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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Army Day / Republic Day Gift from the Ministry of Defence for disabled soldiers : Ruthless litigation

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has finally come up with a Republic Day gift, albeit a morbid one, for the Armed Forces. Oh yes, also the Army Day is not too far away.

The MoD has now officially admitted that it has filed appeals against disabled soldiers in the Supreme Court in ‘almost all types of cases’.

The proof of the latest pudding lies in reading it, and you can read it by clicking here.

Of course the issue of mindless litigation has been discussed on this blog time and again earlier, some of the earlier instances are listed here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

A perusal of the above linked latest instructions would show that the MoD has further directed the Armed Forces not to even seek separate legal opinion on individual cases and directly file appeals in the SC based on pre-existing advice for filing appeals tendered by central govt lawyers in similar cases earlier.

The MoD however interestingly remains silent on the totally opposite legal opinion in many cases where it had been on the contrary decided that appeals should not be filed. In fact, there must be hundreds of instances where an opinion of not filing an appeal would have been rendered, but rather than going with such advice, the MoD is hell bent upon sticking to legal advice which goes against poor pensioners and disabled and war disabled soldiers.

Thousands of appeals are being prepared to be filed by Govt lawyers in the SC against judgements by the AFT and High Courts granting disability benefits to disabled soldiers, thereby forcing these poor soldiers to litigate till the SC. Apart from the ensuing appeals, thousands of cases are already pending.

First, arbitrary policies are formulated against disabled and war disabled soldiers, and then when courts rightly intervene, such soldiers are forced into ruthless litigation. It is easy for the Govt to use its large army of lawyers, including the Solicitor General (SG) and the Additional SGs, for waging a war against its own disabled soldiers, but can these soldiers and their families afford to effectively fight this war against the official establishment at the level of the Supreme Court?

At present, more than 90% of all appeals/SLPs filed by the MoD pending in the SC are against their own disabled and war disabled soldiers.

What more could be said about this nation? And what is Saint Antony doing? What can be said about this Country’s political, military and bureaucratic leadership!
Meanwhile for the officialdom, it’s just another day but I do want to hang my head in shame.


RC said...

Thanks Maj Navdeep. The MoD (Deptt of ESW being part of it) seems to hold the opinion of Govt law officers in such a high esteem that MoD willing and conveniently over look the various judgments and strictures passed by various High Courts and Supreme Court against MoD in such cases. It is surprising that the same MoD completely ignores the opinion of Ld AG and Ld SG in Rank Pay case. Saint Anthony (himself a lawyer) does not have any justifiable excuse. I wish we have an ESM opposing him in the forthcoming elections.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep
Thannks a LOT
What does it imply ?
Does it mean all disability/war injury pension problems solved . ?
Also does it mean BB fr all ?
Or is it just their, ESW,, feelings .
Please clarify
Thanks in advance
Gurdeep Singh
Gp Capt

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

Gp Capt Gurdeep Singh.


The subject-line of the post is sarcastic.

The MoD has directed Services HQ to file appeals in all cases without even waiting for legal advice. That is what the letter states.

Col Kukkal said...

Fantastic.. Maj Navdeep
Your updates are real BANG.
Col Kukkal

Col Kukkal said...

Great News

Rajeev Dobhal said...

Dear Major Navdeep,
Can this be published in some National News Papers or be shared with TV Channels?
Best Regards

Narendra said...

Does Indian Armed Forces need such a 'ARROGANT' and 'DISLOYAL' MOD, which is out to kill the rights and privileges of its own soldiers.
The MOD should be headed by a retired General/equivalent and the Defence Secretary should be a serving military officer.
GOD help our forces.


Dear all, seasons greetings.


Anonymous said...

The link to dept for ex serviceman welfare has been removed.

Anonymous said...


Rajesh said...

Revision of Disability pension wef from 24 Sep2012,In terms Mini gauranted pension, implementation of secretaries committee report and circular 500 of PCDA(p), Still not implmented. Their seems to be no reason for not impementing the GOI order by babk and PCDA.
Any cmments
Lt col RC gupta
EMail rcgupta26@yahoo.co.in

Lt Col (Retd) A N Ramachandran said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
This New Year Gift letter is arrogance in the extreme on the part of MoD/Dept of ESW. Appeals are required to be filed only when such an action is warranted after due and careful consideration of the case/judgment in question.Every judgment will need to be put through this process.Without meeting this basic requirement, how can the MoD/DESW issue a direction that appeals shall be filed in each and every case that has gone in favour of the soldier. This is highhandedness, apart from being unfair, unjust and contrary to all canons of natural justice.The MoD letter also reveals in what low esteem and regard the MoD holds the AFT judjments and the AFTs themselves.Their letter can be said to have cast aspersions on the AFTs by stating that all their judgments are faulty and thus merits filing appeals. This insane letter must be got withdrawn if justice is seen to be done.Would it be possible for any individual or organisation to initiate a petition /case agaist MoD in the appropriate court for getting the obnoxious letter withdrawn.Why, perhaps even the AFT itself could initiate such a course of action because seemingly the aspersions have been cast on it.

Shubhangi Garje said...

Jai Hind,
On this day when we are proudly celebrately Republic Day after reading this article I feel do we really deserve to be protected by the selfless soldier for whom we don't even do one bit of what they do for us.
I do understand the technicalities but then I think what they are doing is wrong and needs to be corrected.
Mrs Shubhangi Garje