Thursday, 16 April 2015

Letter to PM dated 06 Jun 2014 - a reply from MoD dated 01 Apr 2015



On 6th June 2014, I had written a detailed letter (Ref No. SYS/10525/Armed Forces) to the Prime Minister on the following (attaching documentary evidence): -

           (i) Rank Pay Matter

            (ii) MoD’s appeals against decisions of Courts and AFTs

(iii) OROP - delays in implementation

(iv) NFU, and

(v) Reimbursing expenditure on medical facilities  to ESM in emergencies when abroad.

The PMO sent the petition on 17 Jul 14 to the Secretary, MoD as stated in reply to a RTI application dated 12th August 2014.

In a reply dated 17 Oct 14, the PMO stated that the petition had been sent to MoD and that I should obtain the reply from MoD.

On 28 Oct 14, the MoD stated that it had not received the petition from the office of the PM and further, Central registry of MoD has also stated that they have not received the PMO reference.

My RTI appeal was also dismissed.

But it appears that MoD has once again been economical with the truth as corroborated by the reply received today, 16 Apr 15 and re-produced below: -

Dy No. 807/2015-D (Pen/Pol)
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare

New Delhi, the 1st April, 2015 
To

----------------------------------------------

Subject: Representation from Air Marshal (retd) S Y Savur on the various issues related to Defence Services personnel

Sir,

            Please refer to your letter No. SYS/10525/Armed Forces dated 6th June, 2014 received through D (Pay/Services) ID No. 1(1)/2015/D (Pay/Services) dated 18th March 2015 on the above mentioned subject.

2.        D (Pen/Pol) is concerned with para 1 (iv) OROP. The principle of One Rank One Pension for the Armed Forces has been accepted by the Government. The modalities for implementation were discussed with various stakeholders and are presently under consideration of the Government. It will be implemented once the modalities are approved by the Government.

Sd/-----------------
(Prem Prakash)
Under Secretary (Pen/Pol)           
Copy alongwith letter under reference (with enclosures) for appropriate action to: -
   
(i) D (Pen/Legal) in r/o para 1 (iii)
(ii) D (WE) in r/o para 1 (v)

*          *          *          *          *

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Pre-mature Thumping of Chests and Patting of Backs?

There is much thumping of chests and patting of the backs (and also incentive to go have a drink) because OROP was approved at 11 am on 9 Apr 15 by the Prime Minister - as reports and breathless twitter chat go.

But in all the woods that we see, the trees appear to have been lost. Nitin Gokhale is quoted to have said that the Defence Minister told him that the PM has approved and all that remains is "detailed calculations"... etc.   

Are we to understand that the bureaucracy  and Govt procedure have indeed changed?

That the CGDA, spearheading the JWG on the OROP made no detailed calculations and floated a ball-park figure?And the home run for OROP file started?

Then the file running to first first base i.e MoD, obtained the approval on that guesstimate of a ball-park figure from the Defence Minister and the file ran to second base.

At second base, the formidable Dept of Expenditure, that dissected and almost killed the patient (in the Rank Pay case asking why the Apex Court judgement should not be made applicable only to Army Officers), just sprinkled some star dust and let the file runs its way to the Finance Minister for his approval?

So on third base, the PMO, studded with the brilliant and (mostly Gujarat cadre) learned bureaucrats, accepted the ball park figure made more acceptable with the DoE's stardust and sent the file to the PM.

And the PM, took time off his preparation for the foreign visit to France, Germany and Canada, to sign and give political clearance for the OROP. 

And we have announcements, pronouncements and invitations to attain spirit highs because OROP is just a matter of days .

Am I being dumb in asking whether a detailed financial calculation is made and scrutinised from the initiation of the file?

And wasn't the political clearance obtained when the UPA included OROP in the Vote of Account/Interim Budget/Whatever  in Feb 2014? 

Wasn't there political clearance/approval when the BJP led NDA Govt included OROP in the Budget in July 2014? 

So, what is the real story? Is OROP still waiting at the batter's plate for the pitcher to throw the ball so that we can have a home run? 

Or is OROP mired in yet another misinterpretation of the Apex Court's order in CA No. 8875 of 2011 which is that the date of enhanced pension is 1.1.2006 and not 23.9.2012 as decided by MoD?

         


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Court Battle for Pension Parity - Majors



Dear Pre-Dec 2004 retiree Majors/Equivalents,

A court case is being planned to be filed in AFT Delhi as per the attached brief. Approximate expenditure for the same is likely to be around 5000 to 7000 per head. This case is not related to OROP which is applicable from Apr 14. However we will wait for OROP till April end before starting action. Majors/equivalents willing to join the suggested case may contact the following:

Major S K Jain  - majorskjain@gmail.com
Major Gurdeep Samra - prontoits@gmail.com

Brief - Parity of Pension between Majors and Lt Cols (TS) based on the principle of 'Equal Pay for Equal Work' 

With the implementation of 6CPC report from 01 Jan 2006, following anomalies took place with regard to the pension of pre-Dec 2004 retiree Majors:
·        All pre-Dec 2004 retiree Majors have been paid a pension of Rs. 14100/- (maximum pension for 28 years or more service) from 01 Jan 06 to 23 Sep 12 as per Annexure-II of MoD letter No. 17(4)/2008(1)/D(Pen/Policy) dated 11 Nov 08. Whereas post-Jan 2006 retiree Hony Lieuts have been paid a pension of Rs. 15465/- and Hony Capts have been paid a pension of Rs. 16145/- for the same period.
·        All pre-Dec 2004 retiree Majors have been paid a pension of Rs.18205/-wef 24 Sep 12 to 31 Mar 14. This pension has been calculated based on the pay of Majors with 6 years of service thereby bringing all pre-2004 retiree Majors having more than 20 years of service, to the level of 6 years.
Supreme Court has already held that:

·        The principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ is to be read into the fundamental rights as a matter of interpretation.
·        Pension is a ‘deferred portion of the compensation’.
Equivalency between Majors and Lt Cols (TS)
·        The rank of Lt Col (TS) was in existence up to 16 Dec 2004.This ranks was abolished consequent to introduction of a new promotion policy vide which promotion up to the rank of Lt Col was made applicable to all officers on completion of 13 years commissioned service.
·        No separate authorized strength was ever sanctioned for the rank of Lt Cols (TS). All Lt Cols (TS) used to be held against the authorized strength of Majors. Accordingly, all Lt Cols (TS) used to be posted against the vacancies of Majors. Officers of these two ranks were even posted inter-changeably.
·        The concept of ‘Rank Pay’ was in existence from 01 Jan 86 to 31 Dec 05 wherein officers were granted Rank Pay commensurate to their ranks. Lt Cols (TS) and Majors have always been paid the same rank pay up to 16 Dec 04 when the rank of Lt Col (TS) was abolished. 
·        There is a judgment of High Court of Delhi which has held that Lt Col (TS) is not a separate cadre distinct from Major.
·        Under the principle of ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ Majors and Lt Cols (TS) should get equal pension because they have always performed equal work.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Letter to Shri Manohar Parrikar on non-disclosure of Cabinet Secretary Committee report



                                                                                       3rd March 2015
Dear Shri Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister,
At the very outset, I apologise for my manner of addressing you without the honorifics. I have taken heart from the orders of the President of India and Supreme Commander.
In pursuit of trying to improve my knowledge of how the MoD takes decisions, I have been applying for information. One such request (Please see attachment 61820 MODEF Request Cab Sec Report Details) was for a copy of the Cabinet Secretary Committee Report on Pay, Allowances and Pension anomalies of Defence Forces (hereinafter referred to as Report) submitted to then PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
I received a reply denying me the Report on the grounds that MoF's Deptt of Expenditure was the servicing department and it has denied access as the Report is SECRET. (Please see attachment 61820 Reply & Addl Payment and Appeal).
I also applied to MoF, Deptt of Expenditure for a copy of the Report. (Please see attachment 60517 MoF DoE Request). I was denied information on the grounds that MoD is the administrative Ministry and it has to decide on downgrading the Report.
When I was denied the information, I filed a First Appeal, first with the MoD and then with the MoF, DoE.  I received orders making me understand the Govt's paradigm of how a denial of information should be made by passing the onus to the other. (Please see attachment FAA Orders MoD and MoF).
I pointed out the contradictions in the averments of Director level officers of the MoD and MoF (Please see attachment titled Replies to First Appeals by MoD and MoF).
Lately, i.e. 13th February 2015, MoD vide its letter No. 35(1)/2013/D (Pay/Services) and MoF have gone one better - both Ministries have referred the matter to Deptt of Pensioners and Pensioners Welfare (DP&PW) on 21.1.2015 for DP&PW's comments for downgrading the report and so far the said Deptt has not replied to the MoD and to MoF.
May I seek your intervention in the matter for orders to provide me the Cabinet Secretary Committee Report on Pay, Allowances and Pension anomalies?
With Best Wishes
Air Marshal S Y Savur PVSM AVSM (retd)
Cell: - +91 9449676278

5 Attachments


Preview attachment 61820 Reply & Addl Payment & Appeal.doc


Preview attachment Replies to First Appeals by MoD and MoF for blog.doc

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

More Twists in the Rank Pay Tales

It appears that CGDA or Def (Fin) or whoever reportedly provided the inputs to the MoD for filing a status report in Contempt Petition (C) No. 328 of 2013 needs education.

It appears, and I have not yet seen the status report, the wise CGDA has re-fixed the pay on transition from 3rd to 4th CPC at a lower amount than was being drawn by each rank on 31 Dec 1985!

More when I have correct information requested from the MoD in a RTI.