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 Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained.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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Property details of All India Services and Group A Central Civil Services officers to be online soon

Property details of All India Service officers (Indian Administrative, Police and Forest Services) as well as other Group A Central Civil Services officers are soon going to be online. The details shall be as they existed on 01-01-2011.

The DoPT has also proposed disciplinary action against those who do not provide their details. The deadline for availability of details has been set as 01-06-2011.

A similar exercise can be expected for commissioned officers of the defence services very soon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clarification on seniority of released ECOs and SSCOs re-employed in the civil services

The DoPT has again brought to the notice of all cadre controlling authorities and departments that the protection of seniority of ECOs and SSCOs granted earlier was only applicable till the year 1974 and not thereafter.

It may be recalled that such officers who joined the civil services after their release from the forces were granted proper seniority by taking into account their military service, a system which was later discontinued.

The clarification can be accessed by clicking here.

A restoration of the system would be much desirable to restore the sheen of SS Commission, but in the present scheme of things, it seems unlikely.

Also, the extension of the initial term from 5 years to 10 years as per the current policy is proving to be a bane rather than a blessing for youngsters wanting to join SS since after release they have to re-start in the civil street with people 10 years their junior which is not only difficult in the age bracket of mid-30s but also demoralizing since one has to start from scratch with people fresh out of college becoming your peers when you have been an officer of a fairly senior rank in the Army after serving for 10 years.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Related to the last post !

As informed, the govt has enhanced the monetary allowance for gallantry awardees ranging from Rs 1000 for SM/NM/VM(G) to Rs 10000 for PVC.

The allowance is monthly and not yearly as perceived by many on the blog. However, still voices are being heard that the amount is 'peanuts'. Personally I feel that the figure is very much justified considering that it is an amount which shall be paid every month for the entire life and shall also be subject to periodic revisions. Though a handsome one time grant on being decorated for gallantry should be more than welcome, the central govt cannot, and should not be expected to raise such allowances by exorbitant multiples just because a section of the society has a particular take on it. As far as I remember, the last raise was in 2008 which had pegged the monthly allowance for PVC awardees at Rs 3000, and three years later comes another increase by more than three times at places, and we are still not satisfied !!! Would we be ever ?

Let us not forget that even State govts supplement the central allowance with their own gallantry allowances which vary from State to State.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monetary allowance for gallantry awardees enhanced

The Ministry of Defence has enhanced the rates of monthly allowance for gallantry awardees.

The new rates shall be applicable with effect from 30 March 2011.

Following are the enhanced monthly amounts :

PVC : Rs 10,000

AC : Rs 6,000

MVC : Rs 5,000

KC : Rs 4,500

VrC : Rs 3,500

SC : Rs 3,000

SM / NM / VM (G) : Rs 1,000

The MoD has already forwarded the letter to Services HQrs.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ways to observe Memorial Day : Carl Francis

Carl Francis, who is based in the US and is passionate about Homeland Security, has forwarded this link for the readers of this blog.

The post is on ’15 ways to observe Memorial Day’.

For those who did not know, the last Monday of every May is observed as Memorial Day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Important notice on downloadable documents

As all readers are aware, there are many documents and files on the blog that are downloadable. Such documents have been placed on the blog for the benefit of regular visitors and the general service community.

It seems that www.scribd.com which is the site on which most of the documents are uploaded, has started charging for its services for each download.

Since all the documents and files uploaded by me are for free usage and distribution, I would urge readers NOT TO PAY for any document uploaded on the blog. In case any such material is required, readers may email my office (lawoffice.ns [at] gmail.com) with a request and efforts would be made to mail back the same through an attachment.

I would henceforth shift to some other website for uploading / downloading purposes. Suggestions to the effect are welcome.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Committee of Petitions of the Rajya Sabha invites memoranda from the public on ‘One Rank One Pension’

The Committee of Petitions of the Rajya Sabha has invited memoranda on the subject of ‘One Rank One Pension’.

The committee would undertake consultations with the society before rendering its report.

The Petition on which the Committee has acted upon is available on the official website of Rajya Sabha.

A detailed note has also been issued to various newspapers and the same alongwith other details can be accessed by clicking here.

Suggestions may submitted to the committee within a period of 15 days and may kindly be kept confidential by the persons submitting the same. Veterans and other members of the public may not kindly float the submissions to the committee on the internet on any other public fora.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Off Course !!! (2)

Every now and then, it is interesting to go off course.

This time it is about an open letter to a young officer (1917).

And about this booklet on ‘Customs of Service’ published in relation to the Canadian Army in 1939.

Thanks to The Regimental Rouge.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Supreme Court again to the rescue of disabled personnel : A historical watershed moment for disability pensioners

Call it a red letter day or a watershed moment, call it whatever you may but yesterday marked a very important moment in history for any and every disabled soldier in India.

Blowing every inch of the illegal and illogical stand of the Pension Wing of the Ministry of Defence to pieces, the Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered a judgement which vindicates and endorses what has in recent times been held by the Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal and also what has remained a very sore source of discontentment amongst the disabled community.

The 5th Pay Commission, in order to overcome the subjectivity, mistakes and rigid mathematical calculation of medical boards, had recommended broad-banding (also commonly known as rounding-off) of disability percentages for the purposes of calculating disability element of pension. The concept was initiated for all central govt pensioners. The Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) of the Personnel Ministry accordingly issued an Office Memorandum (OM) dated 03-02-2000 implementing the broad-banding policy initially only for Post-1996 retirees which provided that people with disability less than 50% would be granted a disability element by taking the disability percentage as 50%, those with disability between 50 and 75% would be granted a disability element @ 75% and those with above 75% would be granted the benefits of 100% disability. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) also issued policy instructions with regard to OM dated 03-02-2000 for post-1996 defence retirees vide its own letter dated 31-01-2001. Later however the broad-banding benefits were implemented for pre-1996 retirees also with financial effect from 01-01-1996 vide another DoPPW OM dated 11-09-2001. though it was smoothly implemented for pre-96 civil retirees, the Ministry of Defence however did not issue further implementation instructions related to pre-1996 retirees and denied the benefit to such retirees of the defence services. The MoD also provided in the letter dated 31-01-2001 that the benefits of broad-banding would apply only to those who were ‘invalided’ out of service and not to those who were discharged on completion of terms or retired on superannuation. The letter of DoPPW, a copy of which was sent to the MoD for implementation remained confined to some file and no action was taken on it and neither were senior officers informed about the same. The benefits to pre-1996 retirees were however later granted by the MoD also to pre-96 retirees vide an order issued on 19-01-2010 but these were made applicable with financial effect from 01-07-2009 while for civilians these had already been made applicable from 01-01-1996.

There were hence two grave anomalies in the letter issued by the MoD :-

Firstly, that it only provided for broad-banding to invalided individuals and not to those who were discharged or retired with disability. This was patently illogical since the concept behind broad-banding was that it was to overcome medical subjectivity, a malaise which equally affected both invalided personnel as well as those who were retired or discharged with a disability. This amounted to saying that the medical boards were subjective only qua invalided individuals and not towards discharged personnel. This also led to many incongruous situations wherein, for example, an individual who may have suffered 20% disability was granted disability element @ 50% rates even if he / she had been invalided a day earlier than his / her actual retirement whereas a person who may have suffered 40% disability and retired on his actual date of retirement would have received a lesser disability element despite suffering higher distress. The argument of the MoD that broad-banding was only extended to invalided personnel to cater to their shortening of tenure was also flawed due to the reason that shortening of tenure is taken care of by the ‘service element’ while the ‘disability element’ only relates to the extent of disability. Moreover, it is already provided in the applicable rules that defence personnel discharged on completion of terms or on attaining the age of superannuation are deemed to be invalided out for the purposes of disability pension.

Secondly, the letter issued by MoD was also anomalous since it did not extend the same benefit to pre-96 retirees. This amounted to saying that the medical subjectivity of boards only came into effect from 01-01-1996 and the boards conducted earlier were perfectly objective. This also did not stand the scrutiny of law since similar benefits under the same very pay commission had already been extended to pre-96 civilian retirees from 01-01-1996. It had already been held by the SC in the famous Common Cause Vs UOI case that separate cut-off dates could not be prescribed for defence and civil pensioners.

On both the above points, the Chandigarh Bench of the AFT had rendered separate judgements. In Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi Vs UOI, it was held by the AFT that superannuated or discharged personnel would also be entitled to broad-banding at par with invalided personnel. And in yet another judgement pronounced just yesterday, the AFT had held that pre-96 retirees were also entitled to broad-banding benefits as granted to post-96 retirees.

But yesterday, the Hon'ble SC, by way of a judgement in a case which was already pending before it (Capt KJS Buttar Vs UOI), and which, though unrelated, in effect endorses both the conclusions rendered by the AFT mentioned above, has inter alia held the following :

A. Broad-banding would be applicable to pre-1996 retirees also with effect from 01-01-1996. The cut-off date of 01-01-1996 by which the benefits were denied to pre-96 retirees has been held to be arbitrary.

B. Personnel who are released on completion of terms would be treated as invalided from service and would also be eligible for broad-banding benefits.

Though this settles the issue once and for all and would also help in unburdening the dockets of Courts from the plethora of litigation on the subject, one can only hope that the pension wing of the MoD is wise, fair and humble enough to apprise the senior officers of the correct position in law. It would only be in the fitness of things if the MoD suo-moto rectifies the anomaly and issues universal orders on the subject rather than forcing litigation on affected personnel.

Q & A (14)

Readers may send in their Questions through email for a Q & A session with ‘Q&A’ as the subject. For rules, please read this post.

After introduction of revised formulae of casualty awards as placed by you on this blog, what is the minimum liberalised family pension now admissible to the widow of a Lt Col who had died prior to 2006?
(Capt S Murugan)

Rs 51,400 per month + DA.

What is the amount of minimum service element and minimum disability element admissible to defence personnel ?
(Ex-Hav Joginder Singh)

After the 6th CPC, the minimum amount of service element is Rs 3500 + DA and the minimum amount of disability element is Rs 3510 (for 100% disability – proportionately decreased for lower disability) + DA.

Why are Lieutenants, Captains and Majors of the Army (Pay Band-3 with Grade Pay of 5400, 6100 and 6600) being posted as Barrack and Stores Officers (BSOs) which is an appointment tenable and routinely held by Group-B (Class-II) Civilian officers in Pay Band-2 with Grade Pay of Rs 4600 equivalent to a Subedar ?

Well, nothing repeat nothing can stop us uniformed services from the path of self-destruction, is all I would like to say on this one !!! Not only this, Time Scale full Colonels and Lt Cols are being routinely posted on GP 6600 appointments, and Majors are being routinely posted as AGEs which are appointments tenable by officers with GP 4600 and GP 5400 despite orders by the AFT deprecating this practice. Sometimes senior Majors are being posted under civilian officers who are actually their juniors. But rather than maintaining our dignity or complying with Court orders, we like to continue with an adhoc bandobast while listening to civilian staff in the Services HQrs who misguide us no end to ensure in turn that military izzat loses the little shine that is left by the 7th CPC. Don’t wait for 2016, you shall be thoroughly disappointed !

Is additional pension on attainment of 80 years admissible to family pension cases also ?
(Lt Col P K Malhotra)


What is the qualifying service requirement to earn a pension for a Short Service Officer with pre-commissioned service ? (Ex-Capt Deepak Kumar)

12 years.