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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Agree with AK or not, system in shambles!

I do not personally agree with the manner adopted by Kejriwal in parading a former commando in front of TV cameras with his woes. I may not agree, but others may, and that is just my own humble opinion.

However, if the allegation of delay in release of pension for 14 months after invalidation is true, then it is unforgivable. If the delay was actually there then it should have been admitted by the system rather than putting out a morbid PIB press release which confuses the issue for the public at large to consume. It is yet another matter that though the official press release talks a lot about the enormous benefits released, it does not state as to whether there was a delay in the grant of pension or not or the date of release of the person from service and the date when the pension was released.

It has been oft repeated that delay in release of pension, especially for disability pensioners, is due to the internal procedures involved and regularly happens in many cases. But is this correct? Or are there guidelines governing the issue?.

What the PIB press release and the official establishment do not want to come to light is the provisions of Paragraph 19 of Appendix C of Integrated HQ of Ministry of Defence (Army) Letter No B/40122/MA(P)/AG/PS-5 dated 20 July 2006 which clearly provides that the Release/Invaliding Medical Board (RMB/IMB) is supposed to be conducted 8 months prior to release and the approval is to be granted within 1 month of the RMB/IMB and then adjudication is to take place within 3 months of RMB/IMB and sent to the office of Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) who is then supposed to issue a Pension Payment Order (PPO) within 1 month of the receipt of the claim. Hence in normal circumstances, the PPO for disability / war injury pension is to be issued 3 months prior to discharge/invalidation. The delay, if any, can only happen in cases involving rejection of claims of attributability resulting in a fresh medical board and in that case too, in accordance with the period prescribed, the PPO is to be issued about 15 days prior to release from service.

Keeping in view the above mentioned procedure already codified as an SOP, any delay is unacceptable, especially in the case of the NSG commando, and neither it should be defended nor condoned. The correct way out for the Govt or the Army was to fix responsibility as to who were the persons involved in the delay. People sitting in bureaucratic chairs do not realize and cannot fathom that being out of service how these disability pensioners would survive or feed their families till the time pension is released, how would they receive medical care since many would not know that ECHS Medical Cards are not issued to disability pensioners till the time the disability pension PPO is issued.

The delay is nothing new. Thousands of claims are languishing with the Personnel Services Directorate and the Pension wing of the MoD for resolution and adjudication. Appeals are also delayed inordinately resulting in perpetuation of sufferings of the disabled. A live case handled by me just a few days ago was of an invalided Captain who was released in the year 2000 but has received his Pension Payment Order (PPO) for his complete service benefits now, in November 2012. And that too, not with the help of the system, but through the help of a mere RTI Application. It is yet another matter that the Supreme Court has laid down that pension should be released forthwith on the date of retirement and that any delay in release of pension should be penalized with interest at market rates.

We’ve been saying this on this blog since long and all of us have been playing our small little roles but there is much to do.

To put it succinctly, the Govt should not just unnecessarily rebut what is now coming out in public light, it should resolve these issues rather than retorting with mindless egoistic press releases.  


ninihala said...

Apparatus of governance in India has become so immune to suffering of the people it is intended to serve that victims are now rising up in many forms. Naxal movement is one and Kejriwal-Anna movement is another.We are witness to million revolutions a day. It is not only veterans who suffer, we who still serve suffer at the hands of this uncaring babu-neta nexus. Day is not far when India will be enslaved again because it's soldiers will not care to defend it.

Stoic said...

CO should....,COAS should...,Govt should....etc etc... can someone please tell me WHY they should? In a country where legal redressal is delayed inordinately and moral obligation is lacking - WHAT can the victim do to seek justice?

Anonymous said...

Very true and has been put across by Maj Navdeep in an excellent manner.Can this article be posted to Mrs Sonia Gandhi and the Def Min. It may serve some purpose.

Red Indian Cowboy said...

SHAMELESS MOD!!!What about RANK PAY? from 1986 we have waited 26 years for justice!? - 8 weeks are getting over on 27 Nov 2012 - How long we will have to wait to get our dues? Matter should be highlighted by KEGRIWAL - ANNA / Contempt Petition will delay matter much further - Col Red Indian

Anonymous said...

I don’t understand why kejriwal should take the trouble of raking up the issue of an disabled def pers when there are number of ex servicemen orgs which could have got this issue sorted out by raising this issue with appropriate auth. Mr kejriwal is in the habit of criticizing all well established institute of this great nation. I would request our ex service orgs to give vide publicity to all veterans to approach them for sorting out such problem. I am of the view that in the past we depended on such selfish pers/parties for restoration of our lost status but it is going down only with the passage of time whereas all such pers/parties have achieved their aims with our support and thereafter they do keep taking about our pending demands but did not take any concrete step to ensure their implementation .It is high time for the veterans to build a strong org which should enter the political field and should work to sort out our routine problems and also raise various welfare issues with the govt of the day.

Anonymous said...

maj Navdeep Sir some information seems to be wrong in the comments.

there is difference between RMB and IMB. RMB is done 8 months in advance but person is invalided out within 21 days of IMB. Adjudication is done after sos of in person not in advance. PCDA pension takes 3-4 months for issue of pension.

PBOR said...

Its as simple as “if u cant keep your partner happy, some one else would be happy to do that” :-P

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

Anony at 8.07AM/23 Nov

The information is correct. :)

The system of immediately releasing a person after invalidation has been altered by the letter referred in the posts which talks of both IMBs and RMBs. In fact a detailed SOP is described in the said letter.

Even if we take the issue of invalidation within say about a month, still the system is too slow in adjudicating the claims as a result of which some personnel remain without pension and medical cover till the time PPO is issued, and which takes more than a year at times. The problem is even more acute for those who have not completed pensionable service and are not in receipt of normal service pension.

Sanjay said...

Dear Maj Navdeep
Plight of defence pensioners aptly brought out by you. Argument of not granting pension for not completing 15yrs to a battle casuality sucks and needs to be challanged in the court. By this arguments the commanders in chain need to send only the soldiers or officers to live action who have completed pensionable service. Indirectly such statute if understood by officers and PBORs will instill an element of fear in them of loosing pensionary benefits before going for any action or operation. Also does it mean that any offr/PBOR who has not completed pensionable service should either refuse to go for an operation for fearing to loose pensionary benefits or get killed in action to get the same?

Anonymous said...

where our exservicemen organisatons have gone? Most of them try to get their own grievances redressed and not even bothered about others. It is seen that majority of them wanted to get the problems of officers solved and they do not try to study the problems of JCOs/OR.

Sathye said...

“....The Supreme Court has laid down that pension should be released forthwith on the date of retirement and that any delay in release of pension should be penalized with interest at market rates” says Maj Navdeep. Then why didn’t the GoI comply with the Supreme Court? Surely there are those who are paid to ensure this were not made accountable. The penalty ought to have been debited from their compensation. A government that does not comply with the Supreme Court of India is constitutionally untenable.
Are we a constitutional democracy or some monarchy presided over by Her Tenjanipath Highness Madam Itallia....?
The tendency to judge judgements of the Supreme Court and seek appeal against it before some setup assumed to be higher than the Supreme Court are all point a sad fact that our nation is slowly but surely turning BANANA.

Sathye said...

Hi Anonymous@Nov 23, 2012 10:24 AM.
Are you on some infowar effort against organisations of veterans? Is it their duty to ensure release of pensions to veterans? What for is the exchequer maintaining the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare headed by a Secretary in MoD? May be this comment itself from those who inhabiting this department!

Rahul said...

If Navdeep disagrees with the AK method, can he suggest some method that is workable and can keep the pensioners happy.
The Army has failed, MoD has failed, ministers are lying through their teeth. Then comes along AK. And then everything is sanctioned.
Well done AK.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep, there appears to be some misunderstanding of orders. Battle Cas / war disabled are a unique category by itself. There is no min service for service pension for them, they get full pension counting emoluments as on date but counting service upto the deemed date of retirement in the rank. same is applicable for retirement gratuity. war injury on retirement is equal to last pay drawn for 100% disability. so there is no question of service or disability pension not being applicable due to non completion of pensionable service. the indl should seek intervention of centre comdt and seek action against the SRO for ignorance of orders.

PBOR said...

Rahul, Knowing the AFs Maj Navdeep is 500% correct. as far as method is concerned, nothing special is required to be done but merely we need to consider our men "OURS". the day we (fauj and fauji's) consider them "OURS" all problems would vanish off. ELSE, refer my previous comment

Anonymous said...

Sathye, After going trough all the comments/articles in this site, its clear that "Anonymous" is absolutely right in general. Its wrong to say that all officers are indifferent towards the problems of PBORs. At the same time, the number of officers who feel irritate when anybody raises PBORs' concerns are not less.

Anonymous said...

Maj Navdeep,
any info if any orders are issued on
1. Rank pay
3. Broadbanding / rounding off
disability percentages for pre 1-1-06

Vasundhra said...

We r mixing up the issues.Accepted dont accept this case as WAR CASUALTY but atleast it cant be denied that there was a battle & It is a battle casualty, it is a casualty while on duty, & when a Arse of a civilian guy with one day of service moves on election duty becomes a casualty for what so ever reasons he rapes the exchequer with full pay till the age of SIXTY & subseqently a liberal pension,this includes each & every charlie of Home Ministry incl PMFs. Now this case is a live example , in AFs if u get injured the HOST Agency(in this case NSG, tomorrrow it will be RR or ASSAM RIFLES & Many) throw u out as a used contraceptive & If boarded out one does not get even 'PEE juice or mango kernel NUT'. Does it not sound a SIGNAL/message conveyed by the sympathisers of INTERNAL TALIBANS that if you sacrifice for u r country u will be treated as a'TRAITOR' & once a Patriotic Soldier is treated in this manner than he is left only with one way out that 'BE A HUMAN BOMB. Nation SHOULD BE THANKFUL to Individuals like Kejriwal who at least have given a Platform to be heard AT NATIONAL LEVEL WITHOUT LEGAL FEES for such abuse of JUSTICE & GET FOTHWITH RECTIFICATION. There can be no end to discussion, it will carry on till the COWS return home but today I STAND CONVINCED THAT CREATING LEGAL CASE OUT OF WELL ESATABLISHED CONVENTIONS HAVE BECOME A "vested" INTEREST TO MAKE MONEY OUT OF THE MISERY OF SOLDIERS and dont be surprised if Babus in the Ministry may not be getting a FINANCIAL GRATIFICATION for each superficies case created. History of such cases vested with the Courts points an accusing finger in this direction of course this also warrants a Intelligence investigative probe covert or overt does not matter. Now coming to the crux Army always have a tradition of giving sheltered appointments to battle casualties minimum to the pensionable service requirements. Who is to be blamed Commanding Officer or AMC . Could not the things could have been prolonged to a couple of more months to enable the NCO to earn his pension. Watching this NCO Surrender Singh on TV it is obvious his all other physical attributes seems to be excellent. Where was the need to treat this brave heart a PARIAH that he was shunted out in such a disgraceful hurry. The issue what requires to be investigated is Millions of Ruppees were contributed by rich well wishers for the welfare of theses Commandos ,correct or wrong I am not commenting, and there seems to be was the misuse of this cash. Will some one clarify? It seems inadvertently some one was rubbed on the wrong side of his bums !The need of the hour is to amend the RULE/LAW of BOARDING out & at least be brought at par with the civilians if not more after all it is the same PAY COMMISSSION which govern the AFs.

Tukaram V Manerajurikar said...

To @Rahul:- Yes. AK is doing what everyone wants to do but can not do. As we all want Shahid Bhagat Singh should be born but in neighbour's house and not in our house.

PBOR said...

Tukaram V Manerajurikar, well said sir

Anonymous said...

Thanks Maj Navdeep for correcting me but I shall go through the SOP again.

I think there is a requirement of educating the envoronment that who is doing what in the Armed Forces. Let us take case of JCOs/OR first (Please do not use PBOR) I believe the whole of Army is always thinking about the welfare of JCOs/OR but since there No are large hence results are not clearly visible. And it is opposite otherwise for officers.
Every one see their rights but no one think of their duties or responsibilities.
For JCOs/OR there are three agencies Unit/Records Office, PAO (OR) and PCDA(Pension) Allahabad.
Pay & Allowances are purely dealt with by PAO (OR) and not RO. Pension Sanctioning Authority is PCDA(P) Allahabad and RO is processing Agencies based on the policies laid down by higher authorities and PCDA(P) Allahabad. The intervention of Audit Authorities has increased in many cases.

bkb said...

i think we need to be more honest and humane in our dealings and approach to the problems of our subordinates.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj.Navdeep Sir,
What happened to the govt. approval for 2300 crores pension improvement for defence pensioners, Widows pension, dual family pension etc. Kindly throw some light on the issue.
Thank you,
Yours sincerely,

Anonymous said...

i am a follower of this blog since its inception. some of the persons writing comments on this blog are of similar vintage.
it really hurts that at times these people get carried away and write comments for civilians which do not befit their standing in society.
a person in election duty, if gets injured is equally hurt as any soldier. His family also suffers equally. He gets the benefits while his counter part in armed forces donot shows lack of home work of the armed forces' predecessors on this aspect.
rather than commenting on the injured "bloody" civilian I think we should get our house in order.
lets see what great shakes can we do beyond blogging.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep, the time frame given in govt letter is correct and should be followed for issue of disability PPO but for your info i want to tell that normally invalid med bd proceedings/ Release med bd proceedings recd in Record offices one month to 15 days before disch of indl. Adjudication is being done but claim can not be sent because Sheet Roll is also reqd by PCDA(P) allahabad for issue of disability PPO. Since Sheet Roll is also reqd by PAO(OR) for final settlement of Accts at the time of disch,the disability calims are beng sent by Record Offices only after disch of indl. The practical problems are not known by Sri AK or pers sitting in the higher posts and blame game goes on the Record Offices. If every one is so concern order should be given to PCDA (P) allahabad to issue PPO w/o Sheet Roll which will expedite the whole process. with thanks

sridji said...

In India delays are most of the time a method to extort money out of the hapless recipient. See the rto. Ration cards. Any licenses for shops. Electricity connection. Water connection or any other civic amenity. Unless the person with the power to sanction is severely financially penalised for delays this will continue. Everything has to be time bound.