Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Interim Orders of the Supreme Court on voting rights of defence personnel

As many readers would be aware, the Supreme Court is looking into the aspect of effective voting for armed forces personnel, including voting at their places of posting.

The problem originates from the fact that the Election Commission of India by way of an order has ordained that only personnel with more than 3 years of residence at their place of posting would be permitted to register as general voters at the said place. Of course, this 3 year rule does not find basis in any statute.

The case was listed today and it seems that the Apex Court has directed in its interim directions that armed forces personnel would be allowed to be registered as voters without insisting on the 3 year clause in all those constituencies where the poll process has not yet commenced. The main petition remains pending and may be decided by a larger bench.

Readers may like to view an opinion on the subject on StratPost.

More when the Supreme Court order is made available.
(Source-Indian Military news)

Faujis can vote as general voters. Kinda

Although the Supreme Court has allowed armed forces personnel to vote as general voters, there are significant caveats and its interim order is likely to benefit only a small percentage of service voters in the General Election.ec (600 x 341)

The Supreme Court has ordered the Election Commission of India to allow armed forces personnel to vote as general voters in the constituencies where they reside. In its interim order, the Court directed the ECI to register defence personnel as general voters in constituencies where the election process has not commenced, making the order applicable to peace stations and to personnel posted since January 01, 2014 who continue to be stationed there.

It is important to note that this is an interim order and the final decision of the court on the writ petition is still awaited. Also, this order is likely to benefit only a small percentage of service voters.
It was pointed out that service voters could, so far, only vote as general voters if they had resided in the constituency for a period of at least three years.

It was further pointed out that most armed forces personnel have tenures that amount to less than the period of three years and the argument was made that this prevented most service voters from exercising their franchise, even as other sections of the voting demographic are allowed to vote after having resided for, in some cases, no more than six months in a constituency. The Court appears to have accepted this contention and has reflected it in its interim order.

According to figures that emerged during the hearings in this case, there are around 15 lakh (1.5 million) service voters. Out of these, around 13.6 lakh (1.36 million) have already registered themselves for voting by postal ballot. This order would, therefore, not be of benefit to them as they are already registered voters.

Further, since the election process has already commenced in 225 constituencies, no unregistered service voter in these constituencies would be able to benefit from this order and vote as a general voter. This order would only apply in the remaining 318 constituencies. During the course of the hearings it was argued that allowing armed forces personnel to vote as general voters in the constituencies where they reside could create voting blocks in areas with large concentrations of armed forces personnel. It was further argued that this could even have the effect of turning a hitherto reserved constituency into an unreserved constituency because of the change in the qualified voter demography.

While the Court left this matter to be decided on merit in its final decision, it allowed the Election Commission the right to continue to deny political parties permission to campaign in cantonments and military stations, pending its final decision.



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Dear Veterans

Honorable Supreme court has ruled today 24 Mar 14 on PIL and SLP filed by Sh Rajeev Chandrashekhar and Mrs Neela Gokhle that soldiers and their families can vote on peace stations (total approx 325 in number). Justice Lodha has over ruled the order of High court and Election commission where in they had asked that the soldiers should be permitted to vote only if they have a tenure of 3 years and are ordinarily residing with their family. 

Justice Lodha inquired from the MOD lawyer the meaning of ordinary residence when they could not explain the meaning of ordinary residence the Justice ruled that ordinary residence is the place where a person is residing while discharging his official duty. He has a right to vote at the place of his ordinary residence. MOD was asked to supply the list of stations where soldiers are ordinarily posted. MOD could not supply that is our MOD

Defence lawyer confirmed that there are 325 stations where soldiers are ordinarily posted during peace time. Honorable judge ruled that election commission should facilitate the soldiers posted since 1 Jan 14 on these station to vote in coming elections. 

IESM is thankful to Sh Rajeev Chandrashekhar  FOH and Mrs Neela Gokhle and Gen Hoon for filing PIL/SLP for voting rights of soldiers.

IESM is thankful to Sh Rajeev Chandrashekhar for supporting the cause of ex-servicemen for their rightful demands.


Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
Gen Sec IESM
(Source-BCV Blog)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reservation, concessions and relaxations for Ex-servicemen in Central Government Services: Compendium of instructions issued by DoPT


No. 36034/3/2013-Estt.(Res.)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 25th February, 2014
Subject: Issue of Compendium of instructions on reservation for ex-servicemen.
This Department has been in the process of issuance of a compendium on instruction on reservation, concessions and relaxations for Ex-servicemen in Central Government Services. In this regard, the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare may refer to their O.M. No. 28(66)/2013/D (Res.I) dated 17.07.2013 and 18.09.2013. The compendium has now been finalized covering various notifications and Office Memoranda issued on reservation, concessions and relaxations for Ex-servicemen in Central Government Services. A copy of Compendium is enclosed.

Encl : As above.
(G. Srinivasan)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India


  • Definition of ex-servicemen
  • Application of ex-servicemen rules
  • Reservation of vacancies
  • Relaxation regarding age limit
  • Relaxation regarding educational qualification 
  • Intimation of vacancies
  • Priority in appointment
  • Relaxation of standard
  • Liaison Officers for reservation matters relating to ex-servicemen  
  • Fee concession
  • Periodic returns
  • Annexures (Relevant Orders/Office Memorandum/Notifications) 

Click here to download   EX-SERVICEMEN : COMPENDUIM

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

OROP, if done properly, may console veterans


Addressing members of Parliament while presenting the Interim Budget on 17 March 2014, finance minister P. Chidambaram announced that the government had “decided to walk the last mile and close the gap for all retirees in all ranks” and “accepted the principle of One Rank One Pension (OROP) for the defence forces… It is an emotive issue, it has legal implications, and it has to be handled with great sensitivity. Changes in the pension rules applicable to the defence services were notified on three occasions in 2006, 2010 and 2013. As a result, the gap between pre-2006 retirees and post-2006 retirees has been closed in four ranks (subject to some anomalies that are being addressed): Havildar, Naib Subedar, Subedar and Subedar Major. There is still a small gap in the ranks of Sepoy and Naik and a gap in the ranks of Major and above. We need a young fighting force, we need young jawans, and we need young officers. We also need to take care of those who served in the defence forces only for a limited number of years. This decision will be implemented prospectively from the financial year 2014-15. The requirement for 2014-15 is estimated at `500 crore and, as an earnest of the UPA government’s commitment, I propose to transfer a sum of `500 crore to the Defence Pension Account in the current financial year itself”.

While the timing of this announcement is too obvious, it needs to be recalled just how emotive the issue is. About 22,000 gallantry and distinguished service medals of defence veterans were deposited with the President of India and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces between 2009 to 2012 on six different occasions following umpteen representations of the genuine demands ignored by the government with impunity. While the 22,000 medals were accepted by the President’s staff at Rashtrapati Bhavan, when nothing happened for long, the veterans decided to hand over another 10,000 medals only to the President in person. When the President did not accept them, the delegation of defence veterans and widows brought them back to deposit them in the office of Indian Ex-Servicemens’ Movement (IESM).

 In February 2006 the government revised the concept of “modified parity” for junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks (ORs-sepoy to havildar) granting pension at the top of 5th Central Pay Commission (CPC) scale of the rank in which they retired (as on 01 January 1996). With the implementation of these orders, the concept of OROP for officers the modified parity in pension was computed at the bottom of the scale and threw up anomalies such as Maj. Gen. Drawing less pension than a Brigadier. By recommending continuation of the existing provisions and altering pay and pension structure, the 6th CPC upset the equilibrium between past and current retirees.

 The 6th CPC recommended the same fitment principle both for pay and pension, but applied the principle differently, in that:

 (a) The difference in pensions between pre and post 01 January 2006 and retirees widens with increase in length of service, thus nullifying the parity effect from 01 January 2006.

 (b) The division of pensioners into various groups on the basis of date of retirement does not stand judicial scrutiny and has been found to violate Article 14 of the Constitution by the Supreme Court.

 On December 19, 2011, not convinced with the government’s denial of OROP due to administrative, legal and financial reasons, the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions, in its tabled report strongly recommended that OROP be granted. The committee observed that while the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) of ministry of defence quoted a figure of `3000 crores additional per year, the department of expenditure pegged the annual expense for the first year at `1300 crores. Out of this `1,065 crores would go for JCOs and other ranks retirees and `235 crores for the commissioned officers. The committee felt that `1300 crores is not a very big amount for a country of our size and economy, particularly in view of the objective for which it would be spent. On the administrative angle, the committee felt that since all the existing pensioners/family pensioners are still drawing their pension/family pension, revision of their pension would not pose any administrative hurdle. On the legal aspect, the committee was not convinced by the argument put forth against the implementation of OROP because the pension/family pension is based upon the service rendered by personnel while in service and comparison of services rendered during two sets of period does not seem to be of much relevance.

 Pension of the past retirees should be determined with reference to notional top-of-the-scale and this pension should be subjected to pro-rata reduction for qualifying service less than 33 years. The pensioner should be given an option to choose between notional top-of-the-scale or 50 per cent of reckonable emoluments. The final letter must also update pensions for all ranks from soldier/sailor/airman to chief up to March 31, 2014 and cater for an annual increment of 3 per cent.

 While Mr Chidambaram has verbally assured whatever the veterans have been agitating for and what they rightly deserve, with 20,24,000 beneficiaries involved and only `500 crores sanctioned so far against the required `1300 crores, it remains to be seen how and by when OROP will be disbursed. If implemented in letter and spirit, veterans and widows concerned will gratefully accept back the 32,000 medals deposited to express deep anguish.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014








Friday, March 7, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Recognising the fact that retired government servants have experience and skills which could be channelized into constructive activities for betterment of Society, the Government has introduced an initiative called ‘Sankalp’. It is hoped that this initiative will help retired government servants in leading a fuller and more meaningful existence post-retirement. This project is initially being run as a pilot to cover 500 Central government pensioners on a first-come-first-served basis. The pensioners willing to be associated with this initiative may visit the website http://www.pensionersportal.gov.in/sankalp for registration.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Laminated Identity cards for Air Force Veterans

IAF has decided to replace the antiquated cardboard ID Cards (IAFF- 2015) with a laminated ID cards. This is applicable for widows of IAF personnel too.

The procedure is simple and can be seen on the AFA website. It involves

(a) Filling up in duplicate an application form obtainable from the nearest IAF unit (one copy will be retained by the unit),

 (b) Attaching a photocopy of the original PPO,

 (c) Attaching a passport size photograph with white background and your Service number endorsed on the right hand corner of the photograph (i.e. above the left ear of the person), and

 (d) Submitting them to the nearest IAF unit.

The IAF unit will forward the same to Dte of Air Veterans who will issue the laminated ID cards through the IAF unit where you submitted the items (a) to (c) above.


7th CPC Gazette Notification, Terms of Reference

CLICK HERE  for 7th CPC Gazette Notification, Terms of Reference

(Source - Ministry of Finance)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Implement One Rank, One Pension Soon, MoD Told

Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday directed his ministry’s accounts deptt to immediately take steps for implementation of the ‘One Rank-One Pension’ decision. At a meeting chaired by him here on Wednesday evening, he had assured the Armed Forces that the Centre was “fully committed” to implement the OROP policy, which was accepted to be implemented from the 2014-15 financial year and an interim budget of `500 crore was earmarked for the same. The policy, when implement-ted, would cost `1,800 crore in the next fiscal, with a 10% increase in the pay-out every year hence.

Antony told the meeting to discuss modalities for OROP implementation that required funds would be made available for the scheme. Chairing a meeting of Armed Forces top brass and MoD senior officials here, Antony pointed out that Finance Minister P Chidambaram had clarified that the `500 crore made available for the OROP scheme was only “indicative” of the government’s intent to implement the long-pending demand.

Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, Defence Secretary R K Mathur, Secretary ESW Sangita Gairola, Secretary Defence Finance Arunava Dutt, the three services vice chiefs and Adjt General from the Services headquarters were present at the meeting, a ministry release said.

It was noted that “OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the armed forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. “This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of current pensioners and past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.”
Antony told the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) to initiate immediate necessary steps in consultation with the three services, MoD Finance and Department of ESW to give effect to the decision.