Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Implementation of orders of Hon’ble courts/AFTs in pre-2006 retiree Havildars granted Hony Rank of Nb Sub Cases

Government Of India
Ministry Of Defence
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
D (Pension/Legal)
Sena Bhawan, New Delhi
Dated 30th October,2017
The chief of the Army Staff
Subject: Implementation of orders of Hon’ble courts/AFTs in pre-2006 retiree Havildars granted Hony Rank of Nb Sub Cases.
The Hon’ble supreme Court in the following cases has decided:-
(a) Ex Hav (Hony Nb Sub) Virender Singh & 4 Ors. Who retired prior to 01.01.2006, filed OA No.42/2010 before Hon’ble AFT (RB) Chandigarh seeking the benefits of fitment in the pay grade of Nb Sub in accordance with Government of India, Ministry of Defence letter No.1(8)/2008-D(Pen/Policy) dated 12 June 2009. The Hon’ble AFT, vide its order dated 08 February,2010 ordered to grant the benefit to the petitioners with instructions to release the entitlement of pension and arrears w.e.f. 01.01.2006. Civil Appeal filed by the UOI to assail AFT order dated 08 February,2010 was dismissed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide order dated 13 December,2010.
(b) In a similar case, Civil Appeal No.4677/2014 was filed by the UOI in the Hon’ble supreme court in Ex Hav (Hony NB Sub) Subhash Chander Soni’s (OA 3305/2013) case. Hon’ble Supreme court vide its order dated 20 May 2015 has dismissed the appeal and held that “we are not inclined to entertain this appeal, which is dismissed accordingly.”
2. In view of the above judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court, matter for implementation of orders of Hon’ble Courts/AFTs in respect of Armed Forces Personnel in Hony Nb Sub cases was taken up with Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance for consideration. Deptt. of Expenditure has agreed to implement those orders of Hon’ble courts/AFTs.
3. Accordingly, I am directed to convey the approval of Competent Authority in Ministry Of Defence for implementation of orders of Hon’ble courts/AFTs in Pre-2006 retiree Havildars granted Hony rank of Nb Sub cases, by Service Hqrs. as under:-
a) Service Hqrs may implement the orders of Hon’ble courts/AFTs in Hony Nb Sub cases by issuing absolute sanction keeping in view of the orders of Hon’ble Apex court, quoted at para 1 above.
b) In those Hony Nb Sub Cases in which conditional sanctions have been issued by the Service Hqrs. with the approval of competent authority in MoD, Service Hqrs may convert conditional sanction into absolute sanction at their level with the approval of competent authority at Service HQ. No interest shall be payable as per Hon’ble Supreme Court order dated 20.05.2015 in the case of UOI Vs Subhash Chander Soni.
4. The benefit regarding grant of pension of Naib Subedar to pre-2006 retired Havildars who were granted Honorary rank of Naib Subedar after their retirement, as ordered by the Courts/AFTs, would be applicable only in case of revision of pension as indicated in MoD order No 1(8)/2008-D(Pen/Policy) dated 12.06.2009 and not for retirement gratuity, encashment of leave, composite transfer grant etc.
5. The amount involved on account of implementation of Court/AFT orders will be booked under charged expenditure.
6. This issues with concurrence of Department of Expenditure, Ministry Of Finance vide I.D.Note No.140/E-V/2017 dated 05.06.2017 and MoD (Fin/Pen) U.O.No.10(6)/2012/Fin/Pen/2012 dated 08.09.2017.
(Ajay Kumar Agrawal)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India
(Source : Govt Employees news blog)

It is very unfortunate that yesterday DELHI POLICE manhandled veterans specially war widows ladies.I very strongly condemn it.

Dear Hon. Prime Minister Sh.Narender Modi.

What's the use of celebrating Diwali with forces when you don't respect them from heart,.. it's all showbiz.

At whose behest, disgusting way of handling a peaceful and disciplined, democratic protest. Are we veterans criminals to be treated like this are we goons , mawalis. 

It is very unfortunate that yesterday DELHI POLICE manhandled veterans specially war widows ladies.I very strongly condemn it.

Disgraceful and a shameful act of the BJP Govt. They have destroyed the morale of the Defence Forces what our enemy Pakistan couldn't do till date. 30 October 2017 will be the BLACK DAY in the history of our country. The Govt has destroyed the pride and respect of the Defense Forces. They are ruling like the British.

Government feels that Police Forces can guard the country`s boundaries and that there is not going to be any war. The same thinking as Nehru had and who later was given a jolt by China. Present Govt feels that Army is not required and peace can be bought with neighboring countries through trade tricks and clever talks. 
God save this country !!!

Chander Parkash, Army Veteran



A fortnight ago I had written about the ‘equivalence commission’. It is now back in the limelight, even before the earlier controversy had died. The previous commission formed in 2016, after the MoD issued a controversial letter degrading military officers’ rank structure, was tasked to establish equivalence between them and the civil cadre.

The commission had internal disagreements, with the military representative refusing to sign, as also the additional secretary heading the commission being moved out of the ministry. A recent press release by the MoD stated that the defence minister was re-establishing another commission on the same issue. Legally, the first commission itself was wrong in precedence. It was headed by an Additional Secretary, who stands twenty fifth in the Warrant of Precedence (WoP) issued by the Home Ministry and had as a member a Lieutenant General, who is twenty fourth in the WoP and hence senior.

Was it an intentional action by the MoD to insult the armed forces? Why was it accepted by the military? There are no answers and no clarifications. The armed forces have suffered a series of deprivations in recent times but being disciplined services maintained silence. Entitled rations, wrongly termed as free rations, were withdrawn for officers in peace stations and a meagre allowance granted in lieu, which service HQs are struggling to enhance. Furlough of two months, a facility meant to be taken in emergencies, has also been withdrawn, while in every other organisation leave without pay can be taken for upto six months.

The Prime Minister spends Diwali with soldiers in Gurez, addresses them, stating that armed forces members are a part of his family and the most respected community in the country, while the defence minister spends the same festival with troops in the Andamans. Simultaneously the government seeks to degrade its stature.

Does one deprive and degrade one’s own family? Such an irony is only possible due to three reasons. Firstly, the government seeks to befool the soldier, who has no voice yet performs all assigned tasks without so much as a whimper. Secondly, visits to troops by the political hierarchy is only a photoop meant for forthcoming elections, to garner serving and veteran votes. Thirdly, despite all claims, they have no control over their own government which is run by the bureaucracy while they remain just figureheads. The battle for Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU) continues in court, with the government desperately seeking measures to delay and blunt its release, solely for the military.

The Reddy commission, appointed to resolve OROP issues, had submitted its report to the finance minister over a year ago, yet it continues to gather dust, neither being released nor implemented. There are some issues which the defence minister must ponder over, prior to reconsidering ordering another commission. Is there any reason to order an equivalence commission, as a Warrant of Precedence already exists?

Is the MoD above the government of India that it requires a separate WoP? Are the armed forces incapable of correct decision making, even on military matters, that they require approvals of junior non-military cadre? The approach of the defence minister appears to be the opposite of what it should be. She should be seeking to amalgamate service HQs with the MoD, establishing a joint and more cohesive organisation, rather than diluting one to enhance powers of the other.

She should be aiming to induct more serving officers into the MoD to improve decision making, rather than enhancing existing trust deficit. If this equivalence exercise is intended to induct junior non-military officials into service HQs in place of senior uniformed vacancies, due to additional promotions granted to them, then the harm caused would be much more. The defence minister has neither justified her decision, nor is she likely to.

The NFU battle, now in its final stages was launched not by service HQs for the welfare of its own, but by an individual who felt that the uniformed had been unjustly treated. It was accepted by the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), whose decision the government chose to contest in the Supreme Court. The government even instructed the army’s Judge Advocate Branch (JAG), to depute its officers in uniform to support government counsel in the Supreme Court opposing the case, possibly aiming to convey that even the military is against it.

The ploy failed, compelling the government to seek alternate options. This while calling soldiers the most respected community, the government battles them in courts, solely to deny them their due, whether it is war-wounded disabilities, OROP or NFU. It ignores veterans battling for their rights by protesting for almost a thousand days now for the grant of a fair OROP and has them forcibly removed from Jantar Mantar. It fails to realize that a soldier retires between 35-40, as against other central services, who retire at 60. Hence with shorter service, his pensions would be lower, thus making OROP essential.

While the bureaucracy may be least bothered, the political leaders should be aware that depriving the military of its rights is impacting morale. Social media is abuzz with comments and complaints on the government’s action, at times even against the military’s senior hierarchy, but there seems to be no impact. The government is duty-bound to protect those who risk their lives daily for national security, which it is shirking knowing the military lacks a voice.

A gag order has been placed on the media – these contentious issues and even the veterans’ rally over the weekend was neither covered nor discussed. The veterans’ community, the sole voice of the soldier, stands by him in this battle.

They will continue raising their voice, employing every media including social, to inform the nation of the damage being caused to the soldier and his morale by the government. Impact is being felt and concerned citizens have begun raising their voice. The government must act now.

(The writer is a retired Major-General of the Indian Army)

(SOURCE : http://www.thestatesman.com/opinion/cry-besieged-soldier-1502520028.html )

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Sanctity of the Military Ranks Beyond Equivalence.......

Former President of US, Mr Barack Obama once saw police officers in Ferguson armed with military grade weapons. He asked the Homeland security who authorised these weapons to the police. As a result, he, as the President of United States, issued an executive order in 2015 prohibiting the transfer of a host of equipment, including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms over the "militarization" of the police. He was aware of the significance to maintain sanctity of military status as highest in the state. 
It is blasphemous to compare soldiers with another profession because the soldiers earn the glory for the nation by spilling their own blood. Soldiers in battle never seek a written order to lay down their lives in the line of duty.
Sanctity of military ranks and placing them above all services is not a creation of rank conscious Indian military but a convention that has become a law across all nations. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself recognized that power of Pontius Pilate “which has been given from above” (Jn. 19:11): the power of the sword, to kill and to defend a state from its enemies rests with the soldiers. 
The legislation, Govt, judiciary and the farmers can function if the state is defended by powerful armies. That is why the profession of arms was considered the most valued profession by almost every scripture- Gita, Bible and Quran; and a soldier was placed at highest pedestal in a state and society.
Not many people know that the military ranks have been sanctified by tens of names of martyrs and hundreds of nameless martyrs. These ranks have not been picked up at random but from those who laid down their lives in defending their respective nations. Idea was that every time you address a solider by his rank you actually honour the martyr by remembering him. The respect given to the profession of arms was such that no one could become a king or shepherd of a church without serving in the military. The importance of serving in the military was so significant that those who refused to serve in the military could never become part of the body of the Church and member of the court of the king. Thus the profession of the arms was and will continue to remain above all other professions in spite of the fact that there has been constant conspiracy to erode it. 
Even today the British Crown Prince is required to serve in the military.
A court official no matter how high he was not given the power to kill but it was and is vested with the soldiers. In the battlefield a soldier could kill, injure or even spare the life of an enemy and the authority rests with the soldier to decide as per his conscience. All other Govt functionaries can be prosecuted for killing another human. Supremacy in status was accorded to military personnel not only in Hindu scriptures but across all religions, faith and empires from Europe to Asia.
In the recent past a debate has been raging about the status of the soldiers and their leaders. One has to be completely out of sync to believe that a bureaucrat or file pusher can be equated with the soldier. How can a support staff be superior to the one whom they are supposed to be supporting? It means that the support staff in an operation theatre is even more important than the surgeon who conducts the operations over the patients. Try and tell the surgeon that henceforth he would follow the command of the man who is responsible to maintain the operation theatre and its cleanliness. Will the surgeon take orders from the support staff to conduct surgery? It is completely absurd to even imagine that sectorial or support staff as equal or even superior to the military whom they are employed to support.
What makes a soldier sacrifice his life in the line of duty? It is sense of honour and dignity of being the elite and chosen one. Why the two professions cannot be compared is because a civilian can work at leisurely pace without any irreversible loss to the self and the nation. But if a warrior does things at a leisurely pace he will not only lose his life but will also lose honour of the nation and the loss could be irreversible. 
Churchill had said that the military must not suffer fools or those who are incapable of understanding the art of war. Patton said while addressing the political leadership, either lead me or get out of my way to let me do things as per my ability. 
Civilian control is not bureaucratic control and military must resist to become subordinate to bureaucracy. It would be great disservice to the nation if the military allows itself to become subordinate to bureaucracy. If the military starts behaving like the bureaucracy, the first casualty will be warrior ethos of ‘sweat together to bleed together’ and second will be the moral contract to ‘train together to fight together”. 
A General must have courage to say no to the unjust orders especially that affect morale, national interest and erode the elitism among the soldiers.
There is a need to look at the larger picture. There seems to be a systematic approach to keep military engaged in fighting with the system so that it is unable to focus on maintenance of morale and its ability to prepare to fight future wars. 
If a Chief and his DGMO are fighting bureaucracy to protect the rank and status of soldiers, who do you think will plan for military operations at a juncture when the Indian Army was almost forced to go to war over border standoff with China? The Indian Army does not need Doklam to go to war. There is Doklam happening every day in the form of status of the forces, unresolved pay anomalies of 7 CPC, NFU, OROP and modernisation of the army. 
Chanakya had said, to defeat a big army fight it from within and you need no enemy to defeat biggest of the armies. Imagine the impact of the equation and reduction of the status of armed forces with the support and secretarial staff on the officers and men? So far every officer and soldier is told there is no one equal to you in status and that’s why you are chosen to lead your men unto death.
The President of India is the Supreme Commander and a soldier serves with the pleasure of the presidential decree. No other services enjoys such a status but the question is whether the Supreme Commander should continue to remain silent over the issues that are ultimately eroding the morale and operational edge of the armed forces or use his executive powers to thwart any attempt to dilute the status of the armed forces vis a vis civilian counterparts and secretarial staff. 
In fact if the rank and the status of the military is reduced, it is an insult to the office of Supreme Commander under whom the armed forces are supposed to function and the Warrant of Precedence is issued.
Political leadership should judge whose interest it will serve if the morale of the military is eroded by creating internal dissensions. Thus it is time to identify those who are acting as enemy to fight from within the system against the last pillar of the state. Current and future governments have to decide whether they want an Army that is capable of winning future and current wars or an army that is weakened by constant attack on its stature? 
The current trajectory appears to be going in a direction that may create insubordination in the services headquarters because it will put military officers subordinate to support and secretarial staff. But if the Govt wants to use the lowering of states of armed forces officers to group B to deflect the ire of the court against the denial of the NFU and declare Armed Forces as group B services than there cannot be greater misfortune where a Govt will engage and fight against its own armed forces.
No matter what happens to the overall debate, one thing is sure that the military is conscious of its rank not because it gives them status but because the rank carries the names of known and unknown martyrs. System and bureaucracy may attempt to insult the martyrs but the men who carry their ranks can’t afford to insult those who laid down their lives to protect the honour of the nation. 
I had written in an earlier article that the significance of salutation and what it means to a soldier when he salutes his superior, it means “sir I am ready to carry out your command” and an officer returns the salute by acknowledging that “I will lead you till last breath”. That is why an old soldier never saluted a civilian irrespective of his position because a civilian cannot lead a soldier to war and he is in no way equal to the profession of arms. 
If the services chiefs accept willful erosion of status of military vis a vis support and sectorial staff, they will not only do injustice to past, present and future generation of soldiers but will also insult martyrs. 
Soldiers do not fight for cash awards but take and give lives for the flag and colour of the ribbon. 
One may recall that first thing soldiers did on reaching Tiger Hill was not to wash their wounds and count their martyrs but raised the Tri Colour under the barrage of enemy artillery fire. 
That is why soldiers cannot be compared to any other profession because they seek glory under the shadow of the swords.

(Source :http://www.claws.in/1813/the-sanctity-of-the-military-ranks-beyond-equivalence-narender-kumar.html )


    We have been harping on the “DOWNGRADATION” of the Armed forces and have gone to town lamenting that we are being placed in the Gp B cadre level. Sorry to say this but I feel we have been looking at this A-wise as usual. No one can downgrade the status of any individual after he/she has been appointed. But Yes they can on the sly upgrade their status. That is a relative shift. I have attached the word document where the wiki details of AFHQCS cadre is explained. In 1947 one Col Pritam Singh was the CAO but in 1987 the CAO was upgraded to a Jt Secy. This did not bring officers into Gp B.
But Yes, with all this brouhaha we have mooted an idea that the wily Babus will work upon.
Now we must use this (which we should have done in the First instance) upgrade to our advantage. If a CAO appointee was a Col in 1947 and in 1987 the same appointment was upgraded to a Jt Secy Level then the Armed forces Colonel should also be given a relative upward shift and a Colonel be upgraded to a Jt Secy level with pay and perks.
And if the sly Babu does back stab then remember “No one can make you inferior without your consent” and any Army that cannot Defend its Own Honour is useless and might as well be disbanded since it has lost Self esteem and will never be able to defend the Country.
For addl study -  attaching a DoPT handbook for Personnel Officers so that one can understand procedure if the babus overlook the procedure for creation of Post. 

2.Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services : Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQCS) is second tier civil service, designated as group B service, responsible for providing staff, secretarial, housekeeping, clerical, and ancillary support services to the Indian Armed Forces headquarters and Inter-Services Organizations (ISOs) under the Ministry of defense (MOD).[1]: First Schedule This cadre was constituted in 1968.[1][2][3] The authorized strength of the service in 1968 was 1778;[1] in 2011, 2644,[4] and in 2016, 3235.[5]
Other two components of the cadre are Armed Forces Stenographers Service (AFHQ SS), and Armed Forces Clerical service ( AFHQ Clerical service). The three services, which are all under the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in the Ministry of defence (MOD), are referred to as Armed Forces Headquarter (AFHQ) cadre/ service.[6]
·         1Background
·         2Up-gradation of Posts
·         3Grades and levels
·         4Strength
·         5Time line
During World war II, in 1942, civilian employees under different departments and branches of the Armed Forces Headquarters responsible for providing static ancillary services were reorganized and consolidated under one head who was called Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). The first CAO took over on 1 August 1942.[7] In 1987, the post of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), was upgraded to level of a Joint Secretary(JS), under the defence secretary, who is the Cadre Controlling Authority and Head of the AFHQ employees.[3][8][9]
Up-gradation of Posts[edit]
AFHQCS in 1968 had four grades: 204 were in Group A, and 1472 in Group B. The highest grade was senior civil staff officer, a level analogous to deputy secretary.[1] After the 4Central Pay Commission (1986), large number of existing post were upgraded, which were again upgraded after the Sixth Central Pay Commission( 2006). In 2011 AFHQCS had 409 personnel at group A level, including 4 at Joint secretary level, and 2235 at group B level.[2]In July 2013 a committee was constituted to carry out further cadre re-structuring/review of AFHQ Civil Service' for further enhancing the career prospects of AFHQ-Civil Service'.[3]It currently has six grades/levels, from Assistant Section Officer to joint secretary.[4]

Grades and levels[edit]
Inductions into the service is from upper division clerk by promotion, by promotion from the Assistant Section Officer, and direct recruitment at the level of Assistant Section Officer and section officer.[2] The evolution of the service, its hierarchical structure, pay grades, and Levels, are tabulated below:
AFHQ Civil Service: Grades and Levels Table 1
Designation and Group
Pay grade-scales
Pay Band & Scale
[after 6CPC]
Grade Pay (Rs)
Level in Pay
Matrix 2016[10]:p75[11]
Senior Administrative Grade (2001) [2]  designation changed to Principal Director in October2002.[12](Grp`A’)
AFHQ Civil Service has 4 posts of Principal Director.[3]
Director(Group `A’)
Directors of the AFHQ Civil Service eligible for appointment PD  on completion three years service.[2]: Schedule IV p 20[3]
Sr Civilian StaffOfficer/ Jt Director (2001)[2] designation changed to Jt Director in October 2002.[12](Class I/ Group `A’) Jt Directors of the AFHQ Civil Service eligible for appointment to the Director grade on completion of 05 years of approved service in the grade[2]: Schedule IV p 20[3]
Civilian Staff Officer (2001) designation changed to Deputy Director in October 2002.[12](Group `A’)
Dy Directors of the AFHQ Civil Service will be eligible for appointment to the Joint Director grade and to other administrative posts on completion of 05 years of approved service in the grade.[2]: Schedule IV p 20[3]
Asst Civilian Staff Officer (2001) Designation changed to Section Officer in October 2002[12]  Group `B’ 50% of the posts of Section Officers are filled by Direct Recruitment.[3]
Section Officers eligible for promotion to the grade of Deputy Directorson completion of 06 years service. In addition, upgradation (Non Functional Scale) to the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in PB-3 on completion of 4 years approved service as Section Officer[2][3]
(i) 9300-34800 (on
initial appo-intment)
(ii) 15600-39100
(Non-funct-ional scale/Grade Pay on
completion of 4 years
approved service)
(i) 4800
(ii) 5400
Grade Pay)
Asst Section Officer(Group `B’, Non-Gazetted) Ministerial.
Asst Section officer grade done by Direct Recruitment (50%) and 50% by Promotion from UDC grade.[3]
210-10-270-15-200-EB-15-450- 20-520
Group `B’, Non-
PB-2 9300-34800
The authorized strength of the service is 2644(2011), an increase of 866, from a total of 1778 in 1968.[1][2] This is in addition to Armed Forces Headquarters Stenographers Service, which has an overall strength of 856 ( 08 Senior Principal Private Secretary; 44 Principal Private Secretaries; 300 Private Secretary; and 504 a Personal Assistants).[13] The increase in strength of the service is tabulated below:
Strength of AFHQCS 1968-2016 Table 2
Designation and Group
authd strength
1968[1]:second Schedule
authd strength
2001 [2]:Schedule I p 13
authd strength
authd strength
Sr Administrative Grade][2]  Designation Changed to Principal Director in October 2002.[12] (Group`A’)AFHQ Civil Service has 4 posts of Principal Director.[3]
Director (Group `A’)
Sr Civilian Staff Officer/Jt Dir[2]  Joint Director, since October 2002.[12](Group `A’)
Civilian Staff Officer. Dy Dir since in October 2002.[12](Group `A’)
Supdt- Central civil services class II ministerial (1968)/ Assistant Civilian Staff Officer (2001). Designation changed to Section Officer in October 2002[12] Group `B’
Assistant Section Officer
(Group `B’, Non-Gazetted) Ministerial.
including leave reserve
Time line[edit]
1 August 1942
In response to the demands of the World War II, all the civil man power in the then war department was consolidated under the office of Chief Administrative officer(CAO). The first four CAO were brigadier of the Indian army.[7]
16 August 1947
Colonel Pritam Singh, becomes the first Indian CAO.[7]
1 March 1968
Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service constituted as group B Service from the existing staff under the Armed Forces headquarters and inter service organisations. The highest grade in the AFHQ Civil Service is Senior Staff Officer, analogous to a deputy secretary, with pay grade of Lt colonel.[1]
The post of CAO is upgraded to Joint Secretary.[7]
The Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service Rules, 2001, supersede by Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service Rules, 1968. Two Existing posts upgraded to JS, and 9 to Director.[2]
31 October 2002
New designation of principal director( Senior Administrative grade); Joint Director ( Senior Civilian Staff officer) , analogous to civil service time scale post with 9 years; Deputy director(Deputy director), analogous to civil service time scale post with 4 years service; and section officer ( Assistant civilian Officer) created.[12]
15 April 2011
Joint Secretary post increased to 3: one each in the Military Secretary’s branch, Adjutant General’s branch, and Directorate general of Quality assurance. 20 existing post upgraded to Director post, a post analogous to civil service time scale post with 13 years[4]
Joint Secretary post increases to 4. Directors posts to 21/22. All promotion on time scale basis. All Directors in the service are empaneled to be Principal directors.[5] Strength of AFHQ CS is 3235.[5]