Saturday, September 15, 2012

CSD: Defence canteen products under scanner

The CDA believes that Hygiene is not the only matter of concern. The defence auditor has also objected to the 'arbitrary and opaque' manner of functioning of the CSD, leading to 'poor quality products with little brand value' being supplied to the defence personnel.

Curry, toothbrushes, pasta and whisky are under scrutiny after the Controller of Defence Accounts charged that the canteen did not follow guidelines, including hygiene checks.

Read more: Click here

Antony reveals War Memorial at India Gate

Antony reveals War Memorial at India Gate finally on anvil
By ANI | ANI – Fri 17 Aug, 2012
New Delhi, Aug.17 (ANI) Defence minister A K Antony on Friday said that most of the hurdles coming in the way of the construction of the national war memorial next to India Gate have been cleared.
Talking to media persons after attending a function to felicitate London Olympic silver medalist Subedar Major Vijay Kumar here, Antony said:"Most hurdles are over now."
Sources in the Ministry of Defence confirmed that the war memorial will be constructed near India Gate only, as that is the place demanded by the three services.
After a proposed meeting on the issue on August 21 of the Group of Ministers (GoM), a final meeting shall take place and and then cabinet approval will be sought, they added.
The armed forces had submitted a proposal three years ago to construct a war memorial within the India Gate complex, but after the initial rejection of their proposal by the Government recently, they are now looking at new locations for it. The government had earlier decided against the proposal after certain objections were raised by the Urban Development Ministry.
The military's demand for a national war memorial to honour the 20,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen who have sacrificed their lives while defending independent India has been a longstanding one. A broad section of the urban public echoes this plea. The demand is for a prominent memorial on New Delhi's Central Vista, which can be visited freely by the Indian public, and where wreathes can be offered by national leaders on occasions like the Republic Day, and by visiting foreign dignitaries who choose to do so.
The current memorial, the Amar Jawan Jyoti, is merely an add-on to the India Gate, an imposing 42-metre high British structure, built in 1921, to honour the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in the First World War and the third Anglo-Afghan War. India finds it bothersome to suitably commemorate those who fell in service of the republic.
Anyone who has travelled along India's borders with China and Pakistan cannot have missed the lonely memorials at the places where Indian troops fought and died. Amongst them, is the stark monument to Major Shaitan Singh and his 111 Kumaoni soldiers who battled to the last, holding up a major Chinese advance on the desolate, windswept plateau of Chushul.
Major Shaitan Singh is a winner of the Param Vir Chakra, and is honoured only in that unvisited war memorial near Chushul. No national memorial is inscribed with the name of Major Shaitan Singh.
According to an article written by former army officer-turned journalist Ajai Shukla a couple of years ago, the proposal for a National War Memorial predates independent India.
According to Shukla, a confidential memo, issued on March 3, 1945, from the War Department in New Delhi (in File No. 110-C/45, entitled "Indian National War Memorial", in the Governor's Secretariat, Confidential Branch) declares that the Government of India (GoI) has been examining "the question of the form that an Indian National War Memorial should take".
The memo orders that "the establishment of a Military Academy on the lines of the United States Military Academy at West Point for the education and basic training together of future officers of the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force would be the most suitable form for the memorial to take". In short, according to Shukla, New Delhi proposed that what was to become the famous National Defence Academy (NDA), which is still the bedrock of Indian officer training, would also serve as India's National War Memorial.
Till date, India does not have a memorial for post-independence martyrs.(ANI)
Antony reveals War Memorial at India Gate finally on anvil
Related Reading
For those who gave their today by J.F.R. Jacob : Fri Sep 14 2012, 03:38 hrs

Armed Forces Tribunal will be under Law Ministry

Paralyzed armed forces tribunal. notice to ministry of defence Kudos to Navdeep Maj Navdeep Singh who clarifies the status of the Paralyzed AFT
Armed Forces Tribunal will be under Law Ministry
Clash of interests is being cited as the main reason why this tribunal must be removed from under the Ministry of Defence.
he Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is all set to come under the Ministry of Law, instead of its parent body, the Ministry of Defence. The Supreme Court gave a directive to this effect in 2010 as it felt that the MoD could influence the tribunal's judgements since the latter dealt with decisions pertaining to the ministry. To ensure that fair judgements were given, the Supreme Court, in fact, directed that the administrative control of the AFT and all other tribunals should not be under their parent ministries. It recommended that the tribunals should be placed under one single nodal department, preferably the Department of Legal Affairs.
The SC directive has been under consideration ever since. But the matter got a fresh lease of life with Law Minister Salman Khurshid's recent statement in Parliament that the government was looking at the possibility of removing these tribunals from under their parent ministries and putting them under the Ministry of Law.
Clash of interests is the main reason why these tribunals need to be removed from under their parent ministries. To give an instance, the members comprising the AFT use the various facilities offered by the MoD, but are also required to pass orders against the ministry in the cases coming to them. An RTI query by a retired army officer revealed that the MoD funded AFT chairperson A.K. Mathur's foreign trips worth lakhs of rupees. The AFT also makes use of the infrastructure offered by the MoD to function: the land on which the AFTs are constructed is given by the MoD. The ministry gives the AFT members facilities such as the CSD (Canteen Stores Depot) cards. These are canteen cards that can be used to procure grocery and other household items at subsidised rates from all military canteens.
A senior retired army officer working as an administrative member at one of the AFT benches told this newspaper, "The AFTs should be under the Ministry of Law so that they can give fair judgements. Litigants are always afraid that fairness will go missing as the AFTs function from MoD land and do not have their own premises. Funds for the AFTs are also sanctioned through the MoD. The CSD cards given to the members are actually a privilege."
The Armed Forces Tribunal enjoys the status of a High Court, and came into being in 2009. Each court consists of a judicial member and an administrative member. The administrative member of an AFT is always a retired senior officer, usually a three-star officer. A source told this newspaper, "These retired officers usually know the applicants approaching the Tribunal. This increases the chances of the Tribunal's decisions being influenced. So their decisions are unlikely to be fair. This debate to delink the AFT from the administrative powers of the MoD has been going on for a long time."
Armed Forces Tribunal will be under Law Ministry

Friday, September 14, 2012

No Military representation on the High Powered Committee

Government not to allow defence representatives in pay panel, say sources
August 5, 2012
Government not to allow defence representatives in pay panel, say sources
New Delhi: The government has reportedly refused to accept the demand of the armed forces to allow military representation on the High Powered Committee, which has been formed to resolve the anomalies in the pension and benefits for the defence personnel.
Top sources at the Centre have told NDTV that the government cannot agree to the demand as the panel was formed during the sixth pay commission and now it’s a little too late to allow defence representatives on board. The Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement on the issue in his Independence Day speech on August 15. The sources added that the panel, which was formed by the Prime Minister, will have to address the concerns of the armed forces in the way issues were handled during the sixth pay commission.
Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma had reportedly written to Defence Minister AK Antony last week, objecting to the panel headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
Source: NDTV
Comment: Maybe the Government is right. Senior Officers from AHQ are only interested in their own pay and perks. The representation should be from Senior JCOs and NCOs to directly interact with the Cabinet Committee. Senior Officers credibility is diminishing day by day. Previous track record from 1986 till 2006 is proof of their standing. Corrupt Generals cannot influence or impact any improvement in pay package for the Military.
Government not to allow defence representatives in pay panel, say sources
Ministry of Defence
One Rank-One Pension The gap between past pensioners and their youger equivalents retiring from the armed forces does not necessarily keeps widening with every successive pay commission. Over the years several improvements have been made in pension of past pensioners. The pension of past pensioners have revised in accordance with recommendation of each successive Pay Commission, as accepted by the Government. The Sixth Pay Commission had recommended fitment formula and modified parity for past pensioners, in order to reduce the gaps, which were accepted by the Government.
Pension Improvement is an ongoing process and considerable improvements have been made in the pensions of armed forces personnel. The Group of Ministers (GoM) had in 2005 improved the pensionary benefits of PBORs. On the recommendations of PMO, a Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary in June, 2009 to look into the issue of ‘One Rank One Pension and other related matters. After considering all aspects of the matter, the Committee keeping in mind the spirit of the demand, suggested several measures to substantially improve pensionary benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) and Commissioned Officers, which have been accepted by the Government and orders for implementation of all the recommendations have been issued. These are available at
This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Shri MM PallamRaju in a written reply to Dr.RajanSushantand others in LokSabha today.PIB
One Rank One Pension

HC raps police over 'arbitrary' arrest of cartoonist Trivedi

HC raps police over 'arbitrary' arrest of cartoonist Trivedi
Press Trust of India / Mumbai September 14, 2012, 16:55
Dubbing the arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on the charge of sedition as "arbitrary" and on "frivolous" grounds, the Bombay High Court today said it breached his freedom of speech and expression.
The court also said it intended to lay down guidelines for application of the pre-Independence law to ensure that liberties guaranteed to citizens in a civil society are not encroached.
"How can you (police) arrest people on frivolous grounds? You arrest a cartoonist and breach his liberty of freedom of speech and expression," a division bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and Amjad Sayyed said, voicing strong displeasure over the arrest of Kanpur-based cartoonist whom it had granted bail two days back.
The Kanpur-based cartoonist, arrested last Saturday, was released on Monday after the high court granted him bail amid mounting public outcry.>br> Observing that Trivedi's arrest was prima facie "arbitrary", the court said, "We have one Aseem Trivedi who was courageous enough to raise his voice and stand against this, but what about several others whose voices are shut by police."
The court was hearing a PIL filed by a lawyer Sanskar Marathe against Trivedi's arrest, which he described as "illegal, bad in law, and unjustified".
Noting that the law governing sedition was a pre- Independence provision in the statute book when government wanted protection from citizens, the bench said it intended to lay "parameters" for its application to check misuse.
"If there are no parameters there will be serious encroachment of a person's liberties guaranteed to him in a civil society," the bench said.
HC raps police over 'arbitrary' arrest of cartoonist Trivedi

SC quashes HC's gag order on troops movement

SC quashes HC's gag order on reporting troops movement
Friday, September 14, 2012, 16:29
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday quashed the Allahabad High Court order which had prevented media from reporting on the controversy related to alleged Army units' movement towards Delhi on January 16 amid the then prevailing row over erstwhile Army Chief V K Singh's date of birth.
A bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad allowed the plea of Press Council of India which had challenged the order saying that court cannot impose such a ban on media as it violates the freedom of speech.
The bench said the high court erred in passing such order as ban on media was not sought and the prayer was only to hold an inquiry into the controversial incident.
"We are of the opinion that the high court should not have passed the order as the prayer before it was entirely different and it was inconsonance with the prayer made by the petitioner," the bench said.
The court also took into account its recent Constitution bench judgement which had said press can only be directed to postpone the reporting for a certain period.
The Centre also said it was against the high court's order and it should be quashed.
The high court had directed various Central and state government authorities on April 10 "to ensure that there is no reporting/release of any news item by the print or electronic media on the movement of troops."
The high court's order was passed on a PIL which said a national daily and a news magazine had reported on movements of the Army units from Agra to Delhi when the Singh's age row controversy was at peak. The petitioner had said the reports were against national interest.
The PCI had approached the apex court saying the order was in violation of the fundamental right under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, granted to the media and every citizen of the country.
SC quashes HC's gag order on reporting troops movement
Business Standard report

Dearness Allowance fails to keep pace with Galloping Inflation

Diesel dearer by Rs 5/litre, 6-refill cap on LPG subsidy
Swaraj Thapa : New Delhi, Fri Sep 14 2012, 01:43 hrs
Biting the fuel price hike bullet, the Manmohan Singh government today decided to increase diesel prices by Rs 5 per litre but left kerosene and petrol prices untouched. In a bid to partially plug the subsidy hole owing to cooking gas, the government also decided to limit the number of subsidised gas cylinders to six per household per year. The unsubsidised market rate will add up to Rs 746 per cylinder. These decisions were taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) this evening. Both Trinamool Congress representative and Railway Minister Mukul Roy as well as DMK representative and Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M K Alagiri skipped the meeting.
The decision to hike diesel prices came even as a Cabinet meeting tomorrow is set to give the long awaited push to the UPA’s reforms agenda by easing FDI norms in civil aviation, power and broadcasting sectors, besides moving proposals to divest equity in seven state-run companies.
Diesel, domestic LPG and PDS kerosene rates have not been changed since June 2011. While the Congress core group cleared the fuel price hike at its meeting last Tuesday, the party also seems to have succeeded in narrowing down differences with allies on its economic policies.
Even as the TMC and DMK skipped the CCPA meeting today, there were indications that the two allies may have agreed not to rock the boat although they would publicly oppose the fuel hike. To this extent, the scope of a partial reduction in diesel prices is not being ruled out.
The Centre is bracing for an attack from the Opposition BJP and Left parties as well as the SP and BSP.
But significantly, the government seems to be finally moving on the reforms and economy front, especially after the battering it has been facing on the coal block allocations controversy.
At the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, the government is set to take up crucial decisions aimed at increasing FDI inflows in civil aviation, power and broadcasting sectors. FDI in civil aviation, which has been opposed by the Trinamool Congress, will allow foreign airlines to pick up stake in Indian carriers, helping cash-strapped airlines like Kingfisher.
The government also proposes to hike the FDI limit in cable and DTH carriage services from the current 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
The third proposal is to allow FDI in running of electricity exchanges in the country. The Cabinet will also consider proposals for disinvestment in seven PSUs, including National Aluminium Limited Company (NALCO), RITES, Neyveli Lignite, Hindustan Copper, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Mines and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC).
If the reforms are approved tomorrow, government managers hinted that the ambitious proposal to allow FDI in retail — another issue on which the Trinamool Congress does not see eye to eye with the Congress — may also be taken up in the coming weeks. Diesel dearer by Rs 5/litre, 6-refill cap on LPG subsidy

Labyrinthine corruption in CSD Canteens: Jawans sold spurious and date expired foodstuff

Courtesy: Mail Today
Buying defence canteen products? You might be compromising with your health
Abhishek Bhalla
New Delhi, Sunday, September 2, 2012 | 09:27 IST
Families of defence personnel buying cheaper beverages and grocery items from the canteen stores department (CSD) may be compromising with their health.
The Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA) has questioned the quality of products being sold at the CSD at subsidised rates.
According to the laid-out guidelines, food items, liquor and beverages have to be scrutinised for hygiene standards. This, the CDA believes, is not being done at the CDS. Hygiene is not the only matter of concern. The defence auditor has also objecting to the "arbitrary and opaque" manner of functioning of the CSD, leading to "poor quality products with little brand value" being supplied to the defence personnel.
Here is an example of the bizarre functioning. A floor wiper manufacturer is also a supplier of Kesaria Thandai in the defence canteen.
These issues have been highlighted by the CDA in its recent correspondence to the Ministry of Defence. "It is incomprehensible how a wiper manufacturer is accepted to supply thandai to the CSD and that too without factory inspection and hygiene report," one of the communications between the Defence auditor and ministry said.
Mail Today is in the possession of a series of letters sent by Savitur Prasad, principal controller, CDA, to the ministry questioning the functioning of the CSD.
The communication made available to Delhi based RTI activist Subhash Agarwal indicts the canteen for being "wrapped in corrupt practices, thereby cheating several families of defence personnel dependent on it". The CDA points out that the defence personnel are forced to buy low-quality products from unknown firms. Nargis tea, Preet Lite cooking oil, Valeda herbal cream and Nuzen Herbal gold hair oil are just some of the lesser- known brands that are common at the CSD. Objecting to the "ineligible" firms supplying products to the canteen, the CDA said: "It's a travesty of faith that age-old loyalties of defence personnel have been breached." This is not the first time the CSD has faced flak for its operations.
The Comptroller and Auditor General had highlighted the "irregularities" in the CSD in its 2010-11 report.
"Evidence gathered in the audit indicated that in the absence of relevant controls, there was a significant risk of sale of perished stores to the consumers. From 2003 to 2009, out of 11,254 samples referred to the composite food laboratory, 349 (3.1 per cent) were found unsatisfactory. It took about 1 to 13 months for the groceries and two months for food items to obtain the test results. By that time, the stock of unfit items was sold," the report said.
The Defence auditor, in its May 16, 2012, communication, has reiterated the objections.
"I am writing to highlight the malady that ails the Canteen Stores Department and requires immediate attention. Instead of groping in the dark about the functioning of the CSD, which is considered to be a mascot of organised procurement system, an insight will reveal the labyrinthine corruption prevailing in the organisation," the letter read.
Defence officials, though not displeased with the CSD products, want quality check of every item.
"If the CDA is constructive in its approach there is no problem. We definitely need the highest level of efficiency in the working of CSD. In the past also there have been charges that sub-standard products are being sold at the canteen. They (CSD) are supposed to have quality checks and they should be carried out," a former naval officer, Commodore (retd) Uday Bhaskar, said.
Buying defence canteen products? You might be compromising with your health
Click here to read all about the CSD with links
Comment: The spurious and unhygienic foodstuff sold in CSD canteens is also finding its way into the civil market. The electrical products sold are also sometimes fakes. The ISI marking is given based on bribes palmed off to the Testing Agencies. The sole Mission of CSD is to spin money by any corrupt means. The MOD and AHQ are party to duping the Jawans. The complete civilian military nexus needs a shake- up and complete overhaul from top to the lower rung. The CSD Depots are filled with RATS and Scumbags.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Technical Graduates made jokers in the Military

116th Technical Graduate Course (JAN 2013)
Last Date of Application: 14.06.2012
Application are invited from Engineering Graduates Married/ Unmarried Male including temporary Central/State Govt. serving personnel of the regular Army and Territorial Army (including officers of Territorial Army) and serving personnel of Navy and Air Force for grant of permanent commission in the Indian Army.
Qualification & Vacancies
Civil (including Mining/ Construction) : 27
Electrical (including Electrical & Electronics ) : 08
Mechanical (including Industrial/Industrial Engg & Management): 08
Automobile Engg/ Workshop Technology: 01
Production (Including Manufacturing/ Metallurgical /Metallurgy & Explosives): 02 Rubber Technology/ Plastic Technology/ Textiles: 01
Electronics (including Electronics & Instrumentation / Micro Electronics & Microwave/ Opto Electronics) : 04
Communication/ Telecommunication (Including ECE/ Electronics & Communication): 06
Architecture/ Building Construction Technology : 02
Computer Sciences & Engg/ Computer Sciences/ M.Sc (Computer): 01
Army Education Corps (Men): MA in English/ Economics/ History Music/ Geography/ Political Science/ M.Sc (Physics/ Maths)
Post Graduate Degree (MA/M.Sc) 1st or 2nd div: 08
Foreign Language (Post Graduate Degree MA)
Post Graduate Degree (MA) 1st or 2nd Div in following subjects Chinese, Tibetan, Burmese, Pushto, Dari and Arabic : 04
TGC (Military Farms)- Agriculture – 02 & Dairy: 02
Degree in Dairying or Degree in Agriculture : 04
Note : These vacancies are tentative and may be changed depending on availability of training slots.
For Engineering Graduates – 20 to 27 yrs ( Born between 02 Jan 86 and 01 Jan 93). For AEC- 23 to 27 yrs (Born between 02 Jan 86 and 01 Jan 90). For Military Farms – 20 to 27 yrs (Born not earlier than 02 Jan 86 and not latter than 01 Jan 93).
  • For Engineers: Candidates studying in the Final Year of Engineering Degree and who are qualified graduates of the Degree Course in Engineering will be eligible to apply. The qualified graduates of the Degree Course must possess Engineering Degree at the time of joining training. The candidates studying in the final year of Degree Course, if not already in possession of the Degree Certificate should be able to produce the Engineering Degree within 12 weeks from the date of commencement of training at IMA. Such candidates will be inducted for training at IMA on Additional Bond Basis for recovery of the cost of training as notified from time to time as well as stipend and pay & allowances paid, in case they fail to produce the requisite degree certificate.
  • For Army Education Corps. MA/M.Sc Degree in 1st or 2nd division from a university recognized by AIU in English/Economics/History/Music/ Geography/ Political Science / Physics & Math .
  • For Military Farm. A degree in dairying or a degree in Agriculture from a recognized university with dairying as one of the subjects or an equivalent foreign qualification in Agriculture (Preference will be given to those who hold M.Sc degree or have carried out research in Dairying of Fodder Crops) (AI 105/61)
    (a) Nationality: A candidate must either be (i) a citizen of India or (ii) a subject of Nepal or (iii) a subject of Bhutan or (iv) Tibetan origin but of Indian domicile, whose parents entered India as refugees prior to 1s t January 1962 with intention of Permanently settling in India. (v) a pers on of Indian or igin who migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and East African countries like Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambi, Malawai, Zaire, Ethopia and Vietnam with the intention of Permanently settling in India. Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India. Certificate of eligibility will however not be necessary in the case of candidate who are Gorkhas subject of Nepal. (b) Candidates withdrawn fr om IMA/OTA/Naval Academy/Air Force Academy on disciplinary ground are not eligible to apply.
    Cost to company (CTC). The CTC for a Lieutenant would be approximately Rs.65000/- per month. This includes Basic Pay, DA, Grade Pay Military Service Pay, Tech Pay, House Rent Allowance and Transport allowance. These rates are not statutory and are subject to change. Click here for the original Post
    Comment: The Technical Pay is peanuts. In 1971 the Technical Pay for a Engineering Graduate (5 year Integrated Course) was Rs 75 pm whereas an NDA or IMA Graduate who completed some tactical cum technical refresher courses in MCTE or College of Combat were getting Rs 175 as Technical Pay. Literally the Military made Jokers of the Technical Graduates mocking the University Degree. Technical Graduate a Loser till he Retires!
  • Intoxication is a social evil and GRP on duty must be prohibited from consuming liquor

    Police to move court for custody of Army men
    Military Police team visits Kathua rly station, begins probe
    Tribune News Service Jammu, September 12, 2012
    A day after registering an FIR against Army men, including two officers, following a clash at the Kathua railway station, the police has decided to approach court to get the custody of the personnel whose names figured in the report.
    Sources said senior police officers felt that it was not possible for them to get the custody of those “involved” in assaulting the policemen and ransacking the police station so they had decided to approach the court.
    Meanwhile, a team of the Military Police today visited the Kathua railway station and started investigations into the case.
    The Defence PRO, however, issued a handout and clarified the Army’s position in the incident.
    “Two jawans from the Army were proceeding on leave from the Kathua railway station. While waiting for the train around 9:30 pm at the railway station, one of the jawans went to charge the battery of his mobile phone from a plug point installed in the alleyway located at the entrance of the railway station. Immediately, a General Railway Police person came and started abusing the Army jawan and asked him why he charged his phone from the plug point. The jawan immediately apologised and removed his mobile phone,” the handout stated, adding, “The GRP person, who was visibly in a drunken state, used unparliamentary language and hit the jawan with his rifle butt. On being pushed by the Army jawan, the GRP person called his colleagues present at the railway station. All of them started beating up the Army jawan and dragged him to the GRP office at the railway station.”
    While the Army jawan was being dragged by GRP personnel, he screamed for help. A local boy then alarmed the other jawan, who was waiting for his train at the station. The jawan immediately went towards the GRP personnel and asked them to stop beating up his unit colleague and also asked them why they were beating him up. The GRP personnel abused him also and tried to drag him inside the GRP office. However, he managed to escape and immediately called up his unit, the handout stated.
    “The abducted jawan was severely beaten by over 15 GRP personnel with rifle butts, belts and sticks. Around 10:15 pm, when representatives from the Army reached the location, all the GRP personnel had left the scene except a head constable and a constable who were in their office. On being inquired about the incident and reasons for beating up the Army jawan, the head constable did not respond and refused to give contact numbers of his superiors to whom the Army representatives wanted to speak,” the handout said.
    The Army representatives waited for one and a half hour for the GRP authorities, but nobody turned up. Finally, the Army representatives asked the GRP personnel to accompany them to the Kathua police station to which the head constable agreed.
    “What is important is that no police station was ransacked, the alleged kidnapping of GRP men did not take place, as the head constable willingly accompanied the Army personnel to lodge an FIR and no GRP personnel were thrashed or beaten up as alleged in few media reports. The charges levelled against the Army are totally baseless,” the handout stated.
    Police to move court for custody of Army men
    Comment: It is common knowledge that Police in the Railway Stations (GRP) are drunk on duty. There is no one to monitor their indiscipline. Moreover their general behavior towards citizens is not friendly. This episode needs to be probed and culprits brought to book. Blaming the Army personnel for misbehavior is ridiculous.

    Pay and Allowances: Serving Officers

    FAQ's for Serving Officers
    Replies to FAQs have been provided with reference to the extant orders on the subject and practice being followed regarding the same. Difference in interpretation of rules, if any, may be referred to the Army authorities through staff channels. In case you notice any difference between these FAQs and the PCDA (O) handbook, please write back to PCDA (o).
    FAQ's for Serving Officers: Click here
    Click here for ECHS FAQ's
    ECHS compendium of Government Letters

    Army Pay Scales: Genesis of the continuing Downgrade

    Sixth CPC Report:(vii) Army Pay Scales (1)
    Chapter 2.3 of the Report briefly recaptures the historical developments in reference to determination of pay structure for the Armed Forces, starting from constitution of the Post War Pay Committee in 1947 which for the first time attempted to establish relative parameters in reference to Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Central Class I Services but also brought down the pay scales of many Indian Commissioned Officers. The Government subsequently modified pay structure for Armed Forces in 1960 when the Raghuramaiya Committee endorssed the concept of parity with the above referred services as conceived earlier.
    The pay structure for Army was for the first time referred to Central Pay Commission (CPC) at the time of Third CPC which recommended merger of the Special Disturbance Allowance (being paid to army personnel since 1950 as a temporary compensatory measure) with the pay, there by making the pay structure for Army slightly better than civilian pay scales. The Fourth CPC accepted the demand for running pay bands and rank pay up to the scale of Brigadier, but the structure was subsequently realtered by Fifth CPC which gave scales on pattern of civilian establishment to the Armed Forces with a slight edge due to difficult working conditions. The recommendations of Fifth CPC which form the basis for existing pay structure are reflected below.

    The Sixth CPC has recmmended restoration of Running Pay Bands on the ground that similar structure is now recommended for Civil Services and the possibility of disparity on that account is ruled out. Another important benefit is that this measure would facilitate smoother absorption of ths Short Service Commission Officers (SSCOs) and Personnel below Officer’ Ranks (PBORs) in Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) by identification of analogous posts in the two structures (eg Major and Deputy Commandant in Army and CRPF). It has however added a new component to the salary of armymen under the title of Military Service Pay(MSP) which would be admissible to all ranks upto Brigadier.
    The Commission foresees that the MSP shall ensure that the edge enjoyed by the army pay structure vis a vis the pay scales for civilian employees continues. MSP shall be counted as pay for all practical purposes. Although MSP shall not be admissible beyond the rank of Brigadier yet the edge provided by MSP shall continue at subsequent stages since it would be embedded in the pay at subsequent fitment stage. However for purposes of determination of comparative seniority the indicator shall be the grade pay. MSP being a new addition to pay, arrears would not be payable for the past. The Pay Structure as recommended by Sixth CPC is as follows.

    Some other major recommendations relate to upgradtion of Scale of pay admissible to Director General of Armed Forces Medical Service to Rs.80000/-(fixed) and the decision to allow the non functional scale of Army Commander to Lt. Generals who do not get the post due to age bar. Similar benefit has been recommended for ofiicers of other ranks who are similarily deprived of promotion due to shortage of tenure. Commsision has however not agreed to increase the scales for Principal Staff Officers posted at Army HQs on the ground that this would affect the relativity with Corps Commanders operating in the field.
    Commission has also recommended continuation of existing higher entry grade pay to Lieutant in Army Medical Corps (AMC) as compared to Lieutant in the Army. Higher pay to the extent of 7.5% for Lieutant and 10% for the Captain has been recommened. Regarding Military Nursing Services (MNS) the recommendation is for maintainig parity with the Service cadre Officers. Extension of time bound promotion scheme upto level of Lt. Col. has been recommended for the Officers of MNS and MSP to the extent of Rs.4200/- has also been recommended alongwith benefit of one pay fixation increment at the stage of promotion .The Pay Scales recommended for MNS are given below.
    Sixth CPC Report:(vii) Army Pay Scales (1)
    Related Reading: Pay scales of the Indian Armed Forces: Click here
    Comment: In spite of the slide down of Military Pay Scales, why has the Rank Pay been denied for the last 26 years? This may require a detailed analysis to fix responsibility. The COAS from 1986 till 2008 are equally responsible. Military is apolitical does this mean they are dummies and should kowtow the corrupt system? The seniors on whom one reposes faith are the ones who let down the organisation for their own perks and salaries- own selfish interest. The AHQ is filled with such scumbags- imagine the Army Chief being posted in AHQ for the 12th time! His interests ly elsewhere not welfare of troops. Damn Chetwode Motto!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Indian Politicians become intolerant to Jokes and Cartoons

    An Indian cartoonist has been jailed for his drawings highlighting government corrruption. Aseem Trivedi has been charged with sedition for his cartoons that mock the Indian government. His supporters say the decision is evidence of political leaders' growing intolerance of criticism and the freedom of expression. Gerald Tan has more.
    Scamsters and money launderers are free in India but a cartoonist who drew funny pictures is in Jail... This is height of Jokes in India.
    He's a cartoonist. A political cartoonists job is to mock the corrupt and powerful. I was wondering what cartoons could be so horrible that they might get him in trouble and I was shocked that the cartoons are actually utterly innocuous. He used "national symbols" because he believes, rightly apparently, that the corrupt are raping the nation itself. His arrest proves that he wasn't exaggerating. It proves his innocence and the government's guilt. He has won.

    CBI under duress to close bribe case: Weapons Lobby's Links

    CBI to seek legal opinion in ex-Army chief bribery case
    Press Trust of India / New Delhi September 11, 2012, 20:05
    CBI will seek legal opinion to decide the future course of action on its preliminary probe carried out into former Army Chief Gen V K Singh's allegation that he was offered Rs 14 crore in bribe for clearing a deal of "sub-standard" vehicles.
    "Our preliminary investigation is complete. We will seek a legal opinion in the matter. A decision on whether to convert PE into FIR or close the investigation is likely to be taken by this month-end," a senior CBI official said.
    The official, however, declined to give details on the investigation in the case.
    The probe agency had on April 11 registered a preliminary inquiry (PE) after receiving a complaint from Gen V K Singh against unknown retired army officers and private persons.
    The then Army chief had claimed that an equipment lobbyist had offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore, a matter he had reported to Defence Minister A K Antony.
    The Ministry had then recommended a CBI probe into the allegation made by the then Army Chief.
    In a communication to the CBI, Gen V K Singh had said that there was a bribe offer from Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh following which the CBI had asked him to submit detailed description of the incident, list of possible witnesses and supporting documents on the issue.
    Gen V K Singh had given to the CBI detailed description of the incident during which he was allegedly offered bribe.
    Lt Gen Tejinder Singh has refuted the allegations levelled against him and also filed a defamation case against the ex-Army Chief and other officers.
    CBI and its antics
    Related Reading
    Gen Bikram Singh undoing decisions of his predecessor Gen VK Singh
    Height of Honesty: Criminals Plead with Sonia Gandhi
    Adarsh members want Sonia Gandhi to initiate probe against ex-army chief: HT

    Bureaucrats spin and spiral the corruption curve of India

    Bureaucrats hired by companies which they helped get coal fields allotted to?
    New Delhi: The investigation into the coal scam has the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) looking at whether bureaucrats colluded with private companies to get coal blocks despite being ineligible.
    What is clear already is that several senior bureaucrats who could have helped inference the allocation process were employed by private companies after leaving the government.
    R V Shahi was India's longest serving power secretary - he held the position between 2002 and 2007. During this time, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, owned by Congress MP Navin Jindal, was allocated two coal blocks. Mr Shahi is now an Independent Director of the same company, whose businesses include steel, power and mining.
    Like other companies, Jindal Steel and Power was chosen by a screening committee that included representatives of different ministries and stakeholders. Mr Shahi says that the coal blocks given to Mr Jindal's firm were for sponge iron plants and not for power, therefore, he says, officials from his ministry would not have played a role in the selection process.
    But during Mr Shahi's tenure as power secretary, two other Jindal Group companies were assigned coal blocks for power plants. These companies are headed by Navin Jindal's brothers and he is a director in one of them.
    Both Shahi and Navin Jindal dismissed any allegations of wrongdoing or favouritism.
    In Jharkhand, P P Sharma was the Chief Secretary between December 2004 to January 2006, and then again from August 2007 to March 2008. Now, he is a full-time director with the Abhijeet Group, which has power and mining projects spread across Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal.
    During Mr Sharma's tenure as Chief Secretary, the same Abhijeet Group got five coal blocks. Though the allocations are done by the Coal Ministry, the state government's views are critical in the selection process and senior officials from the state where the coal field is located are on the screening committee that decides on applications.
    Mr N C Jha is the CEO of the mining business of Monnet Energy and Ispat Limited - the second largest coal-based sponge-iron manufacturer in India.
    Mr Jha was the Technical Director of government-owned Coal India from 2007 and Chairman of Coal India Limited in 2011. The Technical Director of Coal India is a member of the Screening Committee.
    Between 2008 to 2010, the group was allocated three coal blocks for power and sponge iron by the coal ministry.
    Bureaucrats hired by companies which they helped get coal fields allotted
    Comment: Politicians, Businessmen and Bureaucrats cemented in milking the nation of its vital assets and transferring them to Swiss like Secret Accounts. Will the CBI book these corrupt Bureaucrats?

    Army Jawans seek instant redressal

    Army jawans ransack police station, beat up cops
    PTI | Sep 11, 2012, 07.28PM IST
    JAMMU: Army jawans allegedly ransacked a railway police station and beat up cops on duty, injuring six of them, in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. Cases were registered against the army troopers for allegedly beating up and injuring the cops last night, police officials said here today. The trouble erupted following an altercation between an Army jawan and GRP personnel, they said.
    The jawan had allegedly unplugged the metal detector installed at the railway station to charge his mobile phone.
    When the policemen objected to this, an altercation ensued between them after which the armyman was taken to the police station. On getting information about the incident, the jawan's colleagues, including some officers, reached the police station and allegedly went on a rampage, the officials said. They beat up the policemen on duty injuring six cops, they said. They also took away the jawan with them. The army jawans were waiting for a train at the Kathua railway station for their journey outside the state.
    Police booked the jawans for beating and injuring the cops, the officials said. When asked about the incident, the PRO Defence said the Army was yet to come out with a statement on the matter. The jawans belonged to the 225 field regiment stationed at Janglote in the Kathua district.
    Army jawans ransack police station, beat up cops
    Lessons Learnt
    Jawans do not have access to online booking because they are posted at a location without internet or telephone. The only thing the Railways can do is to give them one bogey for hundreds of Jawans going on leave from J & K. Alternatively the units need to book their tickets online in bulk for the leave party. Jammu Railway Station is always chaotic and unfriendly.

    Indian Army’s growing morale problem
    Today the cost of living has risen much more than the wage increments. Given increased land prices and other avenues of income, the army has lost some of its sheen as a sought-after employer. A recent comment in the Indian media reads:
    “An objective review of the manner in which the pay, allowances and status of the military have been lowered over the last two decades reveals some startling facts. The average ‘fauji’ (soldier) retires at a much younger age than the civilian counterpart who serves up to age 60. Many anomalies abound.”
    Indeed, it is important for New Delhi to closely look for solutions to pre-empt the disgruntlement among the jawans turning alarming levels. There are already rising instances of industrial unrest in India.
    Dissatisfied workers of car manufacturer Maruti brutally assaulted management cadres recently, killing a senior executive and injuring several others. The Maoist violence in large tracts of Central and Eastern India is linked to mining companies exploiting the local tribal populations resulting in deep grievances.
    Unlike its neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nepal, the Indian army has remained largely apolitical and has worked well under civilian political leadership since India’s independence in 1947. The Indian jawan deserves his due.
    (Siddharth Srivastava is a New Delhi-based journalist. He can be reached at
    Read the full article of declining Morale of Troops
    Indiscipline growing due to disconnect in the command and control structure: This video clip proves the point!

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Rank Pay:: Too little, too late!

    Too little, too late!
    P M Ravindran | 05-Sep-2012
    After outrageously denying justice to Gen V K Singh in a simple matter of his date of birth the apex court now mocks at soldiers with a pretense of justice. Let us get this straight- no citizen goes to courts seeking charity. He goes to courts demanding justice, which is a fundamental right; all those addressing the judges as Lordship and cloaking their demand in terms like Prayers, not withstanding. And in this case justice has been done apparently but falls much short of it.
    Firstly Maj Dhanapalan's case was decided more than a decade back. The court did not cover all affected officers in its order then.
    Secondly, now it has taken 10 years to decide this case when the precedence had been set and the facts, laws and precedences of the issue had already been established through a long drawn judicial process itself.
    Thirdly, the rate of interest is just the barest minimum and not even enough to compensate for the losses incurred by the soldiers, forget about being penal.
    And lastly, the date of its applicability is only from 1 Jan 2006- a date that has no relevance in this case. Usually the courts consider the date of filing the petition for the applicability of its orders, though even that is questionable because natural justice demands that it has to be the date of occurrence and especially so in cases like this where all other options have to be exhausted before approaching the courts!
    Just to highlight the contrast look at the case of compensating a judge to the tune of Rs 100 Crores in a defamation case and the apex court refusing to entertain an appeal unless Rs 20 Crores is deposited by the media channel which had in any case tendered an unconditional apology for the genuine mistake that had occurred in displaying the photo of the judge which was similar in name to another judge who had been implicated in a crime!
    And it also needs to be highlighted that the rank pay was not introduced to give any advantage to the armed forces officers over their civilian counterparts because the fact is that there has never been any such advantage then nor is it there now. It was actually another ploy to keep these officers at a lower station because the rank pay was to be considered part of basic pay only for calculating the allowances and not status!
    Pay Rs 1600 cr arrears to army officers: SC tells Centre
    Antony supports granting representation to armed forces in pay panel How Fake are our politicians and bureaucrats?
  • Fifty years after 1962, India dwells in denial
  • PMO’s China fear stalls Mountain Corps
  • Gross irregularities in CSD

    04 sep 2012
    A series of communications between Controller of Defence Accounts and the Defence Ministry reveals how gross irregularities occurred in the purchases in defence canteens across the country.
    The exchange of letters between the auditors and Ministry exposes the tough resistance by forces to adhere to financial transparency in canteen purchases, involving thousands of crores per year.
    “I am writing to highlight the malady that ails the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) and requires immediate attention. CSD has been held in such high esteem that it is almost sacrilegious to doubt their infallibility. Instead of groping in the dark about the functioning of CSD, which is considered to be a mascot of organised procurement system, an insight will reveal the labyrinthine corruption prevailing in the organisation.
    “On the one hand the Government is endeavoring to climb the ladders of transparency, accountability, probity in public procurement process and to enhance public confidence in procurement by introducing the “The Public Procurement Bill, 2012” in Parliament, the system followed in CSD is highly opaque, discretionary, providing high degree of arbitrariness,” said Savitur Prasad, the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts in a communication to several officials of Defence Ministry including the Defence Secretary.
    The series of letters between the Auditor and Ministry, obtained through RTI by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, says the procurements through nearly half of the vendors are by doubtful methods.
    “There are about 600 firms supplying more than 4,000 items to CSD. Almost 200-300 firms provide product whose credentials in consumer market are hardly established. The details of factory inspection and hygiene report be made public by placing on the internet, which may unravel the truth of empanelling such firms.
    “It is a travesty of faith that the age old loyalties of defence personnel being stoically dependent on CSD, have been breached by PSC (Preliminary Screening Committee), by introducing product from ineligible firm,” said the auditor of defence accounts.
    The auditor has pointed out several malpractices in listing a product and absence of obtaining hygiene certificates for the items sold in canteens.
    There are around 34 CSDs across the country and more than 4,500 Unit Run Canteens under it to cater the 17 lakh soldiers of Army, Navy and Air Force and their families.
    Two years back, the CAG was allowed to audit CSD accounts after countering stiff opposition from forces. But till date, forces are adamant not to allow the audit by CAG in its 4,500 Unit Run Canteens.
    Public Accounts Committee of Parliament headed by Murli Manohar Joshi had directed Defence Ministry to go for the CAG auditing in Unit Run Canteens in December 2011. But till date, forces as well as the Defence Ministry have not yet responded positively to the mandatory directions of the PAC. The Ministry is expected to revert back to PAC by September first week, after having sought postponement of implementation deadlines many a times.-via The Pioneer
    Gross irregularities in CSD

    IESL and IESM need to introspect?

    What are IESL and IESM doing for their living?
    ESM organisations mission is to serve India's Veterans and their families with dignity and compassion and to be their principal advocate in ensuring that they receive medical care, pension benefits, social support, and lasting memorials promoting the health, welfare, and dignity of all Veterans in recognition of their service to our Nation. Sadly RDOA's victory in the supreme court regarding the Rank Pay benefitting over 20,000 Officers has not got support from the larger organisations with membership perhaps running into lakhs (membership is primarly meant to collect funds and spin them for partisan purposes perhaps).
    Can these organisations really boast of any tangible results they have brought out for the larger veteran community in the last few years except making a hue and cry in the blue. It seems these organisations with teeth have no bite and are akin to the MOD- It is Farewell to Welfare!
    Remembrance of our Cause
    A Poem- tribute to a Soldier

    Immortalized Soldiers Whose Bravery Abounds
    They¹re Our Husbands, Fathers, and Sons
    They Enlisted For the Duty at Hand
    To Serve the Cause of Country and Land:
    They Had Honor, They Had Valor,
    They Found Glory That Change Them Forever
    Men Standing Tall and Proud They be
    A Country Behind Them in a Solemn Sea
    So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
    Unfurled in Their Majesty High:
    In the Sun, In the Rain
    In the Winds Across This Land
    Years of Tears Has Brought Us Here
    Gathering Around to Hear This Sound
    So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
    Unfurled in Their Majesty High:
    In the Sun, In the Rain,
    In the Winds Across This Land

    Equal pension is no favour to soldiers

    Anil Kaul says the government needs to change its attitude towards the armed forces...
    MY friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood: never.
    Albert Camus words are ringing true in case of Indian army veterans, who are threatening to intensify their four-year-old agitation unless the government accepts their demand for one rank one pension (OROP) by 15 August.
    One rank one pension implies uniform pension for army personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement, and mandates that any future enhancement in the rates of pension be automatically passed on to past pensioners. The demand was raised way back in 1981 and still remains unresolved. The six-member committee under Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth that has been looking into it, has been asked by the government to finalise its recommendations and submit a report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by 8 August. The PM is likely to announce some welfare measures for defence veterans including ‘one-rank-one-pension’ on 15 August. It has already been discussed in detail by a Rajya Sabha Petition Committee headed by Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. Given below are some examples how the recommendations of the Koshiyari committee negate the very spirit of pension laid down by the Supreme Court — that it is not pay but payment for services rendered — and parity in its allotment.
    1. “The pre 1 Jan 2006 retirees get the same pension as the post 1 Jan 2006 retirees by matching the three factors that govern the pensions of ex-servicemen i.e. the rank, the length of service and the trade (in case of all ranks below officer ranks only). After this is affected, any future increases be automatically applied to old pensioners. The family, disabilities and dependents’ pensions be included for the purpose of this definition. This, however, does not mean the grant of pensionary benefits such as DCRG and additional value of commutation pension.”
    This definition, by no stretch of imagination, includes annual increments in pensions as is given to serving soldiers.
    2. Notwithstanding the Rajya Sabha Committee Report that was presented on 19 December 2011, in 2013, a post 2006 retiree Brigadier (equivalent to a deputy secretary) will get more pension than a post 2006 retiree Major General (equivalent to a joint secretary). The protection clause for the Major Generals would have to be applied or Military Service Pay will have to be extended to Major Generals. This is the mess created by the government in the 6th Central Pay Commission. Now compare this with pre 2006 retirees. The pension of a post 2012 retiree Colonel (equivalent to a director), on both time scale and selection grade is Rs 35,841, whereas a pre 2006 retiree Major General’s pension is Rs 26,700. You cannot have three rank juniors getting more pension than the seniors. OROP is being demanded for army personnel because it is a rank-based hierarchy, whose terms and conditions are different from other professions. As such armymen under the same rank and with same years of service should get the same pension irrespective of their dates of retirement and should continue to get it in perpetuity. But in their desperation to fool the unwary veterans, the bureaucrats have added the point of annual increment in pension as per the serving soldiers to the award of OROP. But ex-servicemen (ESM) don’t want annual increment in pensions. A serving soldier gets annual increment for a year’s service, how can a pensioner claim the same for his retired service? OROP, as per the definition given, means full parity with the latest rates of pension for past pensioners. Once granted there are no increments till a revision by a CPC.
    3. Successive governments in the past have claimed that OROP was untenable and meeting it would cost a bomb. The anomaly was created by the 5th and 6th Pay Commissions. The Congress had promised OROP in its poll manifesto in 2004. However, the UPA government rejected the OROP demand in December 2008, after which ex-servicemen returned their gallantry medals to the President. Following protracted protests, a committee was set up under Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar to review the OROP issues. On the panel’s suggestion, the Centre has now agreed to substantially hike the pension of JCOs and other ranks. The pension of such personnel who retired before 10 October, 1997 will be brought at par with the pension of those retired after that date. The pension of those who retired before 1 January, 2006 — including the 1997 group — will be substantially hiked to come close to those who retired after the cut-off date of 1 January, 2006. This is not OROP but near parity.
    Soldiers rightfully deserve better than this after the sacrifices they make. The government needs to address this trust deficit in all earnest. Half-hearted measures won’t help.
    Kaul, a retired officer, is the author of Better Dead Than Disabled. The views expressed here are personal.
    Click here for the original post- Tehelka
    Comment: The MOD Bureaucrats having destroyed the command control structure of the Armed Forces are now in the game of reducing Ranks in the Military to a Mockery- Now we see the true results- Revolts in the Services. Will the Defence Minister take Charge?

    Growing discontent among armed forces on pay parity

    Antony to PM: Growing discontent among armed forces on pay parity
    New Delhi: Observing there was “growing discontent” among armed forces personnel over anomalies in pay-related matters, Defence Minister A K Antony has written a letter to the Prime Minister saying if “corrective action” is not taken, the issue might take a “bad turn”.
    After the letter was sent, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh constituted a high level-committee under the Cabinet Secretary to address issues such as One Rank One Pension (OROP) and elevation of all Lt Gen-rank officers into a higher pay scale.
    Defence Minister A K Antony has written a letter to the Prime Minister saying if “corrective action” is not taken, the issue might take a “bad turn”. Reuters In the letter written on 25 June, sources said the Defence Minister has written that “there is growing discontentment among the services personnel due to the anomalies in fixation of payment and salaries.”
    Pushing the case for accepting the demands of serving and retired soldiers, Antony pointed out that the service personnel, ex servicemen and family pensioners are “equally agitated” over the anomalies in their salaries.
    He told the Prime Minister that “unless we take corrective action, things may take a bad turn.”
    On 13 July, the Prime Minister formed a six-member committee under Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, which has been asked by the government to finalise its recommendations and submit its report to Manmohan Singh by 8 August.
    (Incidently this Committee has disobeyed the PM's directive- the report has not been submitted till today- 11 Sep 2012- even after a month. It is likely to be buried or outcome filled with follies and more anomalies)
    For serving defence personnel, the committee will look into the issues of having a common pay scale for serving Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), placing all Lt Gen-rank officers under the higher pay scale grade of Higher Administrative Group Plus (HAG+).
    For the large community of ex servicemen, the government has tasked the committee to consider the issue of One-Rank-One-Pension which has been the main demand of the services personnel and has seen a lot of them returning their service and gallantry medals to the President in the last few years as a mark of protest.
    Antony to PM: Growing discontent among armed forces on pay parity
    Related Reading
    Three services chiefs discuss pay, pension issues with panel
    What is Mr Antony doing to reign in the MOD Bureaucrats who call the shots? THE VISION/ MISSION National Litigation Policy- MOD spurns its own Government Policy:
    The National Litigation Policy is based on the recognition that Government and its various agencies are the pre-dominant litigants in courts and Tribunals in the country. Its aim is to transform Government into an Efficient and Responsible litigant. This policy is also based on the recognition that it is the responsibility of the Government to protect the rights of citizens, to respect fundamental rights and those in charge of the conduct of Government litigation should never forget this basic principle.
    click here for the complete double speak
    Comment: The mindless MOD and spineless AHQ together are working in tandem against the welfare of serving and retired troops. Farewell to Welfare is the motto. This refrain says it all:
    "Cheating" has grown to be so much the fashion
    I believe cheating runs the whole nation
    The cabinet committees reinforce this caption

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Supreme Court Order on Rank Pay

    Dear Veterans,
    The gist of the Supreme Court Order issued on 04 Sep 12, regarding Rank Pay Case of Retired Defence Officers is reproduced below.
    Those of you are keen to read the whole order may visit the URL Click here
    Thank you
    Chander Kamboj

    O R D E R
    I. A. No. 9 in T.P. (C) No. 56 of 2007:
    We have heard Mr. R.F. Nariman, learned Solicitor General of India and Mr. Mahabir Singh, learned senior counsel for the respondents.
    2. On thoughtful consideration of the entire matter, we are satisfied that the order dated March 8, 2010 does not require any modification or variation save and except the interest part.
    3. As regards interest, on totality of the circumstances including the circumstance that Special Leave Petition arising from the judgment dated July 4, 2003 in the matter of Major A.K. Dhanapalan was dismissed by this Court in August, 2005 and the Kerala High Court had not ordered payment of interest on the arrears of pay, we direct that the interest shall be paid by the petitioners to the respondent @ 6% p.a. from January 1, 2006 instead of January 1, 1986. It is clarified that this order shall govern all similarly situated officers who have not approached the court and also those who have filed Writ Petitions which are pending before various High Courts/Armed Forces Tribunal.
    4. We record and accept the statement of the learned Solicitor General that arrears of pay with interest, as directed above, shall be paid to the concerned officers expeditiously and positively within twelve week from today.
    5. I.A. No. 9 of 2010 stands disposed of accordingly.
    W.P. (C) Nos. 268/2010, 192/2012, and I.A. No. 1 of 2011 in W.P. (C) 34/2009 and T.C. (C) Nos. 11/2010, 14-19/2010, 31/2010, 32/2010, 33/2010 and 35/2010:
    The above matters and pending I.As. therein, if any, stand disposed of in terms of the above order passed in I.A. No. 9 of 2010 in T.P. (C) No. 56 of 2007.

    (R.M. LODHA)

    (T.S. THAKUR)

    (ANIL R. DAVE)
    Supreme Court Order on Rank Pay

    Compulsive Litigant: MOD turns the enemy within

    Defence matters
    Lt Gen Harwant Singh (retd), Hindustan Times
    September 09, 2012
    The union ministry of defence (MoD) continues to work against the military's interests. This sustained attitude and practice of the MoD has created deep fissures in its relationship with the military. There is palpable mistrust of the ministry among the armed forces.
    While the union ministry of home affairs fights tooth and nail to protect interests of, say central police organisations (CPOs - inappropriately called paramilitary), the MoD operates in a motivated and deliberate manner against interests of the military. This adversarial stance of the MoD has been more visible in the case of successive Central Pay Commissions (CPCs).
    Defence services personnel posted in, say Siliguri (not an insurgency area), are not entitled to any extra allowances, whereas the CPOs are. In insurgency-hit areas, army officers and men of special forces get allowances from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,200 per month, CPOs (their special forces such as Cobras, Greyhounds) get Rs. 7,200 to Rs. 11,000 per month.
    Central services officers, when posted in the northeast, get 12.5% of the basic pay as special duty allowance, with double HRA (house rent allowance). For IAS officers, the allowance is 25% of the basic pay. There are no such allowances for defence personnel. While many other disparities can be listed, the case of grant of Non-Functional Advancement largesse to all central services officers by the Sixth CPC but not to defence officers is simply scandalous.
    In every CPC, the MoD, instead of promoting the military's cause, played a negative role. Every case of injustice fought and won by military personnel in lower courts has been contested by the MoD in higher courts. So much so that in such cases, the MoD has been seeking review of Supreme Court judgments as well. Often, it has compelled the army headquarters to join hands with the ministry in seeking such reviews from the highest court in, for example, the case of pension of Majors General.
    During my briefing of the Prime Minister at the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh, besides other issues, I brought to his notice making service headquarters party to these review petitions and the dangers of this gameplan. There is great bonding between veterans and serving personnel, which is unique to the military. Any mistrust in this bonding will be deleterious and affect the morale of those in service. I followed this up with a detailed letter to the PM, highlighting these issues, to which a wishy-washy reply was received.
    The most wicked and despicable case is that of deduction of rank pay, as granted by the Fourth Pay Commission to officers up to the rank of brigadier. This was the exclusive machination of the MoD in collaboration with the Controller of Defence Accounts (Officers). One gutsy Major fought the case right up to the Supreme Court to get his rank pay from 1986 onwards. All through, the MoD opposed the case and now, when some spirited officers took up the case on behalf of all affected officers, the ministry conveyed to the highest court that the armed forces headquarters, too, were against grant of rank pay.
    When the service headquarters told the Attorney General in writing that there was no opposition from them and instead they fully supported the cause, the MoD tried to arm-twist the service headquarters. Now that the Supreme Court has settled this case, those who played this mischief need to be identified and taken to task, including those who have since retired.
    From the Fourth Pay Commission onwards, the services have been putting up their cases before this august body, but support from the MoD has been negative and that is how defence services were downgraded every time. In the case of the Sixth Pay Commission, there are 39 anomalies pertaining to the defence services which are yet to be resolved. If a career in the armed forces has become the last choice for the youth of the country, the MoD has played a key role in this degradation of the military.
    Handling of a simple case of age of the previous army chief is a more recent example of cussedness in the MoD's attitude. While the issue was attracting national attention, somewhat mischievously were floated the cases of "wire tapping" of the defence minister's office, a military coup and leak of a top-secret letter from the Chief of Army Staff to the PM. While the first two failed miserably, the last bounced back on the government. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is still to tell the nation as to who leaked this letter.
    Ministry of Defence (MoD) continues to work against the military's interests
    THE VISION/MISSION National Litigation Policy- Government spurns its own Policy
    The National Litigation Policy is based on the recognition that Government and its various agencies are the pre-dominant litigants in courts and Tribunals in the country. Its aim is to transform Government into an Efficient and Responsible litigant. This policy is also based on the recognition that it is the responsibility of the Government to protect the rights of citizens, to respect fundamental rights and those in charge of the conduct of Government litigation should never forget this basic principle.
    click here for the complete double speak
    Comment: The mindless MOD and spineless AHQ together are working in tandem against the welfare of serving and retired troops. Farewell to Welfare is the motto. This refrain says it all:
    "Cheating" has grown to be so much the fashion
    I believe cheating runs the whole nation
    The cabinet committees reinforce this caption...

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

    Over 10,000 Soldiers Bid Adieu to Indian Army

    Over 10,000 Soldiers Bid Adieu to Indian Army
    By SiliconIndia | Tuesday, 04 September 2012, 18:00 IST
    Bangalore: As disgraceful and discouraging as it can be, over 10,000 soldiers opted out of the Indian Army. The obvious reason predicted is the illusionary relation shared by the Indian Army soldiers and their officers. The issue was very much brought to notice at the Parliament when defence minister, AK Antony said that 10,315 jawans opted for pre mature retirement in 2011 which is far more compared to 7,249 and 7,499 in 2010 and 2009 respectively. The probable cause behind retiring early at 35 as given by Antony is that the educated soldiers look for a better option other than working with the force.
    Three incidents of scuffle and stand-offs at different places in these two years created the discord between the officers and the jawans in the hierarchical system. The incidents took place at 226 Field Regiment at Nyoma in Ladakh, 45th Cavalry at Gurdaspur in Punjab and 16th Cavalry regiment at Samba in Jammu & Kashmir. In the latest incident, the Samba sector was led to unrest as a jawan commited suicide. Antony said in a written reply at Lok Sabha, " A Court of Inquiry (COI) has been convened by the Army to investigate the matter," as quoted by the Dainikbhaskar.
    According to the statistical reports, total suicides among soldiers were 96 in 2003 which rose to 100 next year. In 2005 a total of 77commited suicide which reached 129 in 2006. The figure was 118 in 2007, 123 in 2008 which fell to 96 in 2009 but once more rose to 115 in 2010.
    Antony said that the Government has taken certain steps to enhance the morale of the jawans. The ministry is planning to replace the ‘sahayak’ system with the civillians for the convinience of the senior officers. Even the inclusion of liberalised leave policy, provision of recreational facilities and the participation of psychological counsellors will create a soothing environment to work.
    Over 10,000 Soldiers Bid Adieu to Indian Army
    Sample this Comment: Straight from a Jawan's Heart
    The defence, morale is at all time low, the lungi clad Antony has very poor 'leadership' & vison. The Arms & Equipments, facilities & pay scales are low, jawans still have no family accommodation, they have poor CSD facility - and to add soldier's welfare is just nil, officers have all facilities including free ration, education, free fuel, servants, guards etc etc. So its natural for the repercussions of revolt. Most jawans have now taken up security & admin related odd jobs & are satisfied - gone are the days where JF Rebiero, Vaidyas were held in high esteem. WE saw Presidents like Pratibha aunty doing nothing except giving away trophies & visiting foreign countries blowing Tax payers money.(sic) Posted by:Nair - 05 Sep, 2012

    IESM: Government continues to be a compulsive litigant

    Date: 28 May, 2012
    Sh. Salman Khurshid
    Union Cabinet Minister, Law and Justice.
    4, Kushak Road, New Delhi - 110 011
    Honorable Shri Salman Khurshid Jee,
    1. Please refer to our letter dated 30 April 2012.
    2. We have not received any response from your good self. We are your former soldiers who have been denied Justice for a long time. I am tempted to remind you for your indulgence and positive response. I have been watching your responses on TV debates on various issues and find that you have the requisite depth of personality and compassion and I am sure you will consider our suggestion accordingly.
    3. May we request you to kindly consider the issue raised by with your appropriate response please.
    With Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian Ex Servicemen Movement
    Related reading
    OROP: According to calculations done by the military, the annual outgo for granting one-rank-one-pension to the approximately 21 lakh ex-servicemen would not be more than Rs. 1300 crores.
    Defence Want One-Rank-One-Pension: WILL PM SINGH BITE THE BULLET?…
    MoD's farewell to welfare
    Instead of safeguarding the welfare of retired soldiers, ministry effectively holds off payment until an ex-serviceman claimant is either dead or broke- Ajai Shukla / New Delhi Feb 21, 2012, 00:26 IST
    MOD's Farewell to Welfare

    Senior Military Officers caught in Money Spinning Spree

    Army Maj Gen in the dock in electronic warfare equipment scam
    [ Updated 30 Aug 2012, 14:09:27 ]
    New Delhi, Aug 30: Major irregularities and siphoning off of funds have come to light in the purchase of electronic warfare equipment worth Rs 80 crore for the crucial Northern Command that covers Kashmir.
    A Major General of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) is in the dock in the Court of Inquiry, presided over by a Lieutenant General.
    The Major General was attached to the Udhampur-based Northern Command earlier this month. The senior ranking officer has been divested of all operational responsibilities pending completion of the Court of Inquiry.
    A newspaper report quoting sources said, the deal for electronic warfare and other sensitive equipment was signed last year and the Army carried out a preliminary probe when allegations of misappropriation by way of submitting fake bills came to light some months later.
    Finding substance in the allegations, the Army then ordered a formal Court of Inquiry in May this year against a Colonel.
    He, however, denied the allegations and pointed fingers at his Major General, who was the Master General (overall chief) of the Northern Command EME.
    Officials said the officers were not able to explain expenditure of nearly Rs 30 crore out of the Rs 80 crore deal.
    Sensing the seriousness of the charges, the Army ordered another Court of Inquiry after allegations surfaced against the Major General.
    The latest scam involving senior officers comes in the backdrop of cases like Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai, Sukna land scam and allotment of defence land to builders in Pune. All these cases involved officers of the rank of Lt Generals.
    A former Military Secretary was also divested of his rank in the Sukna land scam.
    Besides these high profile cases, two Lieutenant Generals, now retired, were prima facie found guilty of misappropriation of funds in procurement of rations including dal and mutton for troops.
    Army Maj Gen in the dock in electronic warfare equipment scam
    Comment: EW equipment purchase scandal by EME seems to be a new avenue for kickbacks as the equipment is shrouded in secrecy... Thank heavens there are no imminent war threats... Our Corrupt senior officers and bureaucrats will ensure defeat even before combat commences!

    Rank Pay Litigation: MOD is the Culprit to Recall Court Rulings Repeatedly

    Re-fix Defence officers’ pay: Supreme Court
    The Supreme Court directed the Centre on Tuesday to re-fix the pay of about 20,000 Defence officers from January 1, 1986, without deducting the rank pay and to pay them arrears.
    A three-judge Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha, T.S. Thakur and Anil R. Dave also directed the Centre to pay six per cent interest from January 1, 2006 to all the officers, irrespective of whether they had filed petitions before any of the High Courts or Benches of the Armed Forces Tribunal, within 12 weeks from Tuesday.
    The Bench directed that all pending petitions before High Courts or Benches of the Armed Forces Tribunal by similarly placed officers would be governed by this order. The Bench rejected the Centre’s application seeking the recall the order of the Kerala High Court, which in October 1998 found no justification in deducting the rank pay and directed the Centre to re-fix the pay.
    The core issue is the wrong fixation of rank pay awarded by the Fourth Pay Commission. The element of rank pay was introduced for all ranks from Captain to Brigadier in the Army and their equivalent ranks in the Air Force and the Navy, in addition to pay in the integrated scale. The rationale behind this was to make the Armed Forces an attractive career option and ensure that the defence officers continued to have an edge vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts, keeping in mind the difficult and challenging nature of their job. However, according to the officers, the rank pay was first deducted at the time of fixation to arrive at the total emoluments and thereafter added, after fixation, in the integrated scale. Consequently, the final fixation of the total pay of the officer became on a par with his civilian counterpart’s and the edge was neutralised.
    Major A.K. Dhanapalan was the first officer to challenge this erroneous fixation before the Kerala High Court. Thereafter, several petitions were filed by similarly placed officers in High Courts and before different benches of the Armed Forces Tribunal.
    After the High Court judgment, the Armed Forces and the Chiefs of Staff Committee had recommended against pursuing the litigation further in the Supreme Court. However, the Ministry of Defence chose to press the application for recall on several grounds, including a total financial liability of about Rs. 1600 crores.
    Re-fix Defence officers’ pay: Supreme Court


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