Saturday, September 19, 2009

Women Army officers given little hope

The Government on Friday virtually ruled out giving permanent commission to serving women officers, instead offering them help for a business course in top B-schools for a corporate career.

The suggestion by Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanium before the Delhi High Court virtually seals the fate of about 1,000 serving women officers on short service commission in the armed forces, who are left with hardly a few days in uniform.

For now the court has stayed their retirement till the final outcome of the case and posted the matter for final arguments on November 19.

Over 20 officers had filed a PIL challenging the decision to bypass them for future grant of permanent commission to women officers. As per government plans, it's only by 2015 that the first batch of women officers will be technically sworn in as permanent commissioned officers.

Currently, women are inducted in the Army as officers under the short service commission for a maximum period of 14 years, even as their male counterparts are eligible to receive permanent commission after five years.

But Subramanium was clear that the government policy would be in effect “prospectively” for future batches of women officers as the training and examination processes of women candidates have to fine-tuned to suit the “additional avenues” opening up for them in the armed forces. “A gestation period of at least 10 years is necessary. We need to have at least that much leeway,” Subramanium said, suggesting that there was no room for the current women officers.
Women Army officers given little hope

Friday, September 18, 2009

Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare – five years in service of veterans

Friday, September 18, 2009 Ministry of Defence
The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), functioning under the Ministry of Defence, completes five years of its existence next week. Set up on September 22, 2004, the department caters exclusively to the rehabilitation and welfare of about 21 lakh Ex-Servicemen (ESM) population and another five lakh ESM widows. Nearly 60,000 ESM are added to this huge number every year, largely due to perhaps the highest attrition rate in any organized sector among the Armed Forces in order to retain a youthful profile of the fighting forces, their primary task. Taken together with ESM dependents ranging between 50-70 lakhs, the Department of ESW shoulders responsibility of the welfare of roughly one crore population of ESM and their dependents.

The Department of ESW achieves its objectives through its three attached offices, consisting of the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR), the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) and the Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), besides coordinating with the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA), Allahabad. In January 2008 the Department of ESW came to be headed by a full-fledged Secretary-level officer, underlining the government’s commitment to the concerns of the huge ESM population. Besides helping the veterans resettle in a suitable second career, the department provides healthcare and ensures timely payment of benefits and pension to the ESM and their dependents.

The Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) is the first avenue for the Services personnel on the verge of superannuation. It imparted training to over 34,000 officers and Persons Below Officer Rank (PBORs) during 2008-09 besides granting jobs to 51,000 ESM and securing placement for another 30,000 ESM in DGR-sponsored security agencies last year. The DGR, being the nodal agency for resettlement of ESM, has in recent years tied up with reputed management institutes to offer post-graduate diplomas to Services officers. It runs several successful ESM reemployment programmes including the popular Mother Dairy Milk and Fruit and Vegetable booths, placement in empanelled private security agencies, coal tipper scheme, allotment of army surplus vehicles, management of CNG stations and toll plazas under the NHAI and sponsoring ESM for the allotment of 8 percent quota of LPG, petrol pump and kerosene outlets reserved for wartime/peacetime widows and disabled soldiers. Last year 287 Mother Dairy outlets were allotted to ESM/dependents sponsored by the DGR. The DGR’s stupendous success in the placement of ESM in security agencies can be gauged from the fact that the number of ESM employed jumped from over 27,000 in 2007 to over 40,000 in 2008 while another over 17,000 have been successfully granted placement this year till May, 2009.

The Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), the apex body for the welfare of war-wounded and other Ex-Servicemen (ESM), keeps in constant touch with the large ESM community, fulfilling their needs and aspirations through the 32 Rajya Sainik Boards and 355 Zila Sainik Boards spread across the country. KSB doles out about Rupees 7 crores aid every year to ESM, widows, children and orphans through welfare schemes out of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund, which includes the Raksha Mantri’s Discretionary Fund ranging between Rs.5,000-1,25,000. The government recently amended the eligibility to include ESM up to the rank of Havildar and equivalent in the Navy and Air Force under the scheme. In another major initiative the KSB has in recent years replaced the crude motorized tricycles with the new modified 4-wheeled Honda Activa scooters distributed free of cost to the disabled ESM. The KSB also provides funds to the Red Cross Society, Cheshire Homes and Military Hospitals for the treatment and care of ESM and their wards and administers the award of more than 3,500 Prime Minister’s scholarships every year to wards of ESM.

The Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) is another big success story in the Department of ESW’s endeavours and concerns for the ESM welfare. Founded in April 2003, the ECHS today has a vast network of 2,267 polyclinics, its membership jumping nearly ten-fold, - from 3.5 lakhs in 2005 to over 30 lakhs. ESM with disabilities who had to travel long distances to the Artificial Limb Centre, Pune, are now getting such medical aid from about 150 Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) -empanelled centres across the country. The government has also hiked ECHS allocation from Rs. 82.85 crore in 2004-05 to Rs. 690 crores in the current financial year. The Department of ESW further proposes to include soon the Nepal-domiciled Gorkhas, who continue to receive medical aid from the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund, under the ECHS and has given ‘in principle’ approval for setting up a Pension Payments Office (PPO) in Butwal, Nepal.

But all efforts and welfare schemes would come to a naught if the ESM does not get his monthly dues on time. The Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA), Allahabad is the nodal office, handling pension for about a whopping 17 lakh ESM and dependents through banks, treasuries, Pension Disbursing Offices besides the vast postal network all over the country. The government has recently issued instructions to issue simultaneous notification of Service and Disability Pension to avoid delays in release of the latter. Unmarried daughters over 25 years of age and widowed/divorced daughters dependent on the ESM have now been granted family pension and several other steps to support the ESM dependents have been introduced. Other major initiatives include, - hiking minimum pension from Rs. 1,913 to Rs.3,500 pm, removal of linkage of full pension with a qualifying service of 33 years from Jan.01, 2006, commutation of pension increased, gratuity hiked from Rs.3.5 lakhs to Rs.10 lakhs and special family pension hiked from Rs.2,550 to Rs.7,000 pm. The government has also improved pension for Ex-service personnel, besides benefits accruing out of the Sixth Pay Commission including Military Service Pay to Armed Forces personnel and awarding a higher separate Pay Bands for officers of the rank of Lt. General and Lt. Colonel, or equivalent, respectively. Additional pension has been granted in varying range for elderly pensioners, with the government granting cumulative benefits of Rs.2,144 crores to the men in the three Services and the ESM.

Pension Adalats have been a tremendous success in settling disputes related to ESM spread across the country; six such Adalats are normally held in places with large concentration of ESM population.

In contribution of the sacrifices made by the martyrs, war-wounded, Ex-Servicemen and their dependents, the DGR marks December 7 every year as the Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) when the nation remembers its veterans and generously contributes to the Flag Day Fund.
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare – five years in service of veterans

Comments and Clarifications
1. DGR imparted training to over 34,000 officers and Persons Below Officer Rank (PBORs) during 2008-09 besides granting jobs to 51,000 ESM and securing placement for another 30,000 ESM in DGR-sponsored security agencies last year. What it means is that most of the 60,000 retiring ESM have found employment. This is not true.
2. Employment of 30,000 ESM in DGR sponsored security agencies is one of the demeaning manner of employing a trained combat Soldier.
3. ECHS had a membership of 3 lakhs initially and recent figure is that only about 9 lakhs of the total 25 lakhs ESM are members. The figure of 30 lakhs is misleading. It is likely that number of dependants too have been included.
4. KSB doles out about Rupees 7 crores aid every year to ESM, widows, children and orphans through welfare schemes out of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund- There is no check or audit. Is the money intended really reaching the widows, children or orphans. What is the feedback system? How much is collected and expended from Armed Forces Flag Day Fund?
5. 4-wheeled Honda Activa scooters distributed free of cost to the disabled ESM. The KSB also provides funds to the Red Cross Society, Cheshire Homes and Military Hospitals for the treatment and care of ESM and their wards and administers the award of more than 3,500 Prime Minister’s scholarships every year to wards of ESM.
How many, how much and who are the beneficiaries? Why are these statistical details not embedded in the webpages?

IESM: Membership drive in Punjab

Dear Friends,
1. All Indian Veterans Meet on 30 Aug 2009 to commemorate 1st Raising Day of IESM at NOIDA was purposeful, analytical and greatly satisfying to search for the strategy and action plans for the “Future”. Large numbers of suggestions were made by participants. We are also receiving large number of suggestions through the mails and telephone calls.

2. One of the major suggestions received is to increase our reach in length, breadth and depth in the country through extensive membership drive. Punjab counts for over seven lakhs ESM. As a pilot project, the steering committee has decided to restructure IESM organization in Punjab to achieve our aims of extensive membership drive and to extensively execute the Movement. We will extend the experiment to other States subsequently.

3. Punjab State Committee of IESM reconstituted as under:
President: Brig Nawab Singh Heer
Brig BS Gill
Col RS Boparai
Col AS Bhinder
Maj SS Dhillon
Hy Capt BS Bhatti
Cpl JS Kumbhra

The State Committee is requested to nominate district, city, tehsil and block committees by 15 Oct 2009 and forward the details the IESM Central HQ. The committee will plan and execute extensive membership drive. The State Committee is requested to achieve 10 percent members of the total ESM population ie seventy thousand by 31 Dec 2009.

4. Zonal Coordinator. Brig Harwant Singh who is also the member of central HQ steering committee is nominated to be zonal coordinator of Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana. He is tasked to coordinate IESM activities in Chandigarh, Punjab & Haryana & achieve the target of one lakh and ten thousand members from Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh by 31 Dec 2009.

5. Well friends let us together make IESM an Umbrella organization of all ESM organizations of India and to deliver positive outcome in obtaining their due Justice.

6. Convenors of all other States are also requested to nominate their district, city, tehsil and block committees by 15 Oct 2009 positively and forward details to the Central HQ. Extensive membership drive may please be launched to achieve membership target of five percent of the total ESM population of the respective States by 31 Dec 2009.
“All together…………Heave”
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Evolution of Military Law and necessity of the Armed Forces Tribunal

Chandigarh based noted lawyer Navdeep Singh places a perspective on the recently constituted Armed Forces Tribunal and traces the evolution of the practice of military law for the armed forces personnel.
It would not exactly be appropriate to say that the three military Acts are without enough checks to avoid miscarriage of justice. There are ample provisions parallel to those available under the criminal system of jurisprudence but the problem remains that unlike the criminal courts, court martials are presided over not by judicial officers but by officers of the regular army who neither have the acumen nor the bent towards legal and judicial modalities. Moreover, all procedures finally leading to conviction by a court martial (such as Courts of Inquiry, Summary of Evidence etc) are handled by military personnel who may just follow provisions of military Acts and Rules in formal letter but not in spirit - and this makes all the difference. And this also brings us to the answer why a body of professionals such as the AFT is so very urgently required to sit in judgement and appeal over justice rendered to men and women in uniform by another set of men and women in uniform.
Read full article:
Armed Forces Tribunal

Babus’ graft laid bare on web

New Delhi, Sep 17, DH News Service
In a move that will shame corrupt babus and make ministries and government departments lose face for misdemeanours by their employees, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has started putting up on its website names of those officials against whom it has advised sanction for prosecution or imposition of penalty.

The first such list of officials, against whom the CVC has advised various actions for alleged corruption, include names of 258 officials, with the Ministries of Railways and Home, public sector banks, insurance companies, ONGC, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Delhi Development Authority and Municipal Corporation of Delhi leading the list of infamy.

The names have been put up by the CVC as part of its activities in July this year, making it imperative that it would put up such lists on the public domain every month, making life difficult for errant babus. In July, the Commission disposed off 522 cases referred to it for advice. Also, recoveries to the tune of Rs 90 lakh were effected after it conducted technical examination of some departments.

According to the data, during July itself, the CVC advised imposition of major penalty against 101 officers, including 17 from public sector banks, 16 from insurance companies, 13 from DDA, 11 each from ONGC and MCD, nine from Ministry of Railways, seven from Central Coalfields Ltd, five from Department of Coal, and two each from Department of Posts, CBDT and CBEC.

It also advised initiation of major penalty proceedings against 135 officers, which include 31 from public sector banks, 29 from Ministry of Railways, 13 from MCD, seven each from DDA, CBDT and FCI, five from CBEC, four each from Department of Telecommunications, Central Coalfields Ltd and Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, three from New Mangalore Port Trust, and two each from NHAI, ICAR, Department of Atomic Energy, and Ministry of External Affairs.

It also advised the administrative authorities of various ministries to launch prosecution against 22 officers, including seven each from CBDT and Ministry of Home Affairs and two each from Ministry of Environment & Forests and MCD.

During the month, competent administrative authorities issued sanctions for prosecution against 26 officers coming under CVC jurisdiction, imposed major penalty on 65 officers, and “stiff major penalty” was imposed on seven officers.

The list includes six senior officers of the rank of joint secretary or equivalent and above. The CVC sometime back instructed all the government departments to put in place a mechanism to ensure that all complaints received in by them against any of their employees being involved in alleged corruption, malpractices or misconduct would “necessarily” be sent to their respective central vigilance officer for scrutiny and action.
This measure is aimed at making it sure that no such complaint escapes scrutiny of the CVOs.
Babus’ graft laid bare on web
More details from CVC
List of cases where major penalty has been imposed by the competent authority during July’ 09
Details of cases where Commission had advised suitable major penalty during July 2009
Details of cases where Commission has advised issuance of sanction for prosecution during July 2009

IESM: Mission, Vision, Core Values & Goals

Elucidated from Memorandum of Association- INDIAN EX SERVICEMEN MOVEMENT

Mission Statement
To care for those who have battled and preserved the security of the Nation, by serving and honouring the men and women who are Ex- Servicemen.

To provide them the best benefits and services they have earned– and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship.

Core Values
Compassion– We will treat all ESM and their families with the utmost dignity and compassion. We will provide services in a caring manner, with a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

Commitment– ESM have earned our gratitude and respect. Their health care, pension benefits, and memorial service needs to drive our actions.

Excellence– We strive to exceed the expectations of ESM and their families. We strive to perform at the highest level of competence and take pride in our accomplishments.

Professionalism– Our success depends on maintaining a highly-skilled, diverse, and compassionate volunteers and governing body. We foster a culture that values equal opportunity, innovation, and accountability.

Integrity– We recognize the importance of accurate information. We practice open, truthful, and timely communication with ESM, and GOI agencies chiefly under the MOD. By carefully listening and responding to their concerns, we seek continuous improvement in our programs and services.

Accountability– We will perform in a manner at all times that makes us accountable, responsible, and answerable to ESM and their families, our leaders and other external Government and Non- Government agencies.

Governance– We will ensure responsible management of the human, financial, and natural resources as well as data and information entrusted to us. We will improve performance through the use of innovative technologies, evidence- based practices, and sound welfare principles.

Strategic and Enabling Goals
Goal 1– Restore the capability of ESM with disabilities to the greatest extent possible, and improve the quality of their lives and that of their families.

Goal 2– Ensure a smooth transition for ESM from active military service to civilian life.

Goal 3– Honour and serve ESM in life, and memorialize them in death for their sacrifices on behalf of the Nation.

Goal 4– Contribute to the ESM and Public health, emergency management, socio-economic well-being, and history of the Nation.

Enabling Goal– Deliver best service to ESM and their families through effective communication and management of people, technology, business processes, and financial resources.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Al-Qaeda seeking nuclear secrets from Pakistan: Holbrooke

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 16, 2009 at 1748 hrs

Washington: Richard Holbrooke has said that Al-Qaeda may be seeking nuclear secrets from Pakistan

Al-Qaeda is trying to seek nuclear secrets from Pakistan and it remains as dangerous as ever, Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said on Wednesday.

"Al-Qaeda is still there in the region, ever dangerous and publicly asking people to attack the US and publicly asking nuclear engineers to give them nuclear secrets from Pakistan," Holbrooke said at a reception hosted by the Congressional Caucus on Afghanistan at the Capitol Hill.

Holbrooke? the point man of the Obama Administration for Afghanistan and Pakistan- said the US is not in Afghanistan to support the elections, but it is there for its own national interest and security. "We are not in Afghanistan for the election."
Al-Qaeda seeking nuclear secrets from Pakistan: Holbrooke
More Reading
Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
PLAYING IT CRISP- Is the Indian political class maturing in its dealings with the US? The Telegraph

Reforming the Civil Services: Can Bureaucrats be ever made accountable?

Saturday, 13 December, 2008 4:30:16 PM
Dear Mr Veerappa Moily,
I was very happy to hear on the TV news that the ARC has recommended that civil services will be be judged on their performance. The recommendation is against the ethos of government service which every Indian aspires to join for a life time of security. To my mind the ARC has a potential revolt on its hands. However, being an ex- serviceman I think such a result should be risked in the interest of our country.

I am of the opinion that the civil services have been feather bedding themselves during the last 61 years of our independence. It was not so obvious in the earlier years but the greed has increased in direct proportion to immorality of the politicians who have gone about looting the country with both hands. Consequently the civil servants feel empowered to do the same. Now that an IAS officer becomes a Joint Secretary in 14 years and, due to the new rule he cannot be proceeded, against legally, even if he is caught with his hands in the till. So he can serve over 20 years without let or hinderance as the rest of his Cadre will be there to deny or delay permission to prosecute even if found fit to be charged. We have the case of Goswami of Bihar Cadre who was found to have been involved in scam of Rs 17 crores. Same thing has happened in the case of Neerja Yadav and AK Singh ex- chief secretaries of UP, and many others. Why shouldn't the civil servants do the same, as the politicians are setting an example like Lalu Yadav, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Jayalalitaa et al.

I feel that the British modeled the administration in India on the lines obtaining in Great Britain. A small country with a number of counties being managed centrally, replicated by a similar organisation to manage India's provinces, each one of them equal to or greater, than the entire GB. With our administration in the states taking on new dimensions eg., looking after development, health, roads, electricity and an aggravated law and order situation, the present system is found wanting. As we found recently in our intelligence setup, accountability is defused. When an IAS/ IPS does not perform or is not found suitable by the political bosses he pulls all sorts of strings to get out of the state to job at the centre or in a non cadre job. With the result that non- performers never get pinned down and the AAM ADMI suffers. The present practise of political bosses picking up an officer from the bottom of the barrel because they like him, and all officers senior to him being promoted under the one below rule, must be stopped. Because in the bargain senior officers have to occupy posts which are tenable by those with lesser service.

The earlier India discards the UK model the better it would be. The country should adopt a model which is working in a country which is closer to our size and has a federal form of goverment. I think India should adopt a model like the one in the USA, where the states have a federal form of relationship with the Centre. The states should have their own civil services which are tailored to their size, requirement and finances. Now, when a pay commission award is announced the states cry out that they cannot afford the additional burden. Let the states recruit their own citizens and fix salaries according to their means. Such civil servants will be more accountable and not look over their shoulders for help if they are found wanting in their own jobs. If they are not suitable, they should be turfed out and not become a liability on the state exchequer. Security of a job should be offered only to performers while non- performers should feel the heat.

My other suggestion is that time scale promotions should be avoided. It leaves no incentive to perform above mediocrity. As in business, when there is competition the quality improves and price of a product falls. However, as we saw in our socialist era, without competition the quality was abysmal and the prices high. I am sure some of the states will be able to get better people at lower salaries. It is irrational to have uniform dearness allowance for all the states when the cost of living is quite different in each.

As regards staffing at the centre, it should be based on fitting round pegs in round holes and not that all shapes and sizes should fit all holes. Please get specialists for each department to get the maximum benefit. Imagine an IAS officer in DGCA, an IFS officer in IDPL and an IAS/ IPS officer as Tea Commissoner in Australia or the UK. The results can be predicted.

I know I am suggesting a drastic rethinking in the form of administration that we should design for our country, but drastic problems cannot be solved with minor tinkering. The country, which has all the potential of becoming a super power, will be grateful if the ARC does some thinking out of the box.
Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd)
Reforming Services in India: A world Bank Review

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

IESM: Next round of Service Medal Collection 25 Oct 2009

Dear Friends,
1. The Operation Medals Deposit on 13 Sep 2009 was a grand success. 5000 medals were deposited with the President by the delegation of ten lead by Gen PK Renjen which included Sqn Ldr BL Dhiman, WO Balathilkan, W/O KS Rohil, Sub Phool Singh Samoda, Sub DS Yadav, Sub Hari Singh, Hony Capt Dhir Singh, Sub Maj Sardara Singh and Hav Pritam Singh.

2. Approx 300 ESM representatives came from across the country to deposit the medals. Jatha of 40 ESM lead by Sub Maj Sardara Singh came from Sangrur (Pb), 10 ESM from Garhshankar, Sub DS Yadav from Farukhabad brought 258 medals. Col Dhankar from Rohtak alongwith number of JCOs and Jawans also attended. Maha Singh, Ramsarup, Dhir Singh, Manphool, Lt Pandey, W/O Bala, W/O KS Rohil, Hony Capt Krishan Kumar Yadav, COPO Awasthi, MCPO Chauhan, Sub Hari Singh and Hav Pritam Singh were also present. Of course all available members of the Steering Committee were present.

3. Large number of JCOs, & Men spoke during the medal collection event.
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
The next medal deposit- 25 Oct 2009: read full contents of letter

Welfare Ex-Servicemen: Response to OROP letter

Dear Shri Davar,
Thank you for your mail (click me) propagating the achievements of your party relating to the recommendations of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on OROP and related issues. As a loyal worker of your party and a Secretary AICC- a very important position, you have no doubt tried to impress the veterans, but has it had any effect? Please read on.

If the intention was to get grateful responses from the veterans, then you must have yourself seen the news of a massive 5000 medals being deposited, in protest and anguish, with the Rashtrapati precisely one day after you had sent your mail. Actions always tell the tale better!

In addition, the replies you must have received to your mail should give you a fair idea about the feelings of neglect and frustration that the veterans feel. You may well be under the impression that this state of affairs exists only amongst the veterans and that the serving military personnel do not harbour such sentiments. If you and the hierarchy of your party think so, then I am afraid you do not have a feel of the ground situation, which is a great shame, especially for a party that is governing the nation! The serving community may be gagged by the rules and regulations, but they are equally concerned and frustrated by the inadequate and anti-military policies of the government. The leadership of the party may like to ponder over this state of affairs, as it is not at all conducive for the security of the nation. I do not think I need elaborate any more on this aspect.

Coming to the specifics of the recommendations of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary, the measures listed are not even a drop in the ocean and do reflect the bureaucratic machinations in totality. How strange that the leaders of stature in your very old and established party have either not been able to fathom them or are so helpless that they do not know how to deal with the burgeoning clout of the bureaucrats and the lengths they would go to for the continuation, nay increase of their power and pelf.

Since I head an NGO for the long-term rehabilitation of the war disabled, let me elaborate, if I may, on the minuscule recommendations so grandiously stated in the recommendations of the Committee. The major issue of treating the pre and post January 2006 war disabled at par and giving them war injury pay as a percentage of pay (as applicable for the post-January 2006 war disabled) has not even been addressed. Only two peripheral issues, largely meaningless, have been recommended. What a farce, especially when the total number of war disabled is so small. It is strange that even for the smallest and most neglected segment of the veteran’s population, the Committee had neither remorse nor sympathy! All it reflects is the callous attitude of the government even for those who fearlessly went into battle for the nation, knowing well that they may be maimed and disabled for life. This is no way to treat war wounded soldiers; no other nation does so. Perhaps the reason is the lack of any political oversight over such committees comprising wholly of bureaucrats.

Let me make one more point relating to the recommendations. Slogans and homilies may have some effect on the ignorant masses, but the veterans as well as the serving military personnel, being mature and aware, are no longer impressed by them. The situation has now gone much beyond that and if it is not retrieved at an early date, the consequences for the nation may well be catastrophic. Need I say any more!

I am sorry I have made this mail too long; you may not even have the time or the inclination to read it! However, since you are a very senior and influential functionary of the party, I thought it may be useful for you to know all the facts, especially the ground situation.

Warm regards.
Vijay Oberoi
(Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Former VCOAS)
Blog link: click here
Related Reading
Retired military officers deserve a better deal

IESL: Aims and Objectives

  • To assist Ex-Servicemen and their dependents in matters relating to pensions, allowances, grants, war gratuities, resettlement and rehabilitation in close co-operation with the Government of India, Governments of States and other official and Non-Official Agencies and Organisations and render financial and other assistance to them in distressed circumstances.

  • To support the United Nations Organisation and all other agencies, which have the cause of world peace, based on justice, freedom, secularism and democracy and to support the country in the time of National Emergency in every possible way.

  • To educate people and build up a Public Opinion with a view that maintenance of disabled Ex-Servicemen and women and their welfare and that of their families is a National Duty.

  • To endeavour to obtain public support to get to the Ex-Servicemen and their ladies a fair treatment in all matters relating to finding or provisioning of employment.
    IESL: Aims and Objectives
    Click links below for more information:
  • Military Skill Sets in great demand

    Why Ex- Servicemen?
    Candidates who have a military background possess outstanding skill sets and a strong work ethic and generally in the age goup 38 to 55.

    Why employ Ex- Servicemen?
    They have great leadership ability, initiative, and self-discipline. ESM have received an excellent education and have been well trained. They are prime candidates for positions requiring security clearances and are highly diverse with regard to region, religion and ethnicity.

    To enter the military, an individual must have at least a high school education or an equivalent, an indicator of self-discipline. The individual also must pass a screening for negative behavior such as drug or alcohol abuse and criminal activity. Once in the military, the individual must complete a highly demanding initial phase of training. Advanced training develops teamwork and initiative. As a result of all these factors, military veterans possess character traits that help make them outstanding civilian employees.

    Military skill sets of the active duty component range from "Construction" and "Engineering, Science, and Technical" to "Transportation and Material Handling", "Vehicle Machinery Mechanic" and "Communication, Radio Systems and Network Engineering."

    Typical Trade Structure: Corps of Signals
    Supervisory Roles
    Foreman of Signals (FoS)
    Supervisor Radio
    Supervisor Information Systems
    Yeoman of Signals (YoS)

    Technician Electronics and Systems
    Technician Electronics and Radio
    Operator Communication Console
    EW systems operator
    Area Systems Operator
    Information Systems Engineer
    Installation Technician
    Systems Engineer Technician
    Driver Lineman
    Technical Supply Specialist
    Radio Systems Operator
    Specialist Operator
    Signals Electrician

    If military life is almost behind you, it is most certainly not forgotten. You possess a unique skill set that only a small portion of the workforce shares with you. Many of the non- veteran careerists out there have grown accustomed to a routine, become comfortable, have stopped learning and therefore overlook the wealth of skills that have been accumulated over the years. This may be your most valuable asset, as no one can devalue the skills and experience you possess. The golden opportunities in the civil world is needs the drive to find the right job that suits your passion.

    Percent of the population that are Ex- Servicemen: 24/130= 0.18%
    Percentage annual increase of ESM : 60/25= 2.4%
    Percentage of employed Ex- Servicemen in relation to total population= 0.02 (approx)
    Percentage of employed Ex- Servicemen in relation to total population of Ex- Servicemen= 10% (approx)

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Maj Gen Eustace recounts Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw's leadership qualities

    As a young major in 1947, Eustace D'Souza first came to know about Major Sam Manekshaw when reading about the Burma campaign in World War II. Manekshaw was shot in the stomach when he and his company were holding the Sittang bridge. For that act of valour, he was given the Military Cross on the field of battle; his commanding British officer did not expect the flamboyant Parsi officer to survive. But survive Sam did, leading the Indian Army to an incredible military victory in the 1971 war.
    Commissioned in the Indian Army in 1943, Major General D'Souza (retd), now 87, has fought four wars and had several interactions with Field Marshal Manekshaw. He spoke about the man who was an outstanding leader of men. A first person account of a great soldier who passed into the ages shortly after midnight June 27:
    Till yesterday Sam Manekshaw was the oldest living field marshal in the world.
    I first met Sam Manekshaw when I was facing the Chinese in Nathu La, commanding a brigade. It was in 1964-1965. The Chinese were across a little strip and my brigade held them when they first moved up with 2,000 troops, we held fast, we didn't panic like in '62.
    Sam came to visit us as he was very pleased, and then he came again to request me to stay on as brigade commander. I told him, 'Sir I have a family too, I have been away from my family for four years -- three in high altitude.' He recommended me to the National Defence College and I went there.
    He was very perceptive. When he came to visit me at Nathu La at 13,600 ft, I was a brigadier then with 5,000 troops under me. He said, 'Souzie -- he used to call me that --what do you do for your young officers, they must be absolutely cheesed off here.'
    He went back to Calcutta and sent back a packet of girly magazines. He said this is for your young officers. He had wanted to see how I lived and saw a portable record player with lots of LPs -- and I am a Western classical music fan. He went back and sent a parcel with a LP record of the famous American singer Marian Anderson.
    He was fearless. When he was a major with the Sikh company in Burma, they had a promotion meeting for the appointment of lance naik to naik.
    He didn't approve of one name because he said he was a rascal. That man sent word to Sam saying, 'I would kill you.' So Sam Manekshaw told his senior subedar -- 'Unko march karna hai'.
    He was marched before Sam and he asked him -- 'You are going to kill me? Here's my pistol, now come on shoot me.' That man was so taken aback that he marched out meekly. Sam appointed him as batman. That was the sort of man he was.
    Sam Manekshaw: No soldier can forget
    Major General Eustace D’Souza recounts Leadeship Qualities of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

    IESM: Return of Service Medals

    Photo Courtesy India TV News: Miffed Ex-Servicemen Return 5,000 Medals on 13 Sep 2009

    Former Navy Chief Admiral Jayant G Nadkarni said that when uniform pension is applicable in other sectors then how can one expect a service personnel to live with the same amount of pension in the present times?

    On the basis of what has come out, there is definitely disappointment as for long there was a demand that disparity in pension of personnel retiring at different points of time be removed. But, the government attempt is more or less to bridge the gap between former and present pensioners, which is not of much significance, said Lt Gen (Retd) Ashok Joshi.

    Air Marshal (Retd) B N Gokhale said that although the government decision to implement the OROP is a good move but there seems to be a confusion on implementation aspect particularly for officers.
    ESM hail improved pension
    Related reading
    Ex-servicemen to return more medals: August 29th, 2009 PTI

    IESM: Chairman's Desk- Service Medals

    Monday, 14 September, 2009 11:40:35 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    In consonance with the decision taken in this regard, another tranche of medals was deposited with the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 13 Sep 2009. All credit to the Steering Committee members who through their deep personal commitment made the event a grand success. 5000 medals were deposited by the delegation of ten led by Gen PK Renjen, which included Sqn Ldr Dhiman, WO Balakrishnan, WO KS Rohil, Sub Phool Singh Samoda, Sub DS Yadav, Sub Hari Singh, Hony Capt Dhir Singh, Sub Maj Sardara Singh and Hav Pritam Singh.
    As per plan only medals were called for from various regions and it was not a rally in the traditional sense. Hence only approx 300 ESM representatives came from across the country for the event. Jatha of 40 ESM led by Sub Maj Sardara Singh came from Sangrur (Pb), 10 ESM came from Garhshankar, Sub DS Yadav from Farukhabad brought 258 medals. Col Mahabir Dhankar from Rohtak along with number of JCOs and Jawans also attended. Veterans Maha Singh, Ramsarup, Dhir Singh, Manphool, Lt Pandey, W/O Bala, W/O KS Rohil, Hony Capt Krishan Kumar Yadav, COPO Awasthi, MCPO Chauhan, Sub Hari Singh and Hav Pritam Singh were also among the participants.
    That the government was/is concerned became evident though actions of the IESL leaflet, as well as through the mail from Capt Praveen Davar, the latter on the very eve of the event.
    Many colleagues have commented on Capt Praveen’s email. Some, presuming that he is not aware of the nuances of OROP, have tried to give him the benefit of doubt. I have known Praveen and hold him in high personal regard and would have gladly contributed to giving him the alibi. However, in this case the facts do not support his perceived lack of understanding of OROP. We have been together during presentations to various political leaders, including one to the PM where including Brig KP Singhdeo, we were the only three. OROP was clearly explained on these occasions. Besides, BRIG KP Singhdeo is the originator of the OROP concept and heading the AICC ESM Welfare Cell of which Praveen is the Secretary/Coordinator. It is beyond doubt that whatever might have been his motivation or compulsion in circulating that mail, his lack of understanding the concept, was not it. We can rightly conclude that this is how the government wanted the message spread. And in that lies the success of the action.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM.
    OROP: More Responses to Praveen
    Blog Post of Praveen's letter

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    IESM: All India Veterans Meet held on 30 Aug 2009

    Gentleman I am enthused and happy that a large number of our colleagues have gathered here today. The large presence is an indicator of support to what the IESM has been doing in the last 12 months.

    We are one year old today. Anniversaries are an appropriate occasion to introspect and to take stock. Just like a businessman on Diwali calculates his profits and losses, so do we assess our strengths and weaknesses and shape our future actions accordingly.

    We had a strange birth a year ago in this very hall. The meeting convened at the behest of our stalwart from the South Col Rajan was to give formal name to our movement that was already in full swing. The Core Gp members got picked up generally at random. Leave aside knowing each other most of us had never even met each other before. We came together more by happenchance than by design. Like every officer ESM each one of us has been a leader of men with our own ideas and distinct style. If we have stuck together to take the movement forward, it is because of two factors; one is the belief in the cause we are fighting for and the second is the burning zeal to reach our goal. In a way it is the force of the movement that has forced us to gravitate towards it.

    Have we achieved success?
    The answer to this question will depend on how we define success. OROP was an issue that had been pending for over two decades. For the government it was a forbidden word.

    Till a year ago no one outside the Services had heard of OROP. Even within the uniform many had not understood it fully. Today, the whole country is aware of OROP. The President of the country has used it during her address to the parliament. The Finance Minister and the Defense Minister have also used it.

    Recognition is the first indicator of success. Today, the OROP as an issue has been recognized throughout India . None of us expected this long pending issue to be resolved so soon. But success has been achieved in putting the issue on the national radar screen.

    Harnessing political opinion
    All possible avenues are being frequently explored for furtherance of our cause. BJP was asked to raise the OROP issue in the Parliament. They did so during the question hour and it was replied by the Defense Minister. May be they could have done more. But they did not go beyond the customary question hour. Efforts are on to gather a group of MsP of different hues and speak to them in detail about the rationale and justification of OROP. This had been done once already some months ago.

    Harnessing the Media
    Apart from appearing on the TV and writing in the Press, we have addressed at least three largely attended Press conferences at the Press Club of India, one just two days ago. The media is undoubtedly sympathetic. However, they have a commercial orientation and find it difficult to cover an event of repetitive nature. One event that has a big media value and visibility is the depositing of medals.

    The value of Vernacular media reaching the masses has been well recognized and the source is being tapped.

    Future Course/ Vision
    After interaction with various ESM during rallies since Apr 2009, one has no doubt that the struggle must carry on and the pressure on the government must continue.

    In whatever we do, we must remember the following parameters:
  • OROP is a fight for justice. Money of course is there but more than that it is a fight for equality and justice.
  • It is a long battle.
  • It must be fought within the law and discipline. The public sympathy must be kept on our side.
  • The chances of success in getting OROP are directly proportional to the numbers involved in the struggle.
  • Government has not found an effective counter to the depositing of medals. We should build on this success.
  • We will follow a multi-pronged approach. While continuing to deposit medals, we are also making efforts to form a conclave of politicians and meeting the Press.

    The Court Option
    This is certainly one of the options that can be adopted for furtherance of our cause. The recent judgment in the case of Major Generals has given some us a great hope that that it is almost an open and shut case and the court will surely apply the same logic. However, it needs to be remembered that the Major Generals took great care in deliberately avoiding use of the term OROP while arguing their case.

    While forming an opinion we need to take note of the following:
  • The court case is a long battle and might take many years.
  • Our going to court as an organization will come as a great relief to the government and will totally relieve pressure that has been mounted on them. Their stock response to any query thereafter is going to be that the case is now sub judice.
  • While the case is being heard in the courts our moral justification in carrying on with the protests or the street struggle will be lost. If we still insist on doing so, we will be looked upon as immature and irresponsible.
  • Even the courts are not likely to take kindly to it as it would reflect our lack of confidence in the system.
  • Even if we win the case, and there is a big ‘if’, the government might take the argument that they are not in a position to spare the money needed. We would have won a moral victory, if at all.
  • In case we lose the case the OROP issue will be buried for ever. The posterity is unlikely to look at us with kindness.

    Enlarging the Scope
    While OROP has been and continues to be our flagship programme, we need to look at other issues that are connected with ESM welfare. We have therefore decided to form subject-specific cells to deal with these problems in a holistic manner. There are members in each cell who carry great expertise with them. The pension cell, the ECHS cell and the RTI cell have already been formed I request that all queries pertaining to these subjects be directed to these cells. As you know the implementation of the pension disbursement is very tardy and a lot of loose ends are required to be tied up so that all the ESM and those on family pension receive their correct entitlement.

    More cells will be formed as and when the requirement is felt.

    I will conclude by saying that in history there is time for every development. The time has come for OROP to be granted. The government can only delay it; it cannot be denied for long.
    IESM General Body Meeting Minutes- 30 Aug 2009: click me
  • Swiss Banks blank out black money

    New Delhi, Sept 13 Scores of citizens today took out a protest march organised by Bharat Punar Nirman Dal, a political party run by a group of IITians, at India Gate here against "laziness" of the Government in bringing back black money of Indians deposited in Swiss and other foreign banks.

    Omendra Bharat, an M Tech from IIT Kanpur, who coordinated the march claimed that if the Government could manage to bring back Rs 70 lakh crore allegedly parked in foreign banks by some Indians, every family may be able get Rs three lakh.

    Addressing the gathering, Sanjeev Bharat, also an IITian alleged,"the government was reluctant on the matter because the people sitting in Parliament and the bureaucracy must have their accounts in such banks".
    Source: PTI
    Citizens take out march to demand bringing back black money
    Swiss Banks in denial mode
    No statistics about black money: Swiss banks

    IESM: Collection and Depositing Service Medals to the President

    Warrant Officer Bala Thilkan giving a talk at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi - 13 Sep 09

    Maj Gen Satbir Singh, Vice Chairman IESM, giving a talk at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi- 13 Sep 09

    Left to Right- Col RP Chaturvedi and Wg Cdr CK Sharma, collecting and recording the medals

    Left to Right- Wg Cdr Sharma and Hony Lt Kameshwar Pandey collecting and recording the medals

    Medals being collected

    Service Medals packed and ready for despatch to President

    IESM poster at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

    Ex-servicemen returns 5,000 service medals; demands OROP

    New Delhi, Sept 13 Ex-servicemen today returned about 5,000 service medals to the President in protest against the government&aposs"total apathetic attitude"towards their demand of One Rank One Pension (OROP).

    A ten-member team led by General (Retd) B K Renjan returned the medals, which 4,000 ex-servicemen had voluntarily deposited, to the President, Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, vice-chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), said.

    The organisation deposited the service medals" to make the government see the demands", he added.

    "It is because of the bureaucracy and political parties that our demands remain unaddressed. Why does the government not meet the demands of the most strongest pillar of democracy?" Singh asked.

    The creation of two groups -pre 2006 and post 2006- by the government had led to "a wide gap" in the pension scale for the various ranks, he said.

    "A Havildar gets less than a Sepoy. A Major General gets less than Lt Colonel who is four ranks junior to the former. There is only a difference of some 1,000 rupees among the four ranks between Lt Col and Major General,"he said.

    According to the IESM, the retired personnels had earlier returned around 15,000 medals and this was the fifth time when the organisation has deposited the medals to the President.
    Ex-servicemen returns 5,000 service medals; demands OROP
    Related Reading:
    Miffed Ex- servicemen return 5000 medals: Times of India
    Ex-servicemen to return medals to President seeking OROP
    One Rank-One Pension: Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    New measures to combat cancer of corruption

    Sunday, September 13, 2009
    Shri M. Veerapaa Moily addresses the National Seminar on ‘Fighting Crime Related to Corruption’
    Reforms to Curb Corruption:
    1. The scope of Prevention of Corruption Act should be widened to include:
  • Gross perversion of the Constitution and democratic institutions amounting to willful violation of the oath of office.
  • Abuse of authority by unduly favoring or harming someone
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Squandering public money
  • Collusive bribery
    2. The Corrupt Public servants (Forfeiture of Property) Bill as suggested by the Law Commission should be enacted without further delay.
    4. Steps should be taken for immediate implementation of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 1988.
    5. There should be statutory protection for whistleblowers and victim protection.
    6. A multi-member Lok Pal at the national level and Lok Ayuktas at the State level should be set up under the Constitution.
    7. False Claims Act should be enacted.
    8. Article 311 of the Constitution may be repealed along with the Article 310 and legislation should be passed under Article 309 to provide for the terms and conditions of service of public servants including necessary protection against arbitrary action.
    9. Prior sanction should not be necessary for prosecuting a public servant who has been trapped red-handed or found in possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

    The focus should be on e-governance and systematic change. An honest system of governance will displace dishonest persons. As Gladstone so aptly said, “The purpose of a government is to make it easy for people to do good and difficult to do evil”.

    We always find alibi for our lapses by quoting trespass from other democratic institutions, by resorting to a blame game. The executive/ civil services blame interference by the political executive or legislatures and vice-versa; legislators blame the judiciary and vice-versa- the main problem lies in each one leaving the space for the others to occupy. If any one of the democratic institution leaves space, the mafia or extra- constitutional authority occupies that space. Realization of its own authority and discharging its sphere of responsibility, developing accountability and responsiveness are the real solutions to the conflicting situations of eroding democratic polity.

    I would like to quote here an ancient subhashit (good message): “Rivers do not drink their waters themselves, nor do trees eat their fruit, nor do the clouds eat the grains raised by them. The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of the others”.

    I will await the recommendations of this National Seminar, I promise to extend all help and cooperation from my Ministry for the implementation of the recommendations. Our Government is committed to strengthening the Criminal Justice System. I once again congratulate Director, Central Bureau of Investigation and Director, NICFS for organizing this conference, which has provided a platform for exchange of ideas between investigators, prosecutors and judiciary.”
    National Seminar on ‘Fighting Crime Related to Corruption’
  • Corruption poses a threat to National Security and Law & Order

    Saturday, September 12, 2009
    17:10 IST
    Chief Justice of India has said that “the real costs are difficult to measure since they involve the loss of opportunities for business and investment as well as the diversion of man-power, when it may be usefully employed elsewhere. In some instances, corruption poses a threat to national security and law & order. We are all aware of how smuggled arms and explosives were used for the bomb blasts in Bombay in 1993, as well as the financing of terrorist operations through the ‘Hawala’ currency racket. All in all, the pervasive culture of graft provokes pessimism about the quality of governance”. Hon’ble Justice K. G. Balakrishnan said this while inaugurating a two days’ National Seminar on ‘Fighting Crimes Related to Corruption’ here at Vigyan Bhawan today. This National Seminar was jointly organised by LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science and CBI.

    Hon’ble Justice K. G. Balakrishnan also underlined the idea that our deliberations should focus on how to strengthen the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases, so that the courts of first instance are able to improve the conviction rate. He also gave ideas to working sessions for deliberations. He suggested that while the substantive definition of offences (under Prevention of Corruption Act) appears to be quite adequate, there have been persistent demands for enhancing the penalties and punishments under the Act. Secondly, he suggested that we should turn our attention to the obstructions in the investigation and trial process. He said that in many cases aggrieved parties have approached the higher judiciary when the requisite sanctions have been denied despite the production of incriminating materials. Thirdly, he touched upon the controversial issue of separation of prosecution functions from the investigative functions of the CBI. ‘Having a specialised team of lawyers will also ensure that they thoroughly scrutinise the investigators efforts in evidence-gathering, thereby improving the presentation of cases’, he added.

    Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Union Minister of State Personal and Public Grievances (PP), in his welcome address said that “at this seminar, where the key functionaries of the criminal justice system have gathered, the question that needs to be posed is how to ensure that corrupt are punished severally and swiftly so as to create deterrence in the minds of would be criminals. What is also needed, however, over and beyond the punitive aspects of corruption, is an effective preventive strategy by bringing about systemic changes with your vast experience and personal knowledge of the Institutional Lacunae that promote corruption”. ‘Unless corruption is controlled, it will threaten national security and economic development’ he added.

    In his vote of thanks, Shri Ashwani Kumar, Director, CBI recalled the initiative taken by Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in setting up 71 exclusive CBI Courts. He also expressed his gratitude to the PM in accepting the proposal from Chief Justice of India. The Director said that these exclusive CBI Courts should be model and fast track courts with all facilities. He desired that can we think of reducing the number of cases being given to these courts in order to avoid delays in the trial. Earlier, Director, National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, in his introductory remarks said that “widespread poverty continues to be a major challenge despite the economic strides we have made since 1951. According to World Bank studies corruption adversely affects public sector productivity and distributive justice. Corruption also increases income inequality, weakens governance and reduces citizens trust in effectiveness of their Government”.

    Judges from Supreme Court, High Court of Delhi and distinguished legal luminaries including over 60 Special Judges dealing with anti-corruption cases from the entire country are participating in this Seminar. Director:CFSL, 60 Prosecutors / Dy. Legal Advisors as well as investigators of CBI and 6 Delegates from State Vigilance / Anti-Corruption Bureaus are also attending the Seminar.

    Four working sessions have been planned for today and tomorrow to discuss the contemporary legal issues. These are (i) Session-I : Facilitating Speedy Trial; (ii) Session-II : Investigation and Trial of Anti-Corruption Cases : Legal Lacunae and other Constraints; (iii) Session-III : How to Improve Presentation / Prosecution of cases by CBI and (iv) Session-IV : Appreciating and Evaluating Electronic Evidence. Each Session is scheduled to be Chaired by Hon’ble Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
    Corruption poses a threat to National Security and Law & Order

    Proposed rates of tax 2011

    16.1 Tax rates are determined by the size of the tax base; if the tax base is higher, the tax rates can be lower. For the purposes of this Discussion Paper, the tax rates provided are such rates which are expected to yield the existing level of revenues with the revised comprehensive tax base proposed in this Code.
    16.2 The rates of taxes are provided in the First Schedule to provide stability to the income tax regime.
    16.3 The new tax rate for individual taxpayers can be substantially liberalised to levels (click on tables) below:

    In the case of every individual, other than women and senior citizens

    In the case of woman below the age of sixty-five years at any time during the financial year

    In the case of senior citizens
    Direct Taxes code
    Discussion Paper

    Seize properties of corrupt govt officials, says CJI

    New Delhi: Chief Justice of India K. G. Balakrishnan on Saturday favoured statutory provision for seizure of illegal properties and assets of government officials convicted in corruption cases.

    He also wanted specialised teams of lawyers to ensure that they will progressively develop expertise in prosecuting corruption-related cases.

    "If a public official amasses wealth at the cost of public, then the state is justified in seizing such assets," Balakrishnan said at a national seminar on 'Fighting Crimes related to Corruption´.

    "One prominent suggestion is the inclusion of a statutory remedy that will enable confiscation of properties belonging to persons who are convicted of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA)", the Chief Justice said.

    The CJI said procedural delays like granting sanction and difficulty in marshalling large number of witnesses were the major hurdles in achieving meaningful convictions when the anti-corruption agencies was already finding it difficult to grapple with 9,000 pending cases due to shortage of designated courts.

    "It is necessary (that) there should be a speedy manner of granting sanction. The prosecution becomes ineffective if the sanction is granted after 6-7 years," he said.

    Balakrishnan expressed concern that CBI relies on large number of witnesses in the corruption cases instead of coming out with solid witnesses which unnecessary prolongs the trial of the case for 3 to 4 years. "Instead of having 8 to 10 witnesses, emphasis should be on having one solid witness to prove the case," he said.

    However, dwelling on the PCA, the CJI said the foremost criticism of the law is that an investigating agency needs to obtain prior sanction from competent authority to initiate prosecution against a public servant which is delayed or denied by higher executive authorities.

    "Even in instances where the investigating agencies have gathered substantial material to proceed against a person, it is felt that the necessary sanction is not given on account of extraneous considerations," he said.

    Expressing concern that the country did not have an effective prosecuting agency, the CJI said there was a need for separation of prosecution function from the investigating functions of the CBI which has been a controversial issue.

    "I understand that there has been considerable resistance to this suggestion, since investigating officers and prosecution lawyers need to work in close co-ordination.

    "The real problem here is that CBI has been relying on government law officers and standing counsels to conduct the prosecutions whereas there is a need for retaining a regular team of lawyers which will progressively develop expertise in prosecuting corruption-related cases," Balakrishnan said.

    He said, "having a specialised team of lawyers will also ensure that they thoroughly scrutinise the investigators' efforts in evidence-gathering, thereby improving the presentation of cases.
    Source: PTI
    Seize properties of corrupt govt officials, says CJI

    IESM: Readers inputs and responses

    Inadequate Compensation
    Date: Saturday, 12 September, 2009, 5:05 PM
    Dear All,
    One of the Delhi based Channel have undertaken the task of relaying stories of those families of martyrs who did not receive adequate compensation from the Government on the lines of Kargil martyrs. Basically soldiers who died while fighting terrorist during period from 2001 to 2009.
    We request all to intimate details of any such known case or cases.
    Brig Nawab Singh (Retd)

    Abnormal Pension Disparity
    Dear Friends,
    May I request those of you who retired in Oct- Dec 2005 and those who retired in Jan- Mar 2006 to kindly send me (cc to Maj Gen Surjit Singh) a scanned copy of your PPOs. Ask your friends to send, if necessary. We need PPOs from officers of each rank to build a case for non- application of mind in awarding pensions (post 6 CPC). If you cannot scan and send, please post it to me.
    Help us to help yourselves.
    Visit for information on veterans' issues.
    Best regards,
    Maj Gen (Retd) PK Renjen, AVSM

    Pension Red- Tape
    I had invited two serving bank officials to RSI Bangalore as a token of my appreciation for the outstanding work they had done/ doing for ESM's 6 PCP implementation.
    It was a very fruitful meeting & I came to know the startling news that RBI pays Rs45/ per transaction to the banks for pension credit i.e. a total of 9 crores (assuming the total ESM population as 20 lakhs) is paid by the RBI to banks every month & this alone amounts to 108 crores every year. Imagine having own IESM bank to take care of the transactions. Just imagine what we can do for ESM even if we get a fraction of this amount even Re 1/ per transaction.
    Another sad fact that came to light again was about widows whose pension has not been revised since long. He quoted the name of one Mrs Thangammal (from Bangalore) wife of a sqn ldr who died in 1956 (the year I was born) & her pension has not been revised since 1956. She is 92 now & her dues amount to 24 lakhs. In spite of his best efforts he has not been able to get her the pension due to red tapism all over (including AF records office).

    He will be providing her details to me next week & then I will request the IESM Pension cell to take up her case (if I am not able to solve it).
    When we dig into a case we find all kinds of unexpected issues. This creates real agony for the widow (what I would call as a double whammy -death of loved one & reduced pension payment)
    This only illustrates that we need to have a parallel org with CDA(P) on a PPP model to manage the pension issue. It should have a software development team & a data maintenance team along with a call center to address all issues of ESM pension on a pro active manner (& not a reactive manner). People may say that this the job of the CDA(P). Since we have to live with realities & we cannot change the work culture of a govt org we have no choice but to under take this mission. In the bargain we will obtain the ESM's data also which will facilitate unity of ESM (though we will be bound by some govt regulations also)
    He also told me that 60 % arrears are expected on 22 Sep 2009 (to keep their names confidential I am not revealing the bank name).
    Col VT Venkatesh (Retd)


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