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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another self-created anomaly directed to be rectified on judicial intervention

On my blog-post of 30 October 2011 titled “Are we the masters of self-defeat?”, point No (f) was to the following effect :

(f) Non-grant of AV Report benefits to SSCOs commissioned prior to 2006 :- When the AV Singh Committee report was implemented, it was implemented for all officers serving in the Army as on 16 December 2004. Later however, our very own MS Branch discovered a ‘ghundi’ and observed that the said benefits could not be granted to SSCOs and WSES officers. When later the SSC scheme was tweaked in 2006 and the terms of engagement were changed from 5+5+4 to 10+4 years, the AV benefits were granted to all those who were commissioned under the said scheme or to those who had opted for the new terms. As a result of this, Male SSCOs commissioned prior to 2006 who are in old terms, including those who were in service in December 2004, are being promoted as quasi-substantive Captains on completing 9 years of service and are retiring in the substantive rank of Lieut even after serving for 14 years while their SSCO counterparts commissioned after 2006 are being promoted as Capt in 2 years, Maj in 6 years and Lt Col in 13 years. Similarly, WSES officers under the old terms are being promoted as Capt after 5 years and are not eligible for any substantive promotion after Capt. When there was hue and cry on the subject, our PS Directorate did take up the issue for rectification but recommended that SSCOs commissioned under the old terms should be made Capt in 5 years rather than the current 9 years !. So there you have it, we are not even magnanimous in demanding our rights. Rather than simply seeking that all officers who were in service in December 2004 or who joined thereafter should be promoted to Capt, Maj and Lt Col in 2, 6 and 13 years as per the universally applicable promotion scheme, we ourselves have been misers in demanding what should have logically flown to us without impediment. So who shall give if we do not even demand ?

As the above would show, the problem was not with the government since no objection was forthcoming from their side. The denial of benefits to this section of SS and WS officers emanated from the MS Branch who directed that Part II orders for promotions under the new scheme should not be issued for SS and WS officers since the service of such officers was not ‘reckonable commissioned service’ under the Army Rules. The catch however is that the Army Rules talk of reckonable commissioned service for the purposes of determining seniority etc for court-martial purposes and not for administrative reasons. Moreover, even the Army Instruction of 1974 which was in vogue earlier for promotions of SS and EC officers clearly stated that the service was reckonable commissioned service for promotion purposes. The same was re-iterated for SS officers commissioned after 2006 under the 10+4 scheme and the govt letter itself stated that their service was reckonable commissioned service for promotion. Why the denial was effectuated in the first place only for a section of officers who opted for the old (5+5+4) terms is something incomprehensible. Positive action was not even taken thereafter when the Govt issued a gazette notification stating that all SS officers would now be at par with PC officers for promotion (of course, subject to adjustment of seniority) or even after a similar statement was made by the Raksha Mantri in the Parliament.

Significantly, the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal yesterday has directed the rectification of this anomaly thereby ending the controversy once and for all. Congratulations to the team who worked tirelessly for the cause of our own.

Let us now hope that good sense prevails and the verdict is pragmatically implemented and welcomed by the official establishment and not taken as an affront leading to endless rounds of litigation till the Supreme Court as has been the case in some other issues. Let us hope that we refrain from attempting to axe our own feet this time. 


sl said...

This is heartening news, indeed. Congratulations to the Officers affected.

The manner of implementation of Phase I of AV Singh Committee recommendations served more to highlight the self-injurious mind-sets operating within the services establishment rather than any malevolent reasoning on part of the Government.

If it had not been for the silly and egotistical intellectual posturing and obstructionism on part of some in the decision making hierarchy, the benefits could have accrued years earlier to a lot more officers who retired waiting for its implementation, while the decision makers hemmed and hawed and, basically, twiddled their thumbs. After all, it was no skin off their collective nose.

Even now, a case needs to be made out why the implementation was not retrospective and what was the basis for passing on the burden of processing delays onto the hapless Officers who, after serving faithfully their entire lives, had to go home even without the face saving grace that Phase I could have provided.

Capt kzs said...

Felt Cheated when AV report was implmtd in Dec 2004. As SS officer with more than 4 yrs of service, my youngsters were getting more pay (scale-9600)as substantive Capt after 2 yrs of service. Released from service with all benefits calculated in the scale of 9450/-. This is what the orgn gave me back for giving the best of my youth as inf offr with 4 out of 5 yrs in CI Ops of J&K. We blame the babus but we ourselves are to be blamed for all the oversight or denying d privileges to our own.SS offrs are d most neglected lot and though I am proud to have served d nation, yet I felt let down by my own orgn which treats SS offrs as mercenaries.

Anonymous said...

We are our best enemies.People sitting in MS Branch need to change their mind set and not put spokes in whatever is naturally ours.

Col P B Singh(Retd)

Anonymous said...

The decision taken by the then MS was wrong.So SS officers suffered not only financially but it was a real mental agony and frustration. But who is responsible?If the court has ruled agaist the decision of the then MS, what action has been or envisaged to be taken agaist the wrong decision of the then MS. Can a senior officer of that level commit such mistakes or take wrong decision in the battle field scenario. I think some body should answer these complicated issues.


Rajesh said...

The majority of the problems in the Army is because of the MS branch. The officers of MS branch are rude, doesnt know the environment and he is only doing fill in the blanks and matching the numbers. God save us from them??

Anonymous said...

Despite all these censures/ strictures from various forums, we are yet to improve. Navy still follows Cdr in 14 years minus seniority for the officers promoted to Lt before AVS implementation.Hope this decision will instill some sense in the decision makers in navy as well.

Anonymous said...

We always creates problem for our own people. Now there is total injustice they are doing to SCO commission officers. They commissioned after 10 years of service. They are undergoing same training along with direct entries at IMA for the same duration and doing all courses like YOs, JC and promotion exams like , Part B and Part D except Commando due to age factor. But MS branch is saying they will not be considered for selection boards because they came from ranks. Another issue is for taking study leave one has to complete 17 years of commissioned service and min 5 years of residual service after the leave. A SCO Officer who has commissioned after putting 11 years of service has to wait another 17 more years to apply for a study leave, total 28 years of service he has to serve to apply for study leave. In my view total service should be counted whether it is in the capacity of ranks or in the capacity of officer. Many Officers are unable to avail this facility because after completing 28 years of service he may not have 5 years residual service left after study leave. It would be wise for concerned branches to re-think on these policies otherwise issues like would be taken for judicial intervention for corrective action. Service HQs can't do the step motherly treatment to your own officers because they rose from ranks. The logic behind not considering SCO officers for boards not understood, inspite selection procedures, SSB, training and duties are at par and same as direct entry officers. How strange... any logic ? or it a discrimination ?..We are creating various categories of officers in the army in the long run it is not going to do any good. A matter need to be addressed, who bothered to address these issues and causes of resentments, seniors are busy in petty politics to climb the ladder, or stick to the powerful chairs. Some times feel below one dignity to serve under this selfish so called seniors who change the chetwood credos sequence for their convenience.. sad affairs..

Anonymous said...

hi all,
rak pay case is on 21 march. no discussion anywhere. well, i hope the date is correct and the case is listed.

Anonymous said...

Rank Pay and extension of benefit of rounding off / broadbanding of disability percentages to pre 1-1-06 retired ESM appears to be forgotten
Regarding AVS implementation ; fail to understand as to why it was not implemented for all officers, including those who had already retired after completion of requisite service period.For pension purpose, all Lt Colonels who retired with 26 + years service should have been assumed to have retired with the rank of Colonel.

Anonymous said...

The Armed forces personnel are the most Harmed forces personnel.
All other employees of the Central Govt ( whether Group D or Gp A), especially employees of the MoD, have infinite immunity, priveleges of CSD and medical, virtually non-transferrable jobs, HRA on demand, flexible work hours, union membership as applicable, ASSURED PROMOTIONS, leave on tap, etc etc. They are rarely punished for even the most heinous of crimes and enjoy service ( to them) upto the age of 60.
Where did the Harmed forces man go wrong? As I see it, his basic mistake was to choose this profession of Arms. He is heavily bound by the draconian Army Act that leaves him as vulnerable to heavy handed approaches of his own ilk and the utter lack of empathy from the civilians in the MoD and elsewhere. All in all he is a willing soldier but has the spine of a jellyfish. And here I dont blame him because the terms for his unharmed survival in his own environment are written by those who never wear a uniform but wield considerable authority. The VK Singh fiasco is a case in point where he was eventually made to withdraw by the political and bureaucratic might. And if he didnt stand a chance Gentlemen, where does the common Sipahi?

Anonymous said...

Youth is being exploited as SSCO and merely used as mercenary. present SSC is designed to deny pension. It is to blatant violation of constitution of India, Army/navy/Airforce Acts and the pension regulations of three services.

Anonymous said...

Hi Major Navdeep,
I had e mailed a query to you regarding the AFT option to act against high handed behavior of Def Accounts people. Could you kindly comment on the same.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am extremely thankful to the team who had fought this case. i also had the chance to raise this issue twice during MS Br interaction with corps officers. where in was told that we project this point but nothing happened. But the question now is whether they will give pending pay benefits if officer should have become subs capt in 2007 will pcda will give benefits from that date or not?

but all of us has to pray that MOD And ministry of finance should not propose technical hassles or proceed to supreme court.

Anonymous said...

Is any one worries about the soldiers ?how they are promoted?I request all the people of military plz think of less privileged lot first ?

Anonymous said...

hi navdeep sir

m an ss offr commissioned on 04 mar 2000. have taken PC after five yrs of service with now date of seniority as 04 Nov 2000. when can i wear Lt Col pips........04 Mar 2012 or 04 Nov 2012?