Monday, 15 December 2014

Trying to help the Hon'ble Defence Minister understand the Ministry of Defence.

By Speed Post – Article EK528283447IN of 15 Dec 2014
Veteran Air Marshal S Y Savur PVSM AVSM           
                                                                                   141 Jal Vayu Towers,
Cellphones:  +919449676278                            N G E F Layout,
                   + 919688782227                               Indira Nagar (PO),
Email:                               Bengaluru – 560 038
Blog: URL:              15th December 2014


Shri Manohar Parrikar, MP
Hon’ble Raksha Mantri,
Ministry of Defence,
104, South Block, New Delhi – 110 011

Dear Hon’ble Raksha Mantriji,

          I have read in the newspapers and heard in TV news broadcasts that you want to understand how your Ministry of Defence works.

2.       Utilising the RTI Act, 2005 from November 2012 onwards, I too have been endeavouring to understand how the Ministry of Defence works, especially in treating Veterans, more commonly known as Ex-Servicemen, in different aspects of pensions, disability benefits, release of funds to the Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), and above all the logic/rationale in filing of hundreds of appeals, Special Leave Petitions, Writ Petitions, the odd Review Petitions, as well as the final stage in the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Curative Petition.

3.       MoD has wasted much more funds in paying the Govt’s law officers to file or defend its own briefs than what it would have cost MoD to pay the Veterans/NoK. Needless to add, MoD has lost at least 90% of the cases (including the most recent one where the CJI headed Bench ruled against the MoD. My RTI Online request to the Deptt of Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare (DEXSW/R/2013/60027) in September 2013 was transferred to the Armed Forces, who cannot/do not maintain records and a Second Appeal before the CiC is pending.   

4.       I am enclosing an anthology, titled “Twists in the Tales,” compiled from the disclosures by MoD and CGDA. I hope it gives you a more complete perspective of how the MoD and its affiliates work in the Rank Pay Case of UoI/MoD Vs Lt Col N. K. Nair & Others.      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             With Best Wishes

What is the Twists in the Tales

On 8th March 2010, the Hon’ble Supreme Court ordered that amount of Rank Pay deducted in 1987 prior to revision of Pay in the Integrated Scale was wrong in Transfer Petition (Civil) No. 56 of 2007.

This judgment was followed by an uncharacteristically fast and furious exchange of notes, meetings, legal consultations and it ended with filing Interlocutory Application No. 9 of 2010 in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007.     

The Twists in the Tales is a compendium of the notes from the files of the Office of the Controller General of Defence Accounts (O/o CGDA), Ministry of Defence (MoD), and its Division of Finance/Defence to have the Hon’ble Court recall, modify, re-hear de novo the case of UoI Vs Lt Col N K Nair & Others.

It is also the revelation of how CGDA, primarily an audit and accounting service, which sets the implementation methodology for the MoD letter dated 27th December 2012.

MoD appears to accept that 'conflict of interest,' especially as it has a Defence (Finance) division, headed by a Secretary, who in any case is an IDAS officer, promoted from the office of the Controller General of Defence Accounts!   

Who will audit the CGDA in the Rank Pay case and the methodology? Would CGDA audit itself and then do what if there are faults - as indeed pointed out by the (now late) Attorney General for India? Practice nepotism by not holding itself accountable?  

One shudders to think what would have happened if the C & AG  went about deciding implementation methodology for the 2G spectrum case and also the Coal mines allotment case. Could C & AG then have audited itself and found the loss to the Public exchequer of the lakhs of crores of rupees? And, most importantly, laid the blame at its own doorstep?



Sunday, 14 December 2014

MoD & MoF tying themselves in knots - Disclosure of Cab Sec Committee Report

Replies to First Appeals by MoD dated 04 Dec 14 received on 12 Dec 14
and MoF dated 09 Dec 14 received on 13 Dec 14

Government of India
Ministry of Defence
No. 35(1)/2013/D (Pay/Services)                            New Delhi, the 04 December, 2014


          Subject:        Appeal under RTI Act, 2005 filed by Shri S Y Savur

                    Reference is invited to the appeal dated 7.11.2014 by Sh S Y Savur received vide MoD ID No. MODEF/A/2014-D (RTI) (61820) dated 11.11.2014 against the reply given by CPIO, D (Pay/Services), MoD vide letter No. 35 (1)/2013/D (Pay/Services) dated 21.10.2014.

2.       I have considered the aforesaid appeal on the basis of the facts submitted by the appellant and the information provided available with the CPIO. The grievance of the appellant is that the CPIO has transferred his request for a copy of the Committee of Secretary Report to Ministry of Finance (Deptt of Expenditure) when MoD itself has a copy of the Report.

3.       The CPIO transferred the request to Ministry of Finance (Deptt of Expenditure) as they were the serving Ministry, for the said Committee. Further, the report of the Committee has been classified as ‘Secret.’ Therefore, the decision to give a copy of the Committee Report is to be taken by that department only. Accordingly transfer of the request of the appellant to Ministry of Finance (Deptt of Expenditure) for providing a copy of the Report is in order. 

4.               However, CPIO D (Pay/Services), MoD has been directed to ascertain the status from CPIO, Ministry of Finance (Deptt of Expenditure) with regard to the endorsement dated 21.10.2014 under intimation to the appellant. And if a copy of the said report has not been provided to the applicant so far, is there any objection under Section 8 (1) (i) of the RTI Act, 2005, from their side in respect of disclosure/providing the same by Ministry of Defence. 
(Pradeep Kumar)
Director (AG-I) & Appellate Authority

Copy of this order be supplied to: - Shri S Y Savur, 141, Jal Vayu Towers, NGEF Layout, Indira Nagar (PO), Bangalore - 560038 

No. 35 (1)/2013/D (Pay/Services)
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
New Delhi, the 04 December, 2014

Office Memorandum

          Subject: Seeking information under RTI Act – 2005: Shri S. Y. Savur

          The undersigned is directed to refer to this Ministry’s letter of even number dated 21.10.2014, addressed to Shri S. Y. Savur of Bangalore and copy endorsed to US & CPIO (EV), Ministry of Finance (Deptt of Expenditure) vide which RTI application dated 4.10.2014 of Shri S. Y. Savur was transferred for providing a copy of the Report of the Cabinet Secretary Committee (copy enclosed). Earlier, CPIO D/Expenditure had not provided a copy of this report to one Shri Aditya Singh stating that it qualifies for exemption under provision to rule 8 (1) (i) of the RTI Act, 2005 vide letter 128/EV/RTI/2013 dated 4.9.2013 (copy enclosed). Shri Savur has filed an appeal in this Ministry (copy enclosed). In view of the above, it is requested to intimate whether a copy of the said Report has been provided to Shri S. Y. Savur w.r.t. this Ministry’s endorsement dated 21.10.2014. And if a copy of the said report has not been provided to the applicant so far, is there any objection under section 8 (1) (i) of the RTI Act, 2005 from their side in respect of disclosure/providing the same by Ministry of Defence.    
(Prashant Rastogi)
Under Secretary & CPIO
Ministry of Finance,
Department of Expenditure,
New Delhi.

Encl: as above

Copy to: - Shri S Y Savur, 141, Jal Vayu Towers, NGEF Layout, Indira Nagar (PO), Bangalore - 560038 


          Case No.                                              AA/21/2014
          Name of the Appellant:                        Shri Sharad Yeshwant Savur
CPIO (EV), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance

Subject:        Appeal under Section 19 (1) of the RTI Act 2005

          The appellant has filed an appeal dated 19.11.2014, received by the First Appellate Authority on 24.11.2014 under Section 19 (1) of the RTI Act, 2005 in respect of his RTI applications dated 04.10.2014 and 07.11.2014. 

2.       I have carefully gone through the facts as available in the file and found that although orders relating to recommendations of the Cabinet Secretary Committee regarding pension have been issued and pay related matter has been referred to 7th CPC by MoD, but the process of downgrading the Security grading of the relevant file is not yet complete. This Department has not received any communication from MoD confirming that the security grading of the concerned file has been downgraded. Hence, the reply given by CPIO (EV) to the applicant vide letter No. 202/EV/RTI/2014 dated 05.11.2014 and 203/EV/RTI/2014 dated 05.11.2014, is correct. 


3.       The appeal is disposed off.
(Vijay Kumar Singh)
Director (Administration) and Appellate Authority
Dated: 9.12.2014

Copy to:
1.       Shri Sharad Yeshwant Savur, 141, Jal Vayu Towers, NGEF Layout, Indira Nagar (PO), Bengaluru - 560038

2.       US & CPIO (EV)

3.       Record copy/

Friday, 12 December 2014

Background Notes to Cabinet Secretary Committee - Reply to RTI application

MODEF/R/2014/62150 dated 20 Nov 14
Background Notes for Cabinet Secretary Committee

Online RTI Request Form Details

Public Authority Details:-

* Public Authority Department of Defence

Personal Details of RTI Applicant:-

Deleted by author

Request Details:-
* Description of Information Sought

Please provide me copy of MoD ID dated 17.7.2012 which is at Encl 10-A of File No. 22(4)/2012-D(Pay/Services).

Please also refer to Para 2 of notes 74 and 75 of the ibid MoD file for clarity, if any, required.
Reply dated 08 Dec 14 received by Speed Post on 12 Dec 12

By Speed Post
RTI Matter
No. 35 (1)/2013/D (Pay/Services)
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
New Delhi, the 08 December 2014

          Subject: Seeking information under RTI Act – 2005.


          Reference is invited to MoD ID No. MODEF/R/2014(62150) dated 20.11.2014 (received in this section on 24.11.2014) forwarding your application dated 19.11.2014 on the above subject.

2.       As desired, a copy of MoD ID No. 22(4)/2012 – D (Pay/Services) dated 17.7.2012 alongwith its enclosures is sent herewith (9 pages).
3.       The Appellate Authority is Shri Pradeep Kumar, Director (AG-I), Ministry of Defence, Room No. 102, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi.
Yours faithfully,
(V. N. Raveendran)
Under Secretary & CPIO
Encl: as above (9 pages)

Ministry of Defence
D (Pay/Services)

Sub: Constitution of a Committee under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to look into pay and pension related issues of relevance to Defence services personnel and ex-servicemen.

          Ref: Cabinet Secretariat’s Order No. 213//2/3/2012-CA.IV dated 13th July, 2012
          Background notes on the individual points for the meeting on 18th July, 2012 at 3.30 p.m. are forwarded herewith.
(Naveen Kumar)
Director (AG)
Tel No. 23014036
Encl: As above

Cabinet Secretariat (Attn: Sh. L. C. Goyal, Additional Secretary)
Ministry of Defence I. D. No. 22/4/2012 dated 17th July, 2012

Copy (with enclosure) to:

(i)      Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister
(ii)      Defence Secretary
(iii)     Secretary, D/o Expenditure
(iv)     Secretary, D/o Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare
(v)     Secretary, D/o Personnel & Training
(vi)     Mrs Ajanta Dayalan, Addl Secy, Cab Sectt with 7 copies of the Background Notes
(vii)    Secretary, D/o AR & PG

Background Note

Common Pay Scales for in-service JCOs/ORs

          Background: Prior to VI CPC, JCOs/ORs (collectively referred to as PBORs) in Defence Forces were placed in three different groups depending upon the trade groups that represented different educational, technical and skill requirements. Different pay scales were admissible to similar trade groups in different Services. The Services in their Joint Memorandum submitted to VI CPC proposed a common set of pay scales for PBORs of three wings of Defence Forces. The Pay Commission accepted the demand and granted common pay scales to PBORs within three Services recruited post 1.1.2006. The Commission also reduced the three Trade Groups (X, Y, and Z) to two (X and Y) by merging Z Group in Y Group. In order to maintain the edge enjoyed by Group ‘X’, the Pay Commission recommended grant of an additional element of Group ‘X’ Pay of Rs 1400/- p.m. This changeover has resulted to (sic) two categories of PBORs i.e. one prior to 1.1.2006 at separate pay scales and other post 1.1.2006 at common pay scale as granted by VI CPC. It is noticed that in some cases pay of pre-2006 senior ranks in Y Group has been lowered to junior rank in X Group who are in receipt of an additional element of Rs 1400 (Group ‘X’ Pay) which goes contrary to the stand taken by VI CPC (Para 2.3.25). An example is given below: -    

Rank & Group
Stage in the pre-revised scale
Initial fixation
Grade Pay
‘X’ group Pay
Total revised pay
Difference in initial fixation
Hav ‘Y’ Group

- 600
Sep ‘X’ Group

Demand:    The Services demand that common pay scales be also made applicable to all in-service JCOs/Ors of three Services. The Services have suggested that all in-service PBORs of ‘Y’ Group and erstwhile ‘Z’ group be first upgraded to the bext of ‘X’ Group scales for each rank and then the upgraded common pay scale be implemented by VI CPC factor of 1.86 to arrive at new replacement scales in PB-1 and PB-2.  They have also recommended a Table of new scales in this regard which is as under: -

Existing ‘Y’ scale Army/Navy/Air Force
Upgraded scale (best of ‘X’ Group)
Corresponding new pay band as per fixation table SAI/SAFI/SNI 1/S/08
(1.86 multiple
Sep/AC/Seaman II
LAC/Seaman I
Nk/Cpl/Ldg Seaman

Justification/Rationale given by Services:          VI CPC granted common pay scales within three Services for JCOs/Ors recruited after 1.1.2006 but did not grant the same to JCOs/Ors who were already in Service on 31.12.2005. This has resulted in two categories/classes of JCOs/Ors i.e. one prior to 1.1.2006 with separate pay scales and one post 1.1.2006 with common pay scales. This anomaly can be addressed by upgrading all in-service JCOs/Ors of ‘Y’ and erstwhile ‘Z’ group to the best of ‘X’ group scales in each rank, as the edge enjoyed by ‘X’ Group JCOs/Ors over ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ groups has been compensated by VI CPC by granting them additional Group ‘X’ pay of Rs 1400/- over and above their normal fixation. Thereafter, the upgraded common scales can be multiplied by VI CPC factor of 1.86 to arrive at new replacement scales in PB-1 and PB-2.

Views of MoD:    This issue was recommended by the Ministry to the CoS in May 2008. While proposing decisions on CPC recommendations for Central Govt employees, on certain department specific issues the Note for CoS stated such issues may be considered by the concerned Ministries/Deptts after due consultation with Ministry of Finance/DOP &T as the case may be. The matter is under examination in the Ministry in consultation with Def (Finance). 

The Pranab Mukherjee Committee Report: This issue was not considered by the Committee.

Financial Implications:  Rs 1192 crores

Background Note

Initial pay fixation of Lt Col/Col and Brigadier/equivalent 

Background:        Before VI CPC, Armed Forces Officers in the ranks from Captain to Brigadier/equivalents were receiving Rank Pay in addition to their basic pay. Rank Pay was part of basic pay. VI CPC recommended running pay bands with grade pays on par with those recommended for civilian officers along with Military Service Pay for all officers to the rank of Brigadier/equivalent in Armed Forces.

Demand:    The Services have demanded that initial pay fixation of Lt Col, Col and Brig should be done with reference to S-25 scale.

Justification/Rationale given by Services:          Analysis of the replacement scales granted reveals the following: -

(a)      Lt Col to Brig have been fixed lower than S-25 scales, whereas VI CPC had recommended replacement scales at par with S-25 scales.  

(b)     Placing Col/equivalent at Rs 40890 is one step lower than Rs 42120 granted to civilian officer drawing Rs 17100 in the S-25 scale.

(c)      In case of Brig replacement scale is lower even within S-24 scale. A civilian officer drawing Rs 1900 in S-24 scale has been granted replacement scale of Rs 44700 whereas Brig has been granted only Rs 43390. This is two increments lower than a civilian officer in the S-25 scale at Rs 19100 who has been granted a replacement scale of Rs 46050.

Accordingly it is demanded that initial pay fixation of Lt Col/Col/Brig should be done with reference to S-25 scale – with pre-revised starting scales of Lt Col/Col/Brig should given replacement scale of Rs 39690, 42120 and 46050 respectively. Similar re-fixation of pay should be done for equivalent officers in AMC/ADC/RVC after including DA on NPA.

Views of MoD:    The Services have based their case on merger of Rank Pay with basic pay before fixation of pay. Pay Commission in their report has recommended running pay bands on par with those recommended for civilian officers needs to be introduced in respect of Defence Forces as well. The pay of officers in Defence Forces has been fixed in line with that of civilian officers. 

The Pranab Mukherjee Committee Report:       The basis of this demand, i.e. merger of Rank Pay in basic pay was examined in a detailed manner by the Committee but the same was not accepted.  

Financial implications:           Rs 34.48 crores

Background Note

Review and enhancement of Grade Pay

Background:        As against individual pay scales for different categories of personnel, the VI Central Pay Commission recommended running pay bands with distinct grade pays (sic).

Demand:    The Services have stated that the VI CPC has not taken into account Rank Pay (which was part of Basic Pay). They have demanded that Rank Pay may be defined in the services Instructions stating that “Rank Pay forms part of Basic Pay” and other relevant paras may accordingly be amended. Thus, Grade Pays (sic) may be re-fixed on the basis of pay which includes Rank Pay. For other personnel, the grade pay should also be similar to that granted to a civilian employee getting the same pre-revised pay. The grade pays (sic) sought are as under: - 

S No.
Amount of Grade Pay
Amount of Grade Pay
Rs 4200
Rs 6100
Naib Subedar
Rs 4600
Rs 6600
Rs 4800
Rs 7600
Subedar Major
Rs 5400
Lt Colonel
Rs 8700
Rs 9000
Rs 9500

Justification/Rationale given by Services:          It is stated that while grade pay in the case of civilian officers is higher than that granted to an officer in Defence Forces who was earlier drawing more pay. As the grade pay determines seniority of posts within one’s cadre and not between different cadres, it cannot be ruled out that the different grade pays (sic) may be subjected to varied and incorrect interpretation by different organizations in future.

View of MoD:      The matter relating (to) revision of grade pay to officers was examined in 2008 also. The Government after a long deliberation on the VI CPC recommendations decided to increase Grade Pay of middle level Armed Forces officers (except Lt/equ) thereby meeting the demand of the Services, but did not accept its point on the issue of merger of Rank Pay in Basic Pay. Subsequently, while examining draft Service Instructions for pay revision, Ministry of Finance also did not approve the merger of Rank Pay with Basic Pay and observed that pre-revised scale and Rank Pay should be shown distinctly in two separate columns in pay fixation tables. Accordingly, the Service instructions were issued.    

The demand in case of PBORs was not part of the issues/anomalies raised by the Services in 2009. However, the matter was raised in 2011 and was not agreed to. The matter is being re-considered.

The Pranab Mukherjee Committee Report:       Not merging Rank Pay with Basic Pay was upheld in the Pranab Mukherjee Committee Report. It was also emphasized therein that the Central Pay Commission are recommendatory authorities and final decision of the pays called as well as parity between various levels/ranks of civilian and Armed Forces officers is taken by Cabinet, and as such the Cabinet decision is the final word on the subject.

Financial Implications: Rs 41 crores.
Background Note

Placing of all Lt Generals in HAG+ scale

Background:        The upgradation of pay of Lt Gen/equivalent has been engaging the attention of the Government since 1990s. This issue was rejected by the Cabinet in November 1997. The matter was further examined by the Committees post V CPC but no decision could be taken in the matter. The Services took up this matter with VI Central Pay Commission seeking pay scale Rs 24050-650-26000 for Lt Gen/equivalent. However, the VI CPC did not make any recommendation on this issue. The Government reconsidered the matter in April, 2009 and decided to grant HAG+ scale (Rs 75500-80000) to 1/3rd of Lt Gens/equivalents with effect from 1.1.2006.

Demand:    The Services have demanded that all Lt Gens/equivalents should be placed in HAG+ scale.

Justification/Rationale given by Services:          The Services have cited the responsibilities of Lt Gen/equivalent in various capacities viz Chiefs of Staff, Principal Staff Officers, Director Generals (Heads of Arms and Services), Director General, Corps Commanders and Heads of training Institutions.   

Views of MoD:    The upgradation of pay scales of Lt Gens/equivalents was not agreed to by the Government before VI CPC. After VI CPC, the matter was reconsidered in April, 2009 (and) it was decided to give higher pay scale (HAG+ scale) to 1/3rd of Lt Generals/equivalents. This was agreed to by the then COAS. In the light of the above, the present demand of the Services for grant of HAG+ scale to all Lt Generals/equivalents goes against the stand taken by the Services in 2009.  

The Pranab Mukherjee Committee report:                 This issue was considered by the Committee and it was stated that the COAS has already agreed to grant Army Commanders scale (Apex scale – Rs 80, 000) on a non-functional basis to a certain number of Lt General level officers. This should satisfy the Armed forces. Lt Gens in Defence Forces are equated with Additional Secretaries on the civilian side and prior to the VI CPC, both were in the scale of Rs 22400-24500. There is no comparison of Lt Gens with officers on the civilians side as those in HAG+ scale had a higher pay scale of Rs 24050-26000 prior to VI CPC. This relativity was not disturbed by the VI CPC and the CoS did not recommend any change in the matter.     

Financial implications: Rs 0.83 crore.

Background Note

Grant of Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU) to Armed Forces personnel

Background:        Non functional upgradation is based on the recommendation of VI CPC. It provides an opportunity to all organised Group ‘A’ Services to reach higher scales of pay, two years after the same is granted to IAS officers at the Centre. Though the Pay Commission recommendations have been extended to IPS, IFS, the same has not been done for Defence Services. This benefit has also been extended to some Group ‘A’ Services like MES, BRO, Survey of India etc who operate alongwith Armed Forces in a supporting role. 

Demand:    The Services have demanded that non functional upgradation be extended to Armed Forces Officers.

Justification/Rationale given by Services:          The service conditions in Armed Forces are more stringent and harsh as compared to those in other Organised Group ‘A’ Services. Armed Forces are stated to fulfil all attributes of Organised Group ‘A’ Services. Grant of Non Functional Upgradation to those operating alongwith Armed Forces in a supporting role has created serious command and control and functional problems.

View of MoD:      The issue was examined in the Ministry and it was felt that the service conditions of Armed Forces are quite different when compared to civilian employees. Ample benefits in the form of Military Service Pay and various allowances are available to the Armed Forces officers which are not admissible to civilian employees. Therefore, it is not logical to compare the earning of two services. Moreover, the Government orders are for organised Group ‘A’ Service and Armed Forces do not have such set up.

The Pranab Mukherjee Committee report:        Though this particular issue was not considered by the Committee, it was stated in the report that for functional purposes, salary cannot be the basis to determine status.

Financial implications:  Rs 69 crores.   

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