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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Once again, the Hon’ble Supreme Court tries to instil some sense

The Supreme Court again gave a piece of its mind to the Govt observing that it was unfortunate that litigation was being forced upon serving and retired personnel of the defence services. The SC also asked the Solicitor General to seek instructions on the suggestion of the Court that there should be a separate Pay Commission for the forces. Though the decision for setting up of a separate pay commission has already been taken by the PMO, strangely it seems that the Solicitor General was not in the knowledge of the same, otherwise this information could have been conveyed to the bench during hearing itself.

The following has been reported by the Press on this :

Slamming the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post on their salary disputes, the Supreme Court today directed the government to examine the idea of setting up a separate Pay Commission for both serving and retired personnel of the armed forces.

A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur, asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to seek instructions from the government as to whether it was open to the idea of a separate pay commission that could be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court.

"The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country," the Bench said quoting Chanakya's advise to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. The apex court said the sane advise of Chanakya was valid even today and it was unfortunate that army personnel are forced to knock the doors of the court for rectifying their salary anomalies.

"Army people are a disciplined lot. They cannot go on agitation like others. They should not be forced to fight for their salaries, it is not good for the country. "It is very unfortunate that today many army people are unhappy. I know thousands of army personnel returning their medals in protest. There was an instance when a senior officer frustrated with the government's approach, even burnt his artificial limb as a protest. Why do you allow such things?" the Bench said.

The apex court made the remarks while dealing with a petition filed by certain serving and retired army officers challenging the reported refusal of the government to accord them enhanced "rank pay" as recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission. Counsel Kailash Chand and Ramesh K Haritash appeared for the army personnel.Though Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium tried to make his submission, the Bench pointed out that in recent years a number of armed forces personnel were moving the courts to get their salary grievances addressed.

"The present Pay Commission for them is headed by bureaucrats. They may not be able to understand their problems. It is a burning issue. Why don't you allow them to let their steam out by appointing a Commission instead of making them move from pillar to post. You can appoint a retired Chief Justice of India or a retired Suprem Court judge," the Bench said.Responding to the suggestion Subramanium said he would seek instructions from the Government on the court's suggestion for a separate Commission within four weeks. Accordingly, the apex court recorded the undertaking and posted the matter for further hearing to October 18.

20 comments:

Air Martial said...

Dear Major Navdeep, prompt as usual but what happened to the Review Petition against the judgment of 08/03/2010. It was to come up in July 2010 in the listing (as per another blog).

Any update.
Regret inconvenience

Anonymous said...

A very very welcome beginning.Lets hope it comes through.

Anonymous said...

Hope some better senses prevail.
Chanakya's quote is absolutely relevant at all times.
Care and welfare of those who are expected to lay down their lives for the sake of their contrymen,must be the foremost duty of one and all.
Let us hope for any sign of good governance

Anonymous said...

I re-produce an extract

"The apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S. Thakur said this in the course of hearing a petition by several senior ranking retired army officers seeking the extension of benefits of rank pay granted by the court by its order of March 8, 2010.

While accepting the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission, the government had denied the defence personnel of the benefit of the rank pay which they were getting since long.

The Kerala High Court upheld the petition challenging the denial of the rank pay by its order of July 4, 2003. The order of the high court was upheld by the apex court bench of Justice Katju and Justice R.M. Lodha March 8.

By the order, the apex court had directed the government to pay the arrears retrospectively from Jan 1, 1986 along with six percent interest.

My question - does it mean every officer who has been denied has to file an individual case? Something like 30-40000 cases?

Air Martial said...

Your post of 9th March 2010 stated

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has yesterday (08 March 2010) upheld the said verdict and granted relief to all similarly placed officers alongwith an interest of 6%. I shall officially confirm the judgement with all details once I get the copy.

But then this post relates to officers who have filed cases. Does it mean that I will have to file a case to get my dues?

Anonymous said...

What about Maj DHANAPAUL case AREARS for others ???

. Col Hirak Sen

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@Air Martial and Others

Officers do NOT have to file individual cases. The Hon'ble SC has already held that the arrears of Rank Pay need to be disbursed but the Govt has filed a review petition in the matter. Till the same is decided, further action cannot be taken for disbursal of arrears.

Once the case reaches finality, its principles shall apply to one and all.

Hfo ravindran said...

Sir, what an anomali., An Hony FO is given less pension than an MWO, the rank from which he is promoted to Hony Fo rank.It is greatly dis appointing.Thank u 4 all the help u r rendering.

Air Martial said...

Maj Navdeep, Thanks once again.

So we sit & wait for the Review Petition's outcome.

I have not understood what the instant case (mentioned in the post) is about; some newspapers mention 4th Pay Commission and some 5th Pay Commission but all mention Rank Pay.

Anonymous said...

in this column, i am seeing so many judgements of supreme /high courts,most of them directing the govt. to take actions to settle the long pending(25 years and three pay commissins!!!) claims of retired defence personnel. but very little action has come about. is it time to send all such court verdicts to all our ministers/top functionaries of all political parties/MPs/press people/chiefs of army/airforce/navy etc and seek their full participation in clearing the great bureaucratic mess that seems to have been the reason for this inaction? their attention may also be drawn to the disturbing fact about the no. of people who have already left this world without even seeing their legitimate dues, let alone enjoying it. who knows, the collective conscience of many of our high profile people may get tickled into action ,particularly after some of them being showered with handsome raise in their own pay packets.Rajiv Chndrasekhar,a rajyasabha member,recently wrote to Prime Minister saying he would not take the increase in his emoluments till the retd. defence peole get thir dues. dSattatreya

Ex.Sgt.S.Kanthiah said...

Very important news published. Thank you sir. Whatever the Supreme court's verdict/ advice the Central Govt. is not at all bothered. We do not know where it is going to end.Lot of dismay has been created in the minds of veterans through the country.

Anonymous said...

it is good that, at last the apex court has directed the government to do something. I really dont know whether the goverment will awake with this.It is importent to change the present ex servicemen depat with a senior defence officer as director and serving and retired officers and JCO/OR s as staffs in this department. A civilian cannot understand the working atmosphere of armed forces. Further he will be jelous on defence forces. Let try to get it changed
Jai Hind

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

As rightly pointed out by you, HAS NOT THE GOVT. ALREADY AGREED TO CONSTITUTE A SEPARATE PAY COMMISSION for the Military Personnel soon after the recos of Com. of OROP? Are the top legal advisors/counsels of the Govt (if the News Reported is correct)not aware of what is happening in the country and in Parliament? Are we sure that the "advice" provided is not used for an escape route for"manipulations" and effectively delay justice in the instant case? Have all not seen how far the "degraded and fanatic" ractions in the form of "request for Reviews in Courts" and "forming of Committees" again and again? I AM AFRAID FOCUS ON THE MAIN ISSUE MAY DRIFT AWAY!

Anonymous said...

Let us hope that most of us ,who were in service 0n 1-1-86, will remain alive to get the dues/arrears of rank pay .
I only pray Almighty to grant wisdom to our leaders to take care of the Nation's soldiers at a fast pace .

SANTY said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
As per the RDOA(Retired Defence Officers Association)fighting the Rank Pay case,the Govt has filed an interlocutory application (I.A.)they say it is not tenable.It is not a Review Petition.
I request you to please clarify.
This is what is posted by RDOA on their blog
http://sites.google.com/site/rdoaindia/Home/aims-objects/how-to-become-member/updates
"Against the aforesaid order dated 8.3.2010, Union of India, the Applicant, has filed an interlocutory application (I.A.) for directions seeking modifications/directions/recall of order dated 8.3.2010. As advised by our counsel no such provision exists in the Supreme Court to file an IA. In response to this, the RDOA has filed a detailed and comprehensive counter affidavit in the apex court. As per directions of the court UOI will be given four weeks time to file rejoinder before the case gets listed for disposal."
Regards.
Lt Col S.S.Bhatia,(Retd)

Air Martial said...

Dear Major Navdeep,Though this may not be the forum for educating Defence Services Officers on differences between an Original Petition (OP), Writ Petition (WP), Writ Appeal (WA), Interlocutary Appeal (IA), Review Petition and Curative Petition (I hope I have got all right), would you spend a few minutes to do so?

Would be most grateful.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep, Info given by you is of immense help and monetary gain to we all vetarns. May Irequest you to pl throw some light on Exemption of IT TO PERS IN RECEIPT OF DISABILITY PENSION.
The existing IT Act is going to be abolished after NEW IT CODE comes in existense next year.What is the status of the said EXMPTION in the new IT code? Is it incl in it, if so, under what clause? Is it possible to post an extract on your blog. Thanks in anticipation

your sincerly,
(V K Misra)
Col(Retd)
vijay.madhu@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

rdoaindia advises retired officers to wait for the outcome of the case (presumably at the next hearing on 15th November 2010)and not go about writing to politicians (Sonia Gandhi? 9th most powerful person in the world??)etc.

rdoaindia does not mention the Interlocutory Appeal Number (so we could all see on the Apex Court's website) and amny of us are confused - is the RDOA fighting the equivalent of a Class action case?

Maj. Navdeep, the suspense is killing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

Since MOD has now issued orders for calculation of arrears of rank pay, may I request you to please comment on the following issue which is well within the rank pay issue?

Though the Vth CPC was implemented wef 01 Jan 96, the arrears were paid in Jan 1998. Till Dec 1997 the pay as per IVth CPC was paid. The DA paid in Dec 1997 was @ 170% up to the Basic pay of Rs 3500/- pm and beyond basic pay of 3500/- pm the DA was paid @ 135.23%. This can be clearly seen from the working out sheet attached to pay slip for the month of Jan 1998 by CDA (O) Pune. Accordingly, a Captain whose basic pay was less than or up to Rs 3500/- was entitled for rank pay of Rs 200/- plus DA Rs 340/- (@ 170%). Thus the total rank pay including DA entitled for a Captain in Dec 1997 was Rs 540/- pm but surprisingly wef Jan 1996 the rank pay fixed for a Captain was just Rs 400/- (Please refer your pay slip for the month of Jan 1998 and the arrears sheet attached thereto). The rank pay wef 01 Jan 1996 in Vth CPC was not a new element but was an element continued from previous CPC (IVth CPC). The aim and purpose of successive pay commissions was to step up the pay drawn. Thus the rank pay of Rs 200/- pm for Captain which was introduced on 01 Jan 1986 works out to Rs 540/- pm with DA @ 170@ immediately prior to payment of arrears of Vth CPC. In the next successive pay commission (Vth CPC) the rank pay for Captain Steps up to Rs 600/- per month and not Rs 400/- per month. Logically when the Captain’s rank pay of 200/- pm steps up to Rs 600/- pm in Vth CPC, the rank pay for other ranks also steps up in Vth CPC wef 01 Jan 1996 to Rs 1800/- pm for Majors, Rs 2400/- for Lt Cols, Rs 3000/- for Cols and Rs 3600/- for Brig. The logic is when a Captains rank pay of IV th CPC becomes triple with DA immediately before payment of Vth CPC arrears the rank pay of Majs to Brig should also step up to three-times. This is only food for thought and not for pointing out any one before the fresh calculations are worked out and the arrears are paid to the concerned officers.

As per the Honourable Supreme Court judgment the UOI (MOD) is to fix the rank pay from 01 Jan 1986 and pay the arrears to all the effected officers. The latest news says “Meanwhile, a fresh calculation has been ordered following a Supreme Court judgment”.

Let us wait and see as to what rank pay for each rank the Govt is going to fix wef 01 Jan 1986 (IVth CPC), wef 01 Jan 1996 (Vth CPC) and as to how further calculations are worked out.

If the rank pay is fixed as per the logic brought out above, for certain ranks it makes the MSP much below of rank pay plus DA drawn till 01 Jan 2006.

Dear Veterans please take this just as food for thought only. Please do not react to this based on your pay slips immediately.


Col Raju (Retd)

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

Since MOD has now issued orders for calculation of arrears of rank pay, may I request you to please comment on the following issue which is well within the rank pay issue?

Though the Vth CPC was implemented wef 01 Jan 96, the arrears were paid in Jan 1998. Till Dec 1997 the pay as per IVth CPC was paid. The DA paid in Dec 1997 was @ 170% up to the Basic pay of Rs 3500/- pm and beyond basic pay of 3500/- pm the DA was paid @ 135.23%. This can be clearly seen from the working out sheet attached to pay slip for the month of Jan 1998 by CDA (O) Pune. Accordingly, a Captain whose basic pay was less than or up to Rs 3500/- was entitled for rank pay of Rs 200/- plus DA Rs 340/- (@ 170%). Thus the total rank pay including DA entitled for a Captain in Dec 1997 was Rs 540/- pm but surprisingly wef Jan 1996 the rank pay fixed for a Captain was just Rs 400/- (Please refer your pay slip for the month of Jan 1998 and the arrears sheet attached thereto). The rank pay wef 01 Jan 1996 in Vth CPC was not a new element but was an element continued from previous CPC (IVth CPC). The aim and purpose of successive pay commissions was to step up the pay drawn. Thus the rank pay of Rs 200/- pm for Captain which was introduced on 01 Jan 1986 works out to Rs 540/- pm with DA @ 170@ immediately prior to payment of arrears of Vth CPC. In the next successive pay commission (Vth CPC) the rank pay for Captain Steps up to Rs 600/- per month and not Rs 400/- per month. Logically when the Captain’s rank pay of 200/- pm steps up to Rs 600/- pm in Vth CPC, the rank pay for other ranks also steps up in Vth CPC wef 01 Jan 1996 to Rs 1800/- pm for Majors, Rs 2400/- for Lt Cols, Rs 3000/- for Cols and Rs 3600/- for Brig. The logic is when a Captains rank pay of IV th CPC becomes triple with DA immediately before payment of Vth CPC arrears the rank pay of Majs to Brig should also step up to three-times. This is only food for thought and not for pointing out any one before the fresh calculations are worked out and the arrears are paid to the concerned officers.

As per the Honourable Supreme Court judgment the UOI (MOD) is to fix the rank pay from 01 Jan 1986 and pay the arrears to all the effected officers. The latest news says “Meanwhile, a fresh calculation has been ordered following a Supreme Court judgment”.

Let us wait and see as to what rank pay for each rank the Govt is going to fix wef 01 Jan 1986 (IVth CPC), wef 01 Jan 1996 (Vth CPC) and as to how further calculations are worked out.

If the rank pay is fixed as per the logic brought out above, for certain ranks it makes the MSP much below of rank pay plus DA drawn till 01 Jan 2006.

Dear Veterans please take this just as food for thought only. Please do not react to this based on your pay slips immediately.


Col Raju (Retd)