granted only to the tune of Rs 40/- , but still the spirit behind the gesture is symbolic, and the old fauji has something to look forward to, and a reason to thank olive green and some great souls like our ex-Vice Chief, who ensured that he got his dues 6 decades after he was released.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Actual Warrant of Precedence


Notes : (a) This Warrant of Precedence is compiled from a joint consideration of the existing Central Warrant of Precedence (which is till the rank of Major General) and Warrant of Precedence – 1937, as per Minstry of Home Affairs' directions contained in Letter No 12/11/99-Pub II dated 26 Dec 1966, the validity of which has been confirmed by Letter No 12/1/2007-Public dated 14 Aug 2007. The MHA has confirmed in 2007 that the Old Warrant of Precedence shall be taken as a guide to determine ranks below the ones mentioned in the current WoP.

(b) Only the posts which are existing and relevant in the present scenario have been mentioned in this Warrant of Precedence. Military ranks have been highlighted.

1. HE The President of India

2. HE The Vice President of India

3. Prime Minister

4. Governors of States within their respective States

5. Former Presidents

5A Deputy Prime Minister

6. Chief Justice of India / Speaker of Lok Sabha

7. Cabinet Ministers of the Union / CMs within their States / Former PMs

7A Holders of Bharat Ratna Decoration

8. Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and High Commissioners of Commonwealth Countries / CMs outside their States / Governors outside their States

9. Judges of the Supreme Court

9A Chief Election Commissioner / Comptroller & Auditor General of India

10. Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha / Deputy CMs of States / Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha / Members Planning Commission / Ministers of State of the Union

11. Attorney General of India / Cabinet Secretary / Lieutenant Governors within their UTs

12. Chiefs of Army, Air and Naval Staff

13. Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary accredited to India

14. Chairmen and Speakers of State Legislatures within their States / Chief Justices of High Courts within their jurisdictions

15. Cabinet Ministers of States within their States / CMs of UTs within their UTs / Deputy Union Ministers

16. Officiating Chiefs of Army, Air and Naval Staff of the rank of Lt Gen or equivalent

17. Chairman CAT / Chairman Minorities Commission / Chairman SC & ST Commission / Chairman UPSC / Chief Justices outside their jurisdiction / Puisne Judges of High Court within their jurisdictions

18. Cabinet Ministers of States outside their States / Ministers of State in States within their States / Chairmen and Speakers of State Legislatures outside their States

19. Chief Commissioners of UTs not having a Council of Ministers within their UTs / Deputy Ministers in States within their States

20. Deputy Chairmen and Deputy Speakers of State Legislatures outside their States / Minister of State in States outside their States / Puisne Judges of High Courts outside their jurisdictions.

21. Members of Parliament

22. Deputy Ministers in State outside their States

23. Army Commanders (GsOC-in-C) / VCOAS and equivalent in other services / Chief Secretaries to States within their States / Members of Minority Commission / Secretaries to Govt of India / Secretary to President / Secretary to PM / Secretary Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha / Solicitor General

24. Officers of the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent

25. Additional Secretaries to Govt of India / Addl Solicitor General / Advocate Generals of States / Chairman Tariff Commission / Chief Secretaries outside their States / Director CBI / DG BSF / DG CRPF / Director IB / Lt Governors outside their UTs / Members UPSC / PSOs of Armed Forces of the rank of Major General and equivalent

26. Officers of the rank of Major General and equivalent / Joint Secretary to Govt of India

27. Vice Chancellors of Universities

28. Commissioners of Divisions within their respective charges

29. Brigade Commanders within their respective Charges

30. Brigadiers / Inspector General of Forests / Inspectors General of Police

31. Commissioners of Divisions outside their charges

32. Secretaries to State Governments

33. Colonels / Accountants General / Chief Conservator of Forests / Chief Engineers / Inspectors General of Prisons / Members of ICS (now known as IAS) and Indian Political Service (now Indian Foreign Service) with 23 years ‘ standing

34. Controller Military Accounts and Pensions (now CDA)

35. Commissioners of Income Tax / Deputy Commissioners within their districts

36. District and Session Judges within their charges

37. DIG of Police

38. Lieutenant Colonels / Conservators of Forests / IAS and Foreign Service officers with 18 years standing / Superintending Engineers

39. Excise Commissioners / Registrar of Co-operative Societies

40. Deputy Commissioners of Districts / District and Sessions Judges / Superintendents of Police of Districts within their charges (also now known with variable nomenclature as DCP / SSP in certain States)

41. DIG of Prisons / Officers of other Class-I Services and Provincial Services with 20 years standing

42. Majors / IAS and Foreign Service officers with 12 years service / SPs and DCPs with 15 to 20 years service

43. Asst Commissioners of Income Tax / Officers of Class-I and Provincial Services with 10 years standing

44. Divisional Engineers / Divisional Forest Officers / Executive Engineers / Superintendents of Central Jails

AGIF Benefits to be provided to Mothers of deceased married personnel too

According to policy followed by the Army Group Insurance Fund, on death of a married individual in service, the insurance benefits are released only to the widow and not to the mother even if the mother was nominated for such benefits. AGIF treats nominations in the name of 'mother' in cases of married personnel as null and void. The Delhi High Court (and also recently the Punjab & Haryana High Court) has held that AGIF benefits shall be released to mothers of married personnel too since mother is an heir according to succession laws.

Grant Disability Pension to personnel injured during Annual Leave : High Court

In an important decision, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has held that even personnel suffering injuries during annual leave are to be awarded disability pension and that such injuries if not due to negligence / illegal action of the individual himself, shall be deemed to be 'attributable to military service'.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Private vehicles of defence personnel exempted from toll tax on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway

Clear instructions have now been issued regaring toll exemption to defence personnel and their private vehicles on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. Reproduced below is a self-explanatory letter sent to the Army, Navy and the Air Force by me on the issue :-



1. Please refer to ADG Mov Letter No 12668 / Mov C dated 15 Nov 2007 (Appx A) vide which military establishments were informed about the non-availability of toll exemption to private vehicles of defence personnel on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway as per the toll notification issued by the Govt on the issue. It was informed vide the said letter that toll exemption would only be granted to defence personnel in uniform (on duty). Please also refer to my earlier detailed Letter No Nav/Toll/Mov/1&2 dated 01 Dec 07 / 01 Feb 08 through which I had attempted to provide the actual position regarding the provisions of the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901 and toll exemption to defence personnel and also to clear doubts that emerged from the ibid ADG Mov Letter.

2. As you may be knowing, toll exemption was granted when a case had been taken up by me with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) leading to the issuance of MoRTH Letter dated 12 Nov 03 (Appx B) ordaining that toll exemption shall be granted to private vehicles of defence personnel irrespective of whether they are on duty or not. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also had later clearly informed vide their Circular No 81 (Appx C) that they had issued instructions to all concerned that toll exemption under the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901, shall be applicable in addition to toll notifications issued by the Govt. The Hon’ble Supreme Court had also in 2006 upheld toll exemption to private vehicles of defence personnel.

3. I had again taken up the issue with the NHAI specially with regard to the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and you would be glad to know that I have been informed vide NHAI Letter No 11041/131/2007-Admn(Rep)/507 dated 11 Feb 08 (Appx D) that the toll-operator has been duly intimated regarding exemption to defence personnel and their private vehicles on the said highway. The NHAI has also written a detailed letter No NHAI/Tech/Del-Gur/Toll Not/2006/74 dated 25 January 2008 to the toll operator (Appx E) on the issue. It has also been decided in a meeting between Mr Alan Le Raux (Chief Operations Officer of the tollway), NHAI, and military representatives that defence personnel would be granted free passage through the cash lane of the plaza on production of Identity Card. Defence Convoy movement would also be granted free access on intimation atleast 15 minutes in advance. Non-transferable TAGs / Smart Cards may also be issued with unlimited access to defence personnel after the working out the finer modalities.

4. You would also be glad to know that the Ministry had been requested to mention and include exemptions under the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901, in all toll notifications. This request has been acceded to and already implemented in recently issued Govt of India Gazette notifications on toll collection. Naval Personnel would be happy to note that such exemptions in the notifications shall carry the stipulation - ‘further extended to Navy’. The case for exemption on Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Flyway remains sub-judice since a Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) against the order of the Delhi High Court on a case filed by a serving Army officer is pending. Toll exemption is being granted on all other Private / Public / State / National roads and bridges in the country.

(Navdeep Singh)
Advocate, High Court

Pay panel takes shine off status of generals


Pay panel takes shine off status of generals

Vijay MohanTribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7The Sixth Pay Commission (SPC) recommendations seem to have tarnished the brass on the lapel of generals. While the pay panel may have given them a significant jump in salaries, it has placed them in a pay bracket that is less than that of police officers listed below them in the Warrant of Precedence. This implies that police officers, who are lower in status than lieutenant generals in the eyes of the Ministry of Home Affairs, would be drawing more salary.
The SPC has recommended a pay scale of Rs 39,200 - 67,000 per month for Lt Gens and their equivalents in the Armed Forces with an additional grade pay of Rs 11,000, whereas directors-general of central police organisations (CPOs) have been placed in the grade of Rs 80,000 per month. Officers of the rank of Lt Gens and equivalent (other than vice-chiefs and army commanders) are placed at Article 24 of the Warrant of Precedence. Directors-General (DGs) of the CPOs come a step below at Article 25.
Another anomaly in the fixation of pay scale vis-à-vis status is that the recommended pay scale of DGs is equal to that of the Vice-Chief of Army Staff, General Officers Commanding-in-Chief of field commands and their equivalents in the other two services.
Vice-Chiefs of Staff, General Officers C-in-C and equivalents, figure at serial number 23 of the Warrant of Precedence and are equated with Secretaries to the Government of India and chief secretaries to state governments within their respective states. Outside their respective states, chief secretaries are placed lower than lieutenant generals in the warrant. Sources say that the SPC has based its recommendations on the assumption that according to “established relativity”, a deputy inspector general (DIG) of Police is equivalent to a Brigadier. Both wear similar badges of rank.
This assumption, according to a senior officer, is incorrect since the Ministry of Home Affairs has confirmed that there is no established equivalence between armed forces officers and police officers.
The warrant of precedence issued by the President’s Secretariat that is currently in vogue only defines ranks from General and equivalent down till the rank of Major General and equivalent. In a letter dated August 14, 2007, the home ministry has maintained that the old Warrant of Precedence, established in 1937 is to be used to determine ranks below Major General. The old Warrant of Precedence lists a DIG between a Lieut Col and a Colonel.
This is the established relativity as confirmed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, sources claimed. The Fifth Pay Commission had placed the starting pay of a DIG (Rs 16,400) below the starting pay of a Colonel (Rs 17,100 including rank pay).
An IPS officer reaches the rank of a DIG after 15 years of service while an Army officer reaches the rank of a Brig in 28 years. Moreover, 100 per cent of directly recruited IPS officers reach the rank of a DIG while less than 10 per cent defence officers reach the rank of Brigadier.

Pay panel downgrades defence officers’ status


Pay panel downgrades defence officers’ status

Vijay MohanTribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25The hike in the salary of armed forces personnel recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission notwithstanding, the proposals forwarded to the Central government have sought to further downgrade the status of defence officers vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts.
While the three service chiefs have, like before, been equated with the country’s senior-most civil servant, the cabinet secretary, the same is not so at the lower levels. A perusal of the proposals reveals that defence service officers are being equated with their civilian counterparts at one grade lower than the present set-up.
Further, the edge enjoyed by defence officers in having a higher starting salary at each grade, as recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission, has also been done away with.
Though the rank of Lieutenant and equivalent in the armed forces remains on a par with the junior time scale grade in the civil services, the Sixth Pay Commission has recommended that the next higher grade, the senior time scale now be equated with Major instead of the earlier rough pay equivalent of Captain. The rank of Captain or equivalent will not now have an equivalent in the civil services according to the proposals.
Similarly, pay of civil servants in the junior administrative grade will now be equated with Lieutenant Colonel instead of Major. Civil servants falling in the Selection Grade are being equated with the rank of Colonel instead of the earlier Lieutenant Colonel, while those in the senior administrative grade-II will be equated with the rank of Brigadier instead of Colonel.
Though the SPC has recommended Military Special Pay of Rs 6,000 per month for officers, the same will not be counted towards determining the status of defence service officers.
Also to be noted is that the progression of civil servants up the hierarchy is much faster vis-à-vis defence service officers. Further, the training period of civil servants is counted towards the length of service for the purpose of promotion, whereas armed forces officers do not enjoy this benefit. The average pre-commission training period of an officer, who joins the services after graduation, is one-and-a-half years.
The service required for bureaucrats for promotion to the senior time scale is four years while that for a Major is six years. Senior time scale and junior administrative grade officers can be posted as deputy commissioners or senior superintendents of police. Further promotions for bureaucrats and IPS officers are at nine years (junior adm grade), 13 years (selection grade) and 15 years (SAG-II), whereas for defence officers it is at 13, 20 and 29 years. An IAS officer can reach the SAG-I in about 18 years in the Central government while in the Army, the closest equivalent rank of a Major-General can only be reached after 33 years of service.
Over the years, armed forces, especially ex-servicemen organisations, have been crying hoarse over the continuous degradation of their status vis-à-vis the civilian establishment. Successive pay commissions, they have contended, have made service in the armed forces so unattractive that the right talent is no longer opting for a career in the military, resulting in a large shortage of officers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Voluntary / Premature military retirees now eligible for Disability Pension

From 'The Tribune', Chandigarh

Voluntary retirees from forces entitled to disability pension: SC
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 16In an order which would benefit a large number of armed forces personnel, the Supreme Court has ruled that disabled soldiers who opt pre-mature retirement at their own request are entitled to disability pension.
Defence personnel with disabilities attributable to or aggravated by military service are eligible for disability pension. The government, however, had been refusing payment of disability pension to personnel who had left the forces voluntarily on compassionate grounds. The reason given for denial was that such personnel were technically not deemed to have been invalided out of service.
Upholding a Delhi High Court order, A division bench of the apex court comprising Justice P P Naolekar and L S Panta a few days ago dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Central government against the high court order.
Acting upon a petition filed by ex-soldier Mahavir Singh Narwal, a division bench of the HC, headed by Justice Vijender Jain had, in 2004, held that disabled personnel obtaining release on compassionate grounds would also remain entitled to disability pension.
The Central government had gone into appeal in the case and the Supreme Court stayed the operation of the HC order till it passed final orders in January and dismissed the SLP.
Entitlement Rules for disability pension notified by the central government in the year 1982, simply provide that an individual would be deemed to have been “invalided” if, at the time of release, he was in a lower medical category than the one in which he was recruited.
Lawyer and author of a book on military benefits, Capt Navdeep Singh informed that the Army had also time and again taken up the issue for grant of disability pension for voluntary retirees with the central government and successive pay commissions but to no avail. The issue has also reportedly been taken up with the Sixth Pay Commission.
The Pension Regulations for the Army provide that disability pension can be granted if a person is invalided out with 20 per cent or more disability. The Regulations further provide that persons discharged on completion of terms of engagement or attaining retirement age shall also be deemed to have been invalided out.
Many ex-servicemen and lawyers have been contending that disability pension is granted as a compensation for injuries and diseases suffered due to military service and an early compassionate or voluntary discharge had nothing to do with the underlying reason behind such pension.

IAS Officers to get the payscale of Major General in 14 years of service

In yet another silent move aimed at benefitting officers of the IAS, the Deptt of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has reduced the time frame for elevation to the Super-Time Scale (erstwhile Rs 18,300 - 22,400 / new 37,200 - 67,000 scale - equivalent to a Maj Gen's scale) from the earlier 16 years to 14 years for IAS officers.

This basically means that an IAS officer would be granted the pay-scale of a Maj Gen of the Army after merely 14 years of service. While this does not mean that an IAS officer with 14 years of service becomes equivalent in status to a Maj Gen, since only those IAS officers in the super time scale who are empanelled and holding posts of Joint Secy to Govt of India can be equated with a Maj Gen, still the monetary package granted to IAS officers with 14 years of service would be the same as Major Generals.

Hence the pay of an Army Officer with 33 years of service is now linked to the pay of an IAS officer with 14 years. What a tragedy !!!

One more thing that requires clarification is that many a times, civil officers in the Jt Secy GoI pay scale of Rs 18,400 - 22,400 claim an equation with Maj Generals. This is incorrect since according to the Warrant of Precedence (WoP-1979) only those officers of this pay scale can claim such equation who are actually empanelled and are holding the appointment of Jt Secy to Govt of India. Similarly, civil officers holding the pay scale of Rs 26,000 fixed have been claiming equation with GOsC-in-C and Vice Chiefs (Article 23 of WoP), but only those officers can claim equation to Army Cdrs and Vice Chiefs who are placed as Secy to GoI (including Ex-officio) and not others. An example would be the Chief Secretary of a State who is also in the payscale of Rs 26,000 fixed - he or she is equated with an Army Cdr / Vice Chief (Article 23) only when within own state. Outside his / her State, a Chief Secy is listed at Article 25 below even a Lt Gen who is on Article 24.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

6th Pay Commission further cements the legacy of degradation of Military Ranks

The following appeared as a newspaper editorial :
6th Pay Commission further cements the legacy of degradation of Military Ranks

Major Navdeep Singh

In the 1950s, the Police Services went in for a massive upgradation of their rank badges on the lines of the Army wherein they allowed junior police ranks to copy and wear senior rank badges of the Army resulting in police officers equivalent in rank to Lt Col (DIG) being permitted to wear the ranks of a Brigadier. Though the Army protested then, five decades later, the aftershocks have hit the Army in the form of the 6th Central Pay Commission.

While many have focused on poor emoluments, most have missed on the disguised further degradation of military ranks vis-à-vis the civil services by this Pay Commission. In an unusual step, the Sixth Pay Commission has based the pay-scales of the Army on lines of the Police. The Commission has formulated the pay-scales on the incorrect assumption that there is an ‘established relativity’ between the ranks of a DIG of Police and Brigadier of the Army and the upper and lower scales are based on this foundation. How wrong the commission is !. There is nothing common between a DIG and a Brig other than the rank badges – The State Emblem with three stars. The Ministry of Home Affairs has clearly confirmed that there is no equivalence between IPS and Military ranks. The MHA has also confirmed that in precedence, a DIG falls between a Lt Col and a Colonel. There also can be no comparison since 100% of directly recruited IPS officers reach the rank of a DIG whereas less than 10% of Army officers are able to make it to Brigadier. An IPS officer is promoted as DIG after 14 years of service while an Army officer, if promoted that far, is empanelled as a Brigadier in 28 years. So what went wrong ? Perhaps the Army made a mistake by deputing and designating Brigadiers as DIsG in Assam Rifles and NSG, perhaps the commission was not provided the right inputs, probably the foundation was based on hearsay or an imaginary contribution from the police services, who knows !. The statement of ‘established relativity’ by the Commission is anyway quite ambiguous since there is not a single document in officialdom which prescribes any such relativity.

The problem does not end here. The 6th CPC has further downgraded the ranks of the Army and equated a Civil Services officer with 4 years of Service (Senor Time Scale) with a Major with 6 years of service. An officer with 9 years of service (Junior Administrative Grade) has been equated with a Lt Col with 13 years behind him. A Non-Functional Selection Grade Officer with 13 years of service is now equivalent to a Colonel with 20 years while a DIG with 14 years is now at par with a Brigadier with 28 years. A Senior Administrative Grade Civil Officer with 17 years of service is now equivalent in pay to a Maj Gen with 33 years behind him. A Director General of the Para-Military who is on Article 25 of the Warrant of Precedence would now take home more pay than a Lt Gen who is on Article 24.

In 1992, General SF Rodrigues, the then Chairman, Chief of Staffs Committee had, in a strongly worded letter, written to the Defence Minister expressing concern over the tendency of civil officers in the Defence Ministry to adopt unauthorized and exaggerated designations based on non-existent conventions, but as expected no action was taken. The same remains true till date and the Pay Commission has merely carried on with a legacy based on incorrect equations articulated by babus to fuel their false perceptions of greatness and grandeur.

Not many would know that till the 6th CPC, the Army had an edge over the IAS in terms of pay scales and for the first time this pay commission has granted higher scales in equivalent grades to the IAS while the Army has been relegated and placed alongwith other Central Group A Services. The reason provided by the Commission for a higher pay package to the IAS, well it is ‘frequent transfers and postings to small places’. Over to the anomalies committee of the Finance Ministry now.
The author is an Advocate in the Punjab & Haryana High Court and has an expertise in matters related to Military Benefits