Monday, April 2, 2018

Soldier drowns at LAC, Def Min cites ‘missing body’ to deny pension to kin : Family Is Still Waiting After 9 Years : Sad as to how logic itself is being stretched to illogical limits due to an all-pervasive pessimistic environment just to deny benefits to our men and women in uniform

Chandigarh: The mother of a dead soldier from Himachal Pradesh has approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) after the defence ministry told her that she would not get her son’s pension. This is because Rifleman Rinku Ram of Jammu & Kashmir Rifles had in November 2009 fallen into a raging river while patrolling along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and his body was never found. The defence accounts department told his mother Kamla Devi that pension would be released only after the body was found.

AFT’s Chandigarh bench, comprising Justice MS Chauhan (retd) and Lt Gen Munish Sibal (retd), has issued notice to the ministry and the accounts department on the mother’s plea. The counsel handling the case said that the demands of the accounts officers were unacceptable. “It is as if they would prefer that the family first jump into the river that flows into China and retrieve the body as proof to get the dues,” the counsel said.

The area where Ram was on patrolling duty almost a decade ago is considered one of the most treacherous terrains along the LAC. Ram’s death was declared a ‘battle casualty’ as deaths caused by drowning, avalanches and floods in operational areas are put in this category. The Army had also issued his death certificate.

Ram’s parents had been approaching authorities for ex-gratia benefits and pension since 2009. According to the plea in AFT, the office of the defence accounts (pensions) in Allahabad rejected their claim on the ground that the soldier couldn’t be treated as dead as his body hadn’t been found and was still considered “missing”. The plea adds that repeated requests from even serving Generals of the Army had no effect on the accountants who gave two reasons for not releasing the benefits. One, ordinary family pension would not be released to the mother because the father was a pensioner, and two, the liberalised family pension would not be released since the son was considered missing.

Even ex-gratia lump sum compensation given to families of all soldiers who have died in the course of performing their duty was not released. War veterans have been regularly complaining about the defence accounts department rejecting claims on “hyper-technical interpretation of rules” even after the benefits are sanctioned by executive authorities.

A committee of experts, formed by former defence minister Mahohar Parrikar had in 2015, strongly deprecated the attitude of the department and said, “We are at a loss to comprehend why negative energy and multiple reams of papers should be wasted on such issues concerning benefits of soldiers and deceased soldiers, which are anyway minor from the organizational point of view, when there are much more important financial matters worth pondering over. We find it difficult to digest as to how logic itself is being stretched to illogical limits due to an all-pervasive pessimistic environment just to deny benefits to our men and women in uniform.”

(Source : TOI)


  1. Dear sir , very sad . MoD ,GOI must issued order for pension . How you will find the body of a soldier after 09 years .

  2. so only each and every civilian of the pcda must give compulsary military training for 5 years what so ever of their age/caste/gender then only they could understand the hardness of the soldiers life and their family members sufferings.meanwhile without getting military training dont give salary/pension/other reliefs to the concerned pcda civilians and dont relive them from their job even at the age of 60 severe measure must to be taken against them.

  3. 90 percents of soldiers at least once in their carrier suffered from the fin dept, either due lack of knowledge in rules & regulations or they are so over confidence of their writing notes on files that there can't be any other solution of the problem, except what they write.The problem is not with the all India cadre officers ie IDAS Officers but the other entries who reaches to a position who can influence the decision making authority ie the Joint Secy level.My experience during the past 12 years,since about 400 ex Army officers re- employed in NCC are denied their legitimate pension in spite of the fact that Head of the Dept & user of their service ,forwarded the case to MOD,administrative min ,they too have endorsed positive recommendations & approved by Mr Parrikar the previous RM but the DEF FIN in MOD keep the file sending up & down for some query or other.During these 12 plus years 50 percent officers expired & the remaining are in que as every one of them crossed 75 & some of them/spouses are likely to cross 90.
    Problem with the JS level officers in MOD Fin is the total dependency on their junior staff ,possibily lack of time with them can't scan thru the whole contents of file where many facts are hidden but not reflected in the notings of junior staff.In our case of last 12 years 4 sets of staff officers or concerned officials have changed , including 4 RM changed & we too changed from young retirees to older veterans of 80 & 90 but they still find pleasure to harass this older diminishing community of war veterans of 62,65 & 71 wars some of them even participated in Goa operations.This is the situation this country's soldiers are experiencing, even the DEF. Minister's approvals are being side lined by junior functionaries of MOD FIN.As great thinker scholers like Chanakkya said,"UNHAPPY SOLDIERS CAN BE A THREAT TO THE NATION,S Monarchy.Good luck to those who sailed thru the troubled water safely & without evil's eye.

  4. This is the state of PCDA whom to tell RM and PM are sleeping PM is admitting that actual OROP is not given still the file is not traced OMJC report is also missing when press is asking the present RM she say we are studying U don't know whether it is written in some foreign language in which interpreter is required only God saves from these leaders Poor Veterans will continues to suffer let any government comes

  5. The day is coming, where people are not interested to join defense services and possibly the day is not far when you have no people to protect our borders. I don't understand why these accountants are trying to become hero, when these money belongs to us (Tax payer). Unfortunately so much corruption has eroded billions of dollar money from our country,govt never got the hands on them and to normal people govt is telling the procedure. WHAT a SHAME.....

  6. Def minister has no time to look after defence forces instead she performs as a spoke person of bjp. She spoke anything other than defence matters