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Monday, July 29, 2013

Is it partial-closure for the agony of civilian and defence pensioners?

The same emanated from the controversy involving the interpretation whether pension would be based on the minimum of pay within the pay-band or the minimum of pay of the pay-band itself for various grades and ranks.

The Govt had challenged the decision of the Delhi High Court by way of an SLP before the Supreme Court and it is learnt that the Hon’ble Apex Court was pleased to dismiss the SLP today thereby crystallizing the payment of the arrears of revised pension from 01-01-2006 rather than 24-09-2012.

The above would be confirmed beyond doubt only after perusing the order passed today by the Supreme Court. 

Heavy credit goes to Mr V Natarajan, President Pensioners’ Forum, Chennai, for continuing the fight for civilian pensioners.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fauj can wait but others don’t have to…..

Since about 2008, the Chief of Staffs Committee (COSC) and also the Services HQ independently have been pressing upon the govt to resolve the anomalies afflicting various cadres of the defence services.

Principal amongst the demands have been the restoration of the lost status of military ranks as well as grant of the Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU).

But as innocent faujis wait to grab the NFU carrot and at times also score self-goals, others are stealing a march in a rather majorly functional manner, stealthily and silently while the poor fauji sleeps.

Well, here is a sample of what the Cabinet has approved for officers of the Income Tax Department, and full credit goes to the Finance Minister for forcefully fighting for them and standing behind them.

The Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) has a cadre strength of less than 3400 and look at the number of vacancies created for them at the highest levels:-

Apex Grade (Rs 80,000 fixed) : 26 vacancies (Equivalent in pay to Army Commanders / Vice Chiefs / Secretary to Govt of India)

Higher Administrative Grade+ (Rs 75500-80000) : 91 vacancies (Equivalent in pay to top 33% Lt Gens who are in HAG+ / Higher in pay than Additional Secretary to Govt of India)

Higher Administrative Grade (Rs 67000-79000) : 300 vacancies (Equivalent in pay to Additional Secretary to Govt of India / Lt Gen)

Senior Administrative Grade (Pay Band-4 + Grade Pay Rs 10000) : 635 vacancies (Equivalent in pay to Joint Secretary to Govt of India / Maj Gen)

Well, what can I say but…..enjoy!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Simplification of procedure for treatment and investigation of diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, cancer and dialysis under the ECHS

Keeping in view the requirement of constant treatment and investigations for diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, cancer and dialysis, the Ministry of Defence has decided to issue referral letters with a validity of six months rather than patients approaching the concerned authorities time and again for the same.

A very proactive step which would provide much needed relief to patients.

The letter has already been issued on 05 July 2013.

Though the same has been reported in most newspapers, those desirous of downloading the letter may do so by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Law on disabilities in service- Supreme Court holds the hand of the disabled soldier yet again in a landmark judgement

In a landmark decision rendered yesterday which once again reiterates and restores the confidence of the soldier in our higher judiciary, the Supreme Court, in a much detailed judgement, has thrashed out law related to disability pension and attributability/aggravation of disabilities to service.

In what had been discussed umpteen number of times on this blog (See this, this and this), it is the pro-disabled Entitlement Rules promulgated by the govt which have to prevail while determining whether a disability is attributable to or aggravated by service or not, and not merely the opinion of the medical board. As would be discernible from this earlier blogpost, the same has also been reiterated in the past primarily by the Delhi and Punjab & Haryana High Courts and various Benches of the Armed Forces Tribunal, especially the Benches at Chandigarh, Delhi and Kochi.

While discussing the length and breadth of the Entitlement Rules and the law relating to disability pension, including judgements rendered in the past to the contrary, the Supreme Court in effect has come to the following conclusions:

That any disability occurring while in service shall be presumed to be in service unless reasons are recorded to the contrary.

The onus of proving attributability/aggravation of disability is not upon the soldier.

It is immaterial if the disability arises in field or in peace area.

There would be a presumption of a causal connection with service for disabilities which occur while in service.

I reiterate once again, if the men and women in uniform in India have to thank one entity for holding their hand, it is the higher judiciary.

The entire judgement of the SC can be downloaded by clicking here

Another (old) 116 page judgement of the Kochi Bench of the AFT on the same subject can be downloaded by clicking here

Jai Hind.