Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Armed Forces Tribunal toothless, says its chief-Writes to government demanding amendments to the Act

Terming the Armed Forces Tribunal as virtually toothless in the absence of provisions for execution of its orders, its Chairperson Justice A.K. Mathur today said that he has written to the Centre recommending amendments in the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.

Speaking at a seminar on “Military Justice System and Armed Forces Tribunal”, organised to mark the first anniversary of the AFT’s Chandigarh bench, Justice Mathur said that the AFT should have powers to issue contempt to ensure compliance of orders, which is found wanting by the implementing agencies.

He was also highly critical of the military judicial system, pointing out that judicial review of court martial trials revealed severe shortcomings in the military process and gross violations of the established procedures and methodology of investigations and conduct of criminal trial.

Justice Mathur said that matters concerning summary court martial and postings should also be shifted from the ambit of the High Court to the AFT to end dual jurisdiction. Justice Mathur also squarely blamed the military for the troubles that veterans are facing on grant and fixation of pension, especially disability pension. Pointing towards the non-cooperative attitude of the services towards administrative issues, he said that some senior commanders viewed the Tribunal as an institution created to usurp their authority and powers.

Head of the AFT’s Chandigarh Bench, Justice Ghanshyam Prashad said that in courts martial, officers given the task of judges have no formal legal training and therefore, there was a greater risk of miscarriage of justice. He added that there should be a separate cadre of officers with a legal background to hold court martial proceedings. He added that despite some shortcomings, the Tribunal is a boon to service personnel as it checked oppressive steps.

Former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi pointed out that the system of military justice was a time-tested process with in-built checks and balances to ensure transparency, fairness and unwarranted command influence.

The Centre’s counsel, Captain Sandeep Bansal said that discipline is the bedrock of the armed forces and the courts should ensure that in the process of delivering justice, discipline is not compromised. He also said that matters concerning the Army’s group insurance should be brought under the AFT’s ambit.

Stating that appeals and revisions against the High Court and the AFT orders were being filed by the government in contravention of the National Litigation Policy, Major Navdeep Singh said that there were several issues that should not have reached the litigation stage as these could have easily been sorted out by the Defence Ministry and the pension authorities.
(source-The Tribune)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

అంది వచ్చిన మంచి అవకాశం -సద్వినియోగం చేసుకోండి. భారత సైన్యంలో - మంచి గౌరవప్రదమైన ఉద్యోగంలో చేరేందుకు గర్వంగా, నిశ్చింతగా నిర్ణయం తీసుకోండి.

 01 నుండి  06  డిసెంబరు 2010 వరకు తెలంగాణా అభ్యర్థులకోసం ఆర్మీలో పలు ట్రేడ్స్/పోస్టుల ఎంపిక RECRUITMENT ర్యాలీ జరుగనుంది. 

 స్థలం - అంబేద్కర్ స్టేడియం
(తిరుమలగిరి) సికింద్రాబాద్.

 17  నుంచి  23 లోపు వయస్సు ఉండి,  162CM ఎత్తు కలిగి, 
మంచి దేహ ధారుడ్యం ఉన్న అభ్యర్థులు అర్హులు.

ఆసక్తి గల  అభ్యర్థులు సంబంధిత ధ్రువ పత్రాలు (SSC
NATIVITY CERTIFICATE), పాస్ పోర్ట్  సైజు
ఫొటోలతో, పై  అడ్రస్ కి  నేరుగా హాజరు కావాలి.

(మన వెనుకబడిన ప్రాంత యువకులు   ఎక్కువ సంఖ్యలో ఆర్మీలో చేరాలనే ఉద్దేశ్యంతో ......)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Age-Limit for Senior Citizens Facilities

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 defines ‘Senior Citizen’ as a person who has attained the age of 60 years or above. The Act provides for claim for maintenance allowance; geriatric and health care; shelter and protection of life and property.

The Act comes into force upon notification by individual State Governments. 22 States and all Union Territories have notified the Act so far. The Act is not applicable to the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The remaining 5 States have already been requested to notify the Act.

This information was given by Shri. D. Napoleon, the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.


A K Mathur CHANDIGARH: The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is a toothless body. And none other than head of its principal bench, Justice (retd) AK Mathur, says it. Justice Mathur, who was in Chandigarh on Saturday on the occasion of completion of one year of the Chandigarh bench of AFT, said that they are striving for execution of orders passed by them against army authorities after deciding the petitions of aggrieved defence personnel.

He also informed that in last one year the tribunal has decided around 4000 cases of the armed forced personnel and orders in 90 per cent of these cases were against the authorities, but they, specially army, is not bothering to comply with the tribunal's orders.

The revelation of the head of country's highest military tribunal are startling in view of the recent orders of the Supreme court for constituting Forces Grievances Redressal Commission with powers 'recommendatory in nature'. The revelations of Justice Mathur put a question mark over the fate of the upcoming commission.

While delivering lecture on the occasion, Justice Mathur stated that he had written to the Union government for empowering the tribunal with execution powers and to hear summary court martial proceedings so that the real purpose of constituting AFT can be served. He said, "we want powers to make pressure on the authorities to redress the grievances of the soldiers and to remove the arbitrariness in the authority's decisions".

Justice Mathur also informed that despite tribunal orders widows are struggling to get family pension, but the army brass is biggest hindrance in granting execution powers for the AFT. "Attitude of the army has to change, as the 'generals' should understand that tomorrow they may have to knock the AFT door for their grievances," Mathur added.

Justice Mathur also recounted various instances where he had to face difficulties to get a portion of building from the defence authorities for setting up of the regional benches of the tribunal.

(1) Agreeved (Bangalore) :- Why the facts of the case were not taken up with the COAS, CAS and CNS, with copies to all concerned. Their replies received should gave been posted. Better luck next time. Wg. Cdr ( Retd ) V P Sachar 22 Nov 10.

(2) Adil (Delhi) :- India is in a mess. The bureaucracy has buggered everything, and controls everything. We need to urgently flush the IAS/IPS/IRS/IDAS/etc etc down the toilet before they utterly ruin this nation. Really, they are nothing more than the STEAL frame of the nation!

(3) Singhal (Ghaziabad):- Why will the generals be comfortable with AFT ? The Generals think that they are feudal lords and they have god given mandate to do whatever with their fiefs and serfs. That apart, it will be worthwhile to collect data showing how many verdicts of AFT went against actions of uniformed officers and how many against actions/ decisions of civilian officers e.g. CDA or MOD. Only that will tell us the extent of the problem.


The Parliamentary Standing committee on Defence has urged the government to reconsider the demand of "One Rank One Pension" for the ex-servicemen.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (15th LOK SABHA) on 1st and 7th Reports reiterated that the Government should consider the issue of 'One Rank One Pension' afresh. Since the issue of One Rank One Pension was not accepted in the past and more recently the Cabinet Secretary's Committee set up to consider it also did not recommend the same, it has not been found feasible to accept the demand of One Rank One Pension.

In the case of Original Application No. 15 and 45/2010 the AFT, Chandigarh had passed the order dated 3.3.2010 with directions to the respondents to take final decision in the matter. The said order was examined and speaking orders explaining the position were issued on 10.07.2010 to the petitioners.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju in a written reply to Shri Vilas Muttemwar and others in Lok Sabha today.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010



New Delhi: The hedging by the Centre to its suggestions to address grievances of armed forces personnel,both serving and retired,to curb indiscipline and show of anger by them,made the SC on Monday order the setting up of an Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission within two months.

A Bench said the commission,headed by a retired Supreme Court judge,will look into any grievance by serving and former members of the Army,Navy and Air Force or their widows or family members and make suitable recommendations expeditiously to the central government.The order came in a petition filed by one Pushpa Vanti,widow of an Army major who fought three wars in 1948,1962 and 1965 and was decorated with 14 medals.What anguished the Bench was that she was getting a pension of Rs 80 per month.

Writ Petition(Civil)) No. 291 of 2010

Pushpa Vanti .. Petitioner -versus- Union of India & others .. Respondents


1. In this case we had issued notice to the respondents on 17.9.2010 but no counter affidavit has been filed.

2. The petitioner before us in the present case is a widow Pushpa Vanti, whose husband was an army major who had fought in three wars (in 1948, 1962 and 1965) and was decorated with fourteen medals. However, the petitioner is getting only Rs.80/- per month as pension, in these days when a kilogram of arhar dal costs that amount. She has prayed for fixation of her correct pension and arrears.

3. The Indian armed forces are bravely defending the borders of the country, often standing on guard at a height of 20,000 feet and in minus 30oC temperature, day and night so that the people of India can live, work and sleep in peace.

4. However, there is widespread discontent among the serving and former members of the armed forces (by which we mean the Army, Navy and Air Force) and their widows and family members regarding their service conditions e.g. pay scales, allowances, anomalies regarding pensions, inadequate pension (particularly to those disabled while in service), widows benefits, promotion matters (including promotion
policy and process) etc.. They have a feeling that the bureaucrats do not care for them and do not properly address their grievances. As a result, thousands of ex-armed forces personnel have returned their medals, and some have even burnt their artificial limbs.

5. These grievances include the grievances relating to pay, allowances, one rank one pension, other pension matters, suitable benefits to be granted to war veterans, war widows, promotion matters, rehabilitation of soldiers who are discharged at a young age, etc.

6. In a recent panel discussion `We The People' on NDTV channel some of these grievances were high lighted.

7. Our courts of law are flooded with cases relating to members, both serving and retired, of the armed forces e.g. cases relating to pension, promotion, etc and the obvious reason is that the armed forces personnel have a feeling that their grievances are not being properly addressed.

8. The great Prime Minister of Magadha, Chanakya, told Emperor Chandragupta Maurya :

"Pataliputra rests each night in peaceful comfort, O King, secure in the belief that the distant borders of Magadha are inviolate and the interiors are safe and secure, thanks only to the Mauryan Army standing vigil with naked swords and eyes peeled for action, day and night, in weather fair and foul, all eight praharas (i.e. round the clock), quite unmindful of personal discomfort and hardship, all through the year, year after year. To this man, O Rajadhiraja, you owe a debt: please, therefore, see to it, suo motu, that the soldier continuou-sly gets his dues in every form and respect, be they his needs or his wants, for he is not likely to ask for them himself. The day the soldier has to demand his dues will be a sad day for Magadha; for then, on that day, you will have lost all moral sanction to be king!"

9. Today our ex-soldiers have not only been demanding but are agitating to get their legitimate dues. They were compelled to resort to public protests and even return their War- medals and burn their artificial limbs, as was done by Capt. C.S. Sidhu whose right arm was amputated while serving at the front but was getting a pittance as pension (see judgment of this Court in Union of India & Anr. vs. C.S. Sidhu in Civil Appeal No.4474 of 2005 dated 31st March, 2010). This, in our opinion, is not good for the nation. The armed forces personnel should have a feeling that their grievances are heard by an independent body. Even if some of their demands are not accepted, they will have a feeling that they were given a proper hearing.

10. We, therefore, direct the Central Government to set up within two months from today a Commission which shall be called the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission.

11. This Commission will look into any grievances (sent to them in writing or by e-mail) by serving or former members of the armed forces(i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force) or their widows or family members and make suitable recommendations expeditiously to the Central Government in this connection.

12. The Commission will also frame and recommend to the Central Government a scheme for proper rehabilitation of discharged soldiers. At present the position is that a soldier is ordinarily recruited at the age of about 18 years, and if he does not rise above the rank of Jawan he is discharged after 15 years of service. If he is promoted, his tenure is extended on each promotion. Thus, if he reaches the rank of Havildar but no further he will retire after 22 years of service, i.e. at the age of 40. Thus a soldier is retired when he is in the prime of life. During his service he spends only about 2 months per year with his family. There is no doubt a Resettlement Directorate in the Army Headquarters, but we are informed that it is not a very effective body. If a soldier is discharged between the age of 35-45 how will he support his family ? At that age he is likely to have a wife and children. Hence he should be given alternative employment so that he can support his family. The Commission will go into this matter also in detail and suggest appropriate schemes for rehabilitation of ex-armed forces personnel who are retired at a relatively young age.

13. The aforesaid Commission shall consist of the following members :

1. A retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India as the Chairman of the Commission. The first Chairman shall be Hon'ble Mr. Justice Kuldip Singh, former Judge, Supreme Court.

2. A former Chief Justice of the High Court as the Vice Chairman of the Commission. The Vice Chairman will officiate as the Chairman in absence of the Chairman. The first Vice Chairman shall be Hon'ble Mr.
Justice S.S. Sodhi, retired Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.

3. A retired Chief of Army staff as a Member of the Commission. We appoint General V.P. Malik, retired Chief of Army staff, to be a Member of the Commission.

4. Any retired Chief or Vice Chief or Deputy Chief of the Army, Navy or Air Force as a Member of the Commission. In the first Commission we appoint Lt. General Vijay Oberoi, retired Vice Chief of Army Staff, to be a Member of the Commission(General Oberoi is the Douglas Bader of the Indian Armed Forces, his one foot having been shot and later amputated due to a burst of machine gun fire in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, when he was a young Captain. Despite this he rose to become a Lt. Gen. and Vice Chief of the Army).

5. A civil servant, whether serving or retired, as a Member of the Commission, to be appointed by the Central Government, at its discretion.

14. The term of the first Commission will be for two years from the date of its constitution but it will be renewable at the option of the Central Government. The subsequent Commission members (after the two year term of the first Commission has expired) shall be appointed by the Central Government.

15. Since most of the aforesaid members in the first Commission are based in Chandigarh hence we direct that the headquarters of the Commission shall be at Chandigarh. For this purpose a suitable building will be allotted at the earliest at Chandigarh by the Union Territory of Chandigarh in consultation with the Central Government which will be used as the office-cum-secretariat of the Commission. This building must have sufficient rooms to provide an office for each member of the Commission. The Central Government will allot adequate secretarial and other staff and infrastructure and equipment (including computers, telephones etc.) for the office and members of the Commission as desired by the Chairman.

16. In addition to the headquarters of the Commission at Chandigarh there will also be set-up offices of the Commission at Delhi and such other places as the Chairman of the Commission may direct. The Central
Government and concerned State Governments/Union Territories will provide the necessary staff and infrastructure as the Chairman may direct for this purpose.

17. All the members of the Commission shall sit together whenever issues of general importance are to be considered. However, in any matter relating to individuals or a few persons only the Chairman can appoint a smaller Committee consisting of one or more members as he decides.

18. The first four members of the Commission will be given the same salaries, benefits and allowances which they were getting on the last day when they were in service. They will also be given traveling and
such other allowances as the Chairman decides if they have to travel to other places away from Chandigarh. The fifth member, if a retired person, will also get the same.

19. We make it clear that this Commission is different from the Armed Forces Tribunal in the following ways :

1. The Commission is only a recommendatory body and not an adjudicatory body. Hence it is open to the Central Government to accept or not to accept its recommendations, though of course since such recommendations will be coming from a high powered body the Central Government must give due weight to the same.

2. Whereas the Armed Forces Tribunal can only decide cases in accordance with the rules, the Commission can recommend even change of the rules where it feels that the same are defective or inadequate. In other words, the Commission is not confined to following relevant rules relating to service conditions, pension, etc. but it can recommend change of the same where it feels that the same are defective or inadequate.

20. We further direct all authorities in India, Civil or Military (including the Secretary, Defence, Union of India, and the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Staffs) to extend all cooperation to the Commission to enable it to discharge its functions effectively.

21. The notification constituting the Commission as provided above will be issued by the Central government forthwith.

22. The claim of the petitioner in this case shall stand referred to the Commission. The Registry of this Court shall send copies of the papers of this case forthwith to the members of the Commission nominated by us, and the petitioner's claim shall be considered expeditiously. Claims of other armed forces personnel (serving or retired) should also be considered expeditiously.

23. List this case again on 7.2.2011.

...................................J. (Markandey Katju)

..................................J. (Gyan Sudha Misra)
New Delhi; 15 Nov, 2010
(SOURCE - Indian Military service Benefits blog)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


New Delhi-The Govt is in the process of setting up a commission for the speedy redressal of the grievances of armed forces personnel, the Centre informed the Supreme Court today. “We are setting out the proposed terms of reference” of the commission, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra.

The SG, however, indicated that the commission would not cover personnel in all areas of the armed forces. “It may not be necessary for some areas as the government has taken positive decisions in these areas,” he said without giving details. The SG sought a week’s time for providing details of the proposed commission. The move could not be finalised before today’s hearing due to the intervening Divali holidays, he said. Allowing his plea, the Bench posted the next hearing for November 15.

On September 8 this year, the Bench had passed an order asking the government to consider setting up an independent commission headed by a retired SC Judge “for looking into all the grievances of the serving and former members of the armed forces. We feel this is necessary as the armed forces personnel have many grievances which they feel are not being properly addressed by the Union Government.” Pointing out that the widow of a war veteran had approached the SC questioning logic of paying her a meagre pension of Rs 70 against her claim of Rs 27,000, the Bench said this was the treatment meted out to highly decorated officers. “It is shameful” that the government had allowed such cases to come to the Supreme Court. “Does it require a case? What are you people up to? It is very demoralising for the armed forces,” the Bench told the SG.

The SG assured the Bench that such grievances would also be addressed by the proposed commission. The court was hearing a petition filed by some serving and retired army officers, challenging the government’s refusal to accord them enhanced rank pay as recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission.
(By R Sedhuraman-Legal Correspondent)

(source- Aggi jottings)

Monday, November 8, 2010




Tele: 26113163/Fax: 26880943     Dte of ESM Affairs (Intgtd HQrs)
 (E-mail:              MoD(Navy), 6th Flr, Chanakya Puri,
                                                        New Delhi – 110011

DX/900/AGM-2007                       10 Mar 08


1. The 16th Annual General Body Meeting of Navy Foundation was held at Naval Officers Mess, Chennai,  at 1130 hrs on 21 Jan 08 under the Chairmanship of Admiral Sureesh Mehta, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, the Chief of Naval Staff and President Navy Foundation.
39. Item IV(d). Understand from Air Force Organisation that the name of ESM has been changed to Armed Forces Veterans and therefore appropriate change in name may be effected to the directorate dealing with veterans.

40. The Secretary intimated that, as per the GOI ruling, ex- servicemen are to be called Armed Forces Veterans. However, it is applicable to personnel only and offices/ departments are still referred to as ex-servicemen departments and thus even in MOD, veterans sections are retained as ex-servicemen departments.

41. Decision. The President stated that we will continue calling ex-servicemen as veterans, as it is accepted terminology used by the Ministry of Defence to address the ESMs.

                                                                           (K Surjit Singh)
                                                                           Navy Foundation