Good news for Military Medicos.
It may be recalled that the Cabinet had approved the Dynamic Assured Career Progression (DACP) scheme for all doctors serving under the Central Govt by way of an Office Memorandum issued on 29 Oct 2008.
Though the Ministry of Defence was not against implementing the same for military doctors, the then Principal Personnel Officers Committee (PPOC) and the Chief of Staffs Committee (COSC) of the time opposed it on the pretext that doctors would start getting a higher salary than others and that the implementation should be kept pending till other anomalies of the forces were resolved. The main opposition was from the Army while the Air Force, Navy and the office of the DGAFMS had fully supported the implementation of DACP. The factum as to how this approach of the services was self-defeatist has been discussed threadbare in earlier posts, here and also here.
The Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) however in its strongly worded decision rendered on 18 July 2011 had directed that instructions for implementation of DACP in the military should be issued within a period of 3 months.
But rather than implementing the judgement, the Ministry sought time on multiple occasions and then filed an Appeal in the Supreme Court. One of the grounds taken by the Defence Ministry was that even the Chief of Staffs Committee (COSC) was not in favour of implementing DACP, which in fact was not entirely true since by this point of time, the Services had realized their folly and supported the grant of DACP, though in my opinion the support was not an all-out support as was logically expected.
Anyway. The Civil Appeal filed by the Union of India against the judgement of the AFT was listed today for hearing in the Supreme Court and the Hon’ble Apex Court has dismissed the same thereby upholding the judgement of the AFT.
Besides bringing joy to the military medico community, the lesson that this chapter should bring home is that one should never ever be jealous of the benefits or progress of our peers and neither should such issues be held ransom to the though-processes of those who feel that others should not get their legitimate dues till they get what they perceive to be legitimately theirs.