Tuesday, August 17, 2010

‘Open letter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’

Brig K.G.Behl (Retd), Bsc.Engr(Svy),AMIS,FRGS,MCA,MCSI
President Dehradun Ex- Services League.
8A, Nemi Road, Dalanwala, Dehradun- 248001.

No.KGB/DESL/A/9 5 August 2010

Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir,

As India grows in the comity of Nations, there is a pride in every Indian in the achievements that our countrymen have attained in various fields. However, despite the fact that we are amongst the fastest growing economies in the World, we continue to have the highest incidence of poverty and corruption. Corruption is not only a reflection of misuse of funds but it is a misuse of power, position and arrogant personal self aggrandizement. These people in positions of power are not only eroding the institutions that make a nation but are creating Marxists/ Maoists/ terrorists etc who are getting themselves organi-zed into big disintegrating forces who are not even scared of Defence Forces due to lot of discontent-ment generated there also, by these power hungry Politicians/ Bureaucrats. Govt. Orders are not being faithfully implemented by MOD and anomalies pointed out by competent people are either being ignored or swept under the carpet. MOD needs to be reoriented and told to act as per rules and not as per their whims and fancies. Surprisingly, no one is hauled up by Ministers for not taking actions or distorting orders, though the cases are self explanatory and need no other assistance, legal or otherwise.

I am taking liberty to write this open letter to you so that you may wake up and open the eyes of those, who after committing mistakes sit down and close their eyes like pigeons and refuse to open those thinking that the impending dangers will automatically ward of, without realizing that there is no escape. Secondly, they will not allow this letter to reach you, unless it is made open, through Media and Press.

It is surprising that they have been allowed to mishandle even the Institution of Defence Forces Personnel, who today comprise the largest body of Nationalists. The MOD is consistently maltreating the Armed Forces personnel and their genuine issues relating to Pay, Pension and welfare matters have either been swept under the carpet or called sub-judice, when actually they are not so, creating a large discontentment. The issues of the status and anomalies of the various Pay Commissions, especially since the 4th Pay Commission(1986) have been dealt with in such a cavalier fashion that today there is utter despair and discontentment amongst the Armed Forces personnel. These are the guys who are prompting Defence Forces to become corrupt by adopting ways and means shown by them, to amass money in making purchases and delaying matters – as are being used by them in Defence purchases. Innocent Defence Personnel fall prey in their laid down traps and suffer. It needs to be stopped forthwith by transferring coterie of staff positioned there for years together. Surprisingly, such controversial letters they do not sign such letters themselves but fire from others shoulders.

It is happening because of absence of Armed Forces personnel at the decision making level, be it at the Pay Commissions, Govt. Defence committees or within the MOD, to pursue agenda and represent correct facts. This needs to be implemented forthwith like USA and other countries where Defence Officers are inducted in MOD and other committees / commissions, so that their problems could be projected correctly and justice could be done to them.

As a disciplined body, Defence Personnel have represented their just grievances through petitions, Parliamentary questions, letters to the Hon’ble President of India, your esteemed office and other dignified avenues but each one of those have been snowballed by the MOD bureaucracy. There is a perception that the MOD is unwilling to accept mistakes or errors of judgment and continue to ride on the premise that an acceptance of their mistake would be a sacrilegious act of succumbing to the Armed Forces. As a result they have come up with half baked solutions that have only aggravated the trust deficit amongst the MOD and the Armed Forces personnel. It is humane to make mistakes or err but Divine to accept and remove those errors. But it appears that the MOD does not believe in this dictum and never amend their orders, even when found wrong even by the Supreme Court of India. They are prepared to spend money in forming committees, fighting cases in Courts or giving more costly half baked solutions, rather than accepting their mistake gracefully and setting the matters right.

Sir, they do not know the importance of Rank in Defence Forces, and are treating it like any other commodity which can be compensated by money. Sitting in offices and scaling every thing in terms of money alone, is spoiling the whole structure of Defence Forces where the tradition is to obey orders of seniors in rank and go out and fight the enemy at the cost of their lives. This aspect they can never realize unless there is ‘conscription’ i.e. compulsorily spending some time serving in Defence Forces. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, you can seriously think of introducing it in view of growing indiscipline, lawlessness, regionalism and Naxalite/ Maoist/terrorist activities in some parts of the country. For youth NCC be made compulsory in all schools and colleges.

The issue of the Rank Pay granted by the 4th Pay Commission in 1986, that has been upheld by the Supreme Court on 8 March 2010, a clear case of injustice, is back in the wilderness with the MOD appeal against it, just to waste time, needs to be withdrawn from court and immediately implemented.. The anomalies raised in 5th and 6th CPC which are very practical, be immediately implemented. There are a number of cases where they have allowed payments to some individuals who raised those but though as per rules they are denying others the same benefits. Once a mistake has been detected it should automatically be rectified in all similar cases without asking by other affected persons. It is pity that no such action is being taken to benefit other affected persons.

The issue of a separate Pay Commission approved by your office has yet to see the light of the day. It is need of the hour today and not when the damage is done after a decade, when new Pay is set up as per routine.

Hon’ble PM Sir, the list can go on but some of the glaring omissions have been explained in the enclosed Annexure. I would like to beseech you to please consider the following suggestions to set our house in order as the first small step:-

--Set up a Commission comprising of 30% serving defence personnel, 30% retired defence personnel and 30% MOD bureaucracy and the remaining 10% from other experts on Pay/pension matters, all under the Chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge to examine and resolve all matters relating to defence personnel in a time bound manner., including One Rank One Pension issue which is not as big a financial or administrative issue as projected by the MOD. This is a classic case of bureaucratic myopia which the MOD suffers from. The details of a simple attainment and implementation of the One Rank One Pension issue is explained in the enclosed Annexure.

--Well established rulings, viz. the 4th Pay Commission order by the Supreme Court to be implemented immediately and MOD personnel attempting delaying tactics to be either disciplined or transferred.

--Order conscription as a compulsory need for all bureaucracy as well as personnel aspiring for political offices to bring about a semblance of nation building and pride in the nation. NCC be made compulsory for all youths.

May I request you, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, to take immediate remedial steps to address the above for the good of the Nation.

With best wishes and highest regards,

Yours Sincerely,

(K.G.Behl ) Bsc. Engr(Svy),AMIS, FRGS,MCA,MCSI
Brig (Retd)
President Dehradun Ex –Services League

Dr Manmohan Singh
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
7 Race Course Road
New Delhi 110 011

Smt. Sonia Gandhi
President, All Indian National Congress
and Chairperson UPA
No.1, Safdarjung Road,
New Delhi 110001

Shri AK Antony
Hon’ble Minister of Defence
Ministry of Defence
Room No 104, South Block
New Delhi 110 011

Shri Pranab Mukherji
Hon’ble Minister of Finance
Room No 134, North Block
New Delhi 110 011

Shri P.Chidambaram
Hon’ble Minister of Home
19, Safdarjung Road.
New Delhi 110026

Smt. Sushma Swaraj
Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition
Lok Sabha Chamber
New Delhi 110001

1. IV CPC Awards(a)

In consideration of peculiar hazardous service conditions with early retirement age, stagnation in career progression, persisting deficiency in intake for the Officer cadre and to make the career as Army Officer more attractive and rewarding to meet the national security environments , the IV Pay Commission on presentation of the three Service Chiefs had devised the concept of Special Military Pay called later as Rank Pay, on the pattern of additional pay admitted for the Armed Forces of many developed and developing democracies of the World.

The aforesaid Concept was stated in Para 4 of MOD Letters dated 13.3.87 &.26 May 1987 as Al 1/S/87 on implementation of IV CPC Award and it stipulate Rank pay in addition to the pay in the Integrated Pay Scale; under Para 3. But Para 6(b) of the same Army Instruction directs the equivalent amount be deducted from the basic Pay. How and why this Para was added no one knows and even the Ministry could not substantiate it in the Hon’ble Kerala High Court when given an opportunity to do so. The Court ordered that the amount deducted under this Para be returned, which was done. But the Ministry still treated it as an individual case, though such blunders were committed in case of all officers and once some fault has been pointed out in one of the Court Judgments, it should be rectified in all similar cases.

There are precedents to show that whenever due to some misinterpretation of rules, a ctizen aggrieved by the action of a Govt. Dept, has approached the Court and obtained a declaration of law in his favour, others, in like circumstances, should be able to rely on the sense of responsibility of the Dept. Concerned and to expect that they will be given the benefit of this declaration without the need to take their grievances to the court.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has given ruling where a citizen aggrieved by the action of a Government Department approached the Court and obtained a declaration of law in his favour, others in the like circumstances were given the benefit of that declaration to others similarly affected without their going to the courts again to express their grievances. In this connection the Ministry’s attention is invited to Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgment in the case of Amrit Lal Vs Collector CEC Revenue reported in AIR 1975 SC 538.

In a similar case under the Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgment dt.08.12.1994 on reduction of re-employed Pay after deducting the enhanced retiring Pension, was held as unconstitutional and the recoveries made as per OM dt 11.9.87. were refunded in compliance of the said Judgment under the MOD, Dept. of Personal & Training OM No.3/15/94-Estt(Pay- II) DATED 14 Oct 1997.

At one stage the Min of Def under ID Note No. 1 (2)2006/D(Pay-Services) dt.07 Apr 2006 had directed the Service HQs to work out the financial implications in the re-fixation of pay of the Officers who were affected on account of pay fixation devised under IVth CPC Award., but later in consultation with other Depatments and legal affairs changed their stand and told that aggrieved officers should go to their respective High Courts and file writ petitions which was against the rulings on the subject. This was specifically done knowing full well that the serving officers will not go to court and very few of the retired officers will venture to do so and those will be tackled in courts. It is a wrong concept which the Hon’ble Supreme Court has realized and delivered their Judgment on 08 Mar 2010 that all affected officers where such deductions were made be paid the amounts recovered with 6% interest.

It is pity that instead of implementing the orders gracefully, the MOD has again appealed to the Hon’ble Supreme Court that their orders should be limited to those officers who filed writs and there too each writ be heard individually and decided on merit. Of course the Hon’ble Court is yet to admit it but these are the tactics on the part of the ministry to further delay payments and make officers suffer. Let us hope the Hon’ble Supreme Court teaches the MOD a lesson, by punishing the concerned officers, for disobedience of their earlier orders amounting to contempt of court and coming to court again and again and wasting their time and unnecessarily delaying matters.

2. IV CPC Awards(b)

Integrated Pay Scale was introduced by the 4th CPC, so that those officers who get over looked by Promotional Boards, may get at least benefit of increments in that scale till they retire but the MOD in their ego clubbed the scale in different ranks and as a result the very purpose was defeated and officers stagnated in those groups and suffered huge losses and some took premature retirement in frustration.

On what authority was it done and who told them to carry out grouping when there was no mention of it in CPC report or Gazette.

V CPC Awards.

The following paras of 5th CPC, which are self explanatory, were implemented for civil but were not implemented for defence personnel, though in the recommendations of the CPC, in those Paras it is specifically mentioned that these apply to Defence Forces as well. These were accepted by the Govt.

MOD has no answer as to why they ignored those resulting in loss for ten years to Defence personnel.

1. Enhanced Weightage Elements for Pension – CPC Para 133.18 & 162.11

Ø 133.18----Civilians superannuation increased to 60 & 55 yrs for CPOs

Ø CPC recommended benefit of qualifying service for ALL to increase to 33 years service

Ø 162.11 --- Accordingly weightage increased by 2 years for all ranks in the existing norms.

Rank QS Pension Rs 33 Year Pension Rs Loss Rs

Maj (Pre 86) 30 5819 6400 581
Lt Col (Pre 86) 31 7093 7550 457
Nb Sub 31 3241 3450 209
Havildar 29 2092 2370 278
Naik 27 1743 2120 377
Sepoy 25 1472 1958 486

2. Enhanced Disability Pencion – CPC 144.18, 135.6, 162.11, 163.9 & 164.7,8,9.

Ø Disability pension to be same as family pension, I.e. 30% of Reckonable pay

Ø CPC recommended same disability pension for Civs & Armed Forces personnel

Ø Implemented correctly for Civilians

Ø Service personnel given lower amounts--- Officers much less than 30%

Rank Notified Amount Rs 30% Amount Due Rs Loss Rs

Maj 2600 3840 (min) 1240
Lt Col 2600 4530 (min) 1930
Col 2600 5130 (min) 2530
Brig 2600 5730 (min) 3130
Maj Gen 2600 6120 (min) 3520
Lt Gen 2600 6720 (min) 4120


Armed Forces personnel deprived of the parity recommended for disability pension---a breed of nationalists who are exposed to greater danger of a disability environment!!!

3. Sanctity of old post/pay be retained whilst revision of pay grade - Disparity for Colonels/Maj Gens

Ø In implementation the MOD has referred to the Rank only and not the Post last held when the CPC letter shows Post/Rank.

Ø The Rule “the pension of all pre-1.1.96 Defence Pensioners will in no case be less than 50% of the minimum of the revised pay scale of the Post /Rank last held at the time of retirement in the respective pay grade of the Post last held”

The Effect

Ø Colonels pre-86 From Grade S-26 they are now junior post S24/25

Ø Maj Gens. Pre-96 From Grade S 29 they are now S 26

IMPACT Loss of status and monetary loss Rs 700 to 800 a month------IS THIS FAIR ?????

4. Disparity in Pension Award of Re-employed Pensioners wiyh DSC

This facility to draw second pension is available with other Depts, but is being denied to those reemployed with DSC. AHQ AG’s Branch letter No.B/38207/8/AG/PS-5 Dated02 May 2008 refers.

5. Non implementation of ignorable Pension in respect of Re-employed Ex Servicemen.

The ignorable Pension of Rs. 1500/- has been allowed in fixation of re-employment Pay but in many cases it has been denied.


In case of officers the 6th CPC has sanctioned scales and grade Pay taking into account the earlier substantive Pay being paid as on 1.1.2006, which as explained above is less equivalent to the Rank Pay. When the ‘Basic Pay’ is less all the benefits accruing on that are bound to be less accordingly and that is what has happened in 6th CPC report, which has lowered the status of Defence officers by putting them in lower scales and granting less ‘Grade Pay’ which works out a couple of thousand rupees lower than their civilian counterparts, who were drawing less than them earlier. It speaks of the injustice done. On protests, some of the defects were rectified but basic defect which led to all the chaos was not touched and remained as it is.

In case of PBOR, till 5th CPC, 50% of the maximum of the scale in which one retires used to be pension, subject to the number of years one served entitling the maximum at 33 years, but here 50% of the mean of pay for the last ten months served was taken as pension, which resulted in unnecessary loss to the individuals.

A Committee of secretaries was constituted to incease the weightage of PBOR length of service to 30 years instead of 33 years required for retirement at that time. Had they brought the weightage to 33 years it would have solved all problems, but the MOD supplied them data to that effect only and they stopped at that. Only God knows why MOD creates such situations?

In case of examples given in 6th CPC Report for working out Pay/Pension , the new revised Pay in the New Scales has been worked out after multiplying the pay being drawn earlier with factor 1.86 and where ever it fitted in the new scale and was adjusted accordingly. But in case of Retired persons the pay coming after multiplying with factor 1.86 has been brought to the minimum of the new scale and then fixation done which brings in quite a difference in amount. When there is no mention of minimum in the Pay commission report where from this element has been introduces. This needs to be set right for officers as well as PBORS.

As and when some anomalies were pointed out to MOD, they instead of setting those right, tried to compensate those either by giving some benefits here and there or by constituting another committee to examine those without setting those right but suggest ways and means to compensate those grievances. Since no Defence Officer was put in those committees, they worked on data supplied by the MOD and suggested methods which were not desired. While making efforts to compensate for one wrong done more anomalies were created because the basic defect was not touched upon or removed. It has resulted in making the whole System unwieldy where the Rank structure on which the Defence System works has totally been upset. They are not aware of what is command and control and on what basis the Rank System works. They only know that money makes the mare go and try to solve every thing with that yard stick. But here we deal with tigers and a variety of other species who have their peculiar requirements and do not get satisfied with money alone and need to be tackled differently keeping their powers in mind so that they combine and fight together as a team to over power the enemy.

There are several minor issues projected to MOD which as per laid down rules can be easily implemented but the MOD turns a Nelson eye to those and ignores those.

One Rank One Pension

One Rank One Pension is not a big issue as it has been projected by the MOD. As we all know that during 3rd CPC, all ranks, including officers, were being retired at the pension of 50% of the maximum Pay of the scale they held at the time of retirement, proportionate to the number of years of service one put in at that time, 30 years being the maximum to earn full pension at that time.. Some weightage was given for service to different ranks to get proportionately better pension since they retire at comparatively younger age. This weightage has now reached 30 years for all ranks and in case of JCOS has touched 33 years now required to earn full pension. In case of other ranks too it would have reached 33 years had the data put up before the committee of secretaries constituted for considering this aspect, been put up to 33 years to earn full pension instead of 30 years they considered. Anyhow, it is a minor issue and can be considered even now in that context and can be raised to 33 years.

Once it is done and all are retired at the 50% of the maximum of the scale they held at the time of retirement, the problem of one rank one pension, automatically gets solved. It is compatible with civil too where practically every one retires at the maximum of the scale one holds at the time of retirement.

It is thus a simple issue and will not require large funds as is being projected as most of the personnel are already getting big chunk of it which needs to be supplemented.

(source - Sanjha Morcha)

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