Monday, 5 October 2015

Qualifying Service for Full Pension - 33 years or 20 Years; Details in this post

33 Years for Full Pension or 20 Years?
Courtesy authors

Brig Narinder Dhand (Veteran)
Posted: 18 Sep 2015 02:02 AM PDT
In view of the fact that review Petition filed by UOI RP (C) NO. 2565/2015 in SLP (C) No. 6567/2015 UOI Vs M.O. Inasu dismissed by HSC on  28.8.2015,  and Following file notings of DOPW (obtained under RTI)let us hope DOP&PW will now issue necessary instructions extending benefit of full min. pension to all pre 2006 pensioners irrespective of Q.S. rendered.

The extract from the File Noting obtained from DOP&PW under RTI ACT, on pro rata pension matter.

Extract from File Noting of DOP&PW OM 30.7.2015 obtained under RTIA:
 12. It may be mentioned that in its order dated 22.1.2013 and 16.8.2013 in OA No. 715/2012 and OA No. 1015/2012 respectively, Hon’ CAT Ernakulam Bench directed that the revised pension fixed in terms of para 4.2 of OM dt. 1.9.2008 would not be reduced pro rata in cases where the qualifying service of a pre 2006 pensioner was less than 33 yrs. This order of Hon CAT was challenged by D/o Revenue  in the H.C. of Kerala in OP(CAT) No. 4/2012 and No. 8/2012. Hon’ H.C. of Kerala  dismissed the Op(CAT) No. 4/2012 and No. 8/2012 vide order dt. 7.1.2014. The SLP filed by the Dept. of Revenue against the order dt. 7.1.2014 has also been dismissed by Hon’ S/C. in its order dated 20.2.2015. Learned ASG, Sjri P.S.Narsimha has advised to file a Review Petition. The concerned file is presently with MOL(CA Section) and Ms. Rekha Pandey, Adv. is drafting the RP.

13. As already mentioned above, in the order dt. 29.4.2013 of Hon HC of Delhi in WP No. 1535/2012, it was observed that the only issue which survived was, with ref. to para 9 of OM dt. 28.1.2013 which makes it applicable from 24.9.2012 instead of 1.1.2006. In view of this observation of the Hon H.C. of Delhi, we may issue orders for giving effect to the OM dated 28.1.2013 w.e.f. 1.1.2006 instead of 24.9.2012. The question whether or not the revised pension in terms of OM 28.1.2013  would be  reduced proportionally would be examined once the order of the Hon S.C. in the RP to be filed against dismissal of SLP 21044/2014 is available  ( para 12 above)
( emphasis added)
                                                                         Sd. S.K. Makkar  US

  Noting of Secy(P)
6. Thus the court ruling has become law of the land
 7. Given the fact the review/curative petition in the same matter has once been dismissed by Hon. Apex Court, as also the fact that Civil Appeal of Ministry of Defence with which the SLPs in question got tagged, has also failed, there is no chance  that a review petition may yield a different result. On the other hand this will not only engage the govt. machinery in uncessary litigation but will also result in attendant avoidable expenditure. ( emphasis added)
                                                                Sd. Alok Rawat Secy/ Pension
 Hon MOS(PP)         Sd. 7.5.2015

From: Navdeep Singh []

The dismissal of the Review Petition in the said case would frankly have no universal bearing on the issue regarding proportionate reduction or otherwise of those pensioners who have pensionable service but total qualifying service less than 33 years.

The said case had emerged from a decision of the Ernakulam Bench of the CAT dated 16-08-2013 which had followed OA 655/2010 of the Principal Bench CAT at Delhi which in turn was limited to the subject of the controversy of the “minimum of pay within the pay band” versus “minimum of pay of the pay band itself”. The Erankulam Bench of the CAT allowed the case based on the decision of the Principal Bench CAT, however it  mixed up the two issues of the “minimum within the pay band” and “full proportionate reduction”.

When an appeal was filed before the Kerala High Court by the Govt against the order of Ernakulam CAT, the Kerala High Court in OP (CAT) 8/2014 (UOI Vs MO INASU) took note of the decision in OA 655/2010 (later upheld by the Delhi High Court) as also the decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on the subject and dismissed the appeal of the Govt. It may be noted here that the Kerala High Court only relied upon the decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the order of the Supreme Court upholding the Delhi High Court decision which had in turn upheld the CAT Principal Bench decision in OA 655/2010. The Govt took this case also into appeal to the SC which dismissed the SLP and also the Review Petition regarding which you have mentioned in your mail.

Needless to state, the Review Petition and the SLP dismissed by the SC in the case of UOI Vs MO INASU were regarding the ibid decision of the Kerala High Court in OP (CAT) 8/2014 which merely endorses the decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court and SC in the final order emerging from OA 655/2010. All these cases, including that of the Punjab & Haryana High Court are related to the “minimum of the pay within the pay band” controversy and not the 33 years controversy though at the initial stage the Eranakulam CAT had mixed up the two issues. The final decision of both Constitutional Courts, that is, the Kerala HC and the SC in the SLP and Review, are hence endorsing the decisions of the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the earlier SC order emerging out of the Delhi HC decision on the “minimum of pay within the pay band” controversy and not the other issue of 33 years.

The noting sheet adverted to in your mail finally was approved and culminated in the issuance of the orders on 30 July 2015 which related to grant of enhanced pension from 01 Jan 2006 onwards rather than 24 Sept 2012 based on the same min of pay within the pay band controversy and not the 33 years controversy.

To say that with the dismissal of the Review Petition against the order of the Kerala HC veterans have come to gain on the 33 year proportionate reduction controversy would be too naive and simplistic.

The good news however is that similar controversies have been separately addressed by Tribunals (including the AFT in Wg Cdr VS Tomar’s case and another case of the Chandigarh Bench of the AFT) and then upheld by the High Courts. The Govt has filed an appeal in the same and it is currently pending before the Supreme Court and the issue affects both civilian and Govt pensioners. There is a stay of the SC operating on the order in favour of veterans on the 33 years controversy currently.

Rest assured that the affected civilian and military pensioners are involved in the case with all strength which is pending before the SC and hence is sub judice. In my humble opinion, it also makes no sense to currently file separate cases individually before Tribunals on the same issue and the same would only be required in the future in case the SC does not pass universal orders or if the orders of the SC are not implemented universally by the Govt. At this stage, there is no need to get worked up or act on chain mails on the subject.

Warm Regards


PS- these are my personal views without bias or prejudice.
On 20 Sep 2015 16:00, "REPORT MY SIGNAL (CS KAMBOJ)" <> wrote:
Thank you Navdeep for such an exhaustive reply.
But I have many queries asking whether those who retired after completing the min 20 years’ service will get full pension?
Can you kindly answer that question.
Thank you.

Chander Kamboj
From: Navdeep Singh []
Sent: 21 September 2015 11:01

No sir, as on date full pension is applicable based on the 33 years' stipulation.
The situation would only change once there's an authoritative decision of the SC on it. The issue remains sub judice before the SC.                                                                                                                                                                   

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Be Careful of Wrong Advice

Be Careful of Wrong Advice

Here is the clarification by MoD/DESW on the Circular No. 547 obtained by Petty Officer (retd) S K Singh. You may contact him for authenticity.
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No. 1 (4)/2015 – D (Pen/Pol)
Ministry of Defence
Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare
D (Pension/Policy)
Dated: 24th September 2015

          Petty Officer (retd) S K Singh

Subject: Revision of pension: MoD letter dated 3.9.2015


          I am directed to refer to email dated 4th September 2015 addressed to Hon’ble RRM regarding MoD letter dated 3/9/2015 issued in implementation of DoP&PW OM dated 30.7.2015 regarding benefit of fitment table in revision of pension with effect from 1.1.2006 instead of 24.9.2012 in placed opposite for kind perusal please. 

2.      It has been decided that with effect from 01.01.2006 pension/family pension for Pre-2006 JCOs/ORs Pensioners/Family Pensioners shall be determined as fifty and thirty percent respectively of the minimum of the fitment table for the Rank in the revised Pay Band as indicated under fitment tables annexed with 1/S/2008 and equivalent instructions for Navy and Air Force, plus Grade Pay corresponding to the pre-revised scale from which the pensioner had retired/discharged/invalided out/died including Military Service Pay and X group pay.

3.       However, in case, the consolidated pension/family pension calculated as per Para 4.1. of this Ministry’s letter No. 17 (4)/2008(1)/D(Pen/Pol) dated 11.11.2008 is higher than the pension/family pension calculated in the manner indicated above, the same (higher consolidated pension/family pension) will continue to be treated as basic pension/family pension. Further, where revised pension in terms of GoI, MoD letter No. PC-10(1)/2009-D (Pen/Pol) dated 08.03.2010 and No. 1 (13)/2013/D (Pen/Policy) dated 17.01.2013 is higher than the rate indicated in annexure attached with letter dated 3.9.2015 then the same will continue to be treated as basic pension/family pension from 1.07.2009 and 24.09.2012 respectively.

4.      Accordingly, revised tables indicating minimum guaranteed pension/Ordinary Family Pension has been annexed as Annexure –A (Army pensioners), Annexure-B (Air Force pensioners) and Annexure –C (Navy pensioners) to MoD letter dated 3.9.2015.

5.       In view of the above, pre-2006 JCO/ORs pensioner/family pension as indicated in the table w.e.f 1.1.2006 or as per MoD letter dated 11.11.2008 or from 1.7.2009 (only pensioner and not family pensioners) as per MoD letter dated 8.3.2010 or w.e.f 24.9.2012 as per MoD letters dated 17.1.2013 in respect of pensioners/family pensioner of JCO/ORs whichever is more beneficial (emphasis supplied).
(Manoj Sinha)
Under Secretary (Pen/Policy)

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Dear Cdr Chandrashekhar and Gp Capt CRR Sastry Garu,

     I chanced upon Circular 01 of PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad. Pl read the letter of Min of Def enclosed there. The pension of pre-1996 Maj Gens has to be fixed same as post - 1996 Maj Gens.

     The principle of pension fixation of Maj Gen equally applies to all ranks. We must advice our Advocate in AFT to produce this document to AFT and simply pray that the method of pension fixation carried our for Maj Gens be carried out for Lt Cols to Brig. Min of Def letter is very crystal clear.

From Brig S Vidyasagar

Dear Brig Vidyasagar,

I quote an extract of an opinion from another legal expert who has always been very out spoken person to an extent that most of the times he gets on the wrong side of people. I admire him primarily for this quality of being forthright in expression of his views.
"The reason and start point for this case and this circular was that the minimum of pay of a Brig incl rank pay (19100) was more than that of a Maj Gen (18400). The entire judgement in the case of Maj Gen Vains, of HC and then upheld by SC, revolves around that aspect. I don't know how people are claiming its applicability on other ranks without reading through the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High court and then the SC."
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MoD files affidavit that it has complied with Supreme Court Order in Maj Gen S P S Vain Case

Yesterday, 28 Sep 2015, Ms Pinky Anand, ASG is reported to have filed an affidavit that MoD, by its order dated 10 Aug 2015, has complied with the Honourable Supreme Court order in the Maj Gen S P S Vains (retd) case. Please see link below for more details

That nobody has read the order is another matter.

Next hearing is the case is scheduled for 02 Nov 2015.

Monday, 28 September 2015

From Major Navdeep Singh's Blog - "Forwarded as Received"

Saturday, September 26, 2015 From Major Navdeep Singh’s Blog

Though my last post was also on chain mails, I have realized that irresponsibility on social media and cyberspace is now assuming dangerous proportions with rumour-mongering at its peak which is not only resulting in frustration amongst the military community but also unethical and unmilitary name-calling which can have far reaching consequences on reputations of people and morale of serving personnel and veterans.

While most of us have been forwarding mails and messages in good faith, still it is our bounden responsibility not to put into orbit material which is unverified or which causes unnecessary heartburn, especially amongst serving personnel, or results in slander of personalities. The term “Forwarded as Received” does not suffice and ends up damaging and harming the entire scheme of things as we perceive.

Some very recent examples of immaturity on the net, with mass circulation, can be recalled here:

Forwarding of a message that a senior officer at the Army HQ was responsible for inserting the prohibitory “Pre-Mature Retirement” (VRS) clause in the draft letter for OROP. What could be further from truth? Why on earth would someone do that? Have we ever wondered before forwarding such silly stuff on private and social media!!!

Circulation of a patently false message that a young Major who lost his life in an unfortunate incident during battle inoculation was not evacuated on time because senior officers precluded his evacuation.

Spreading canards about a Colonel whose wife is serving in the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS). The officer’s reputation has been unnecessarily sullied without even an iota of truth. Even if on hypothetical assumption, the officer’s wife, in her official dealings, may have had an opinion or perception about the concept of OROP which may not have been configured with the actuality, how could the officer be blamed for the same and how could canards be spread about his service life, career and posting profile?

Spreading disaffection about senior officers and how they accepted the ‘Apex Grade’ after the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC) resulting in “OROP” for them and how they should refuse to accept the ‘Apex Grade’. Before spreading such half-truths, people should have realized that officers from the Apex Grade are in receipt of OROP by default, not by design. The pension of past retirees is calculated on the minimum of the new pay grade and since the pay grade of such retirees is fixed, the 50% of the minimum in their case results in a fixed pension for past as well as current retirees by default. Moreover, this fixed pay concept is not new and has been in place since times immemorial. For example, during the 4thCPC, it was Rs 8000 fixed, during the 5th CPC, it became 26000 and during the 6th CPC it was upgraded to Rs 80000. This concept was not introduced by the 6th CPC. Rumour-mongers have also not realized that such officers also suffer in a way since on reaching the ‘Apex’ level, they do not get any enhancement of pay in service and their pay remains fixed without any further increment.

Spreading my old oped of the year 2012 by forging the date as 2015 and stating to the world that the Services HQ are still opposing Non Functional Upgradation (NFU) for the military officer cadre. My old oped had merely stated the restrictive view existing at one point of time in the Services HQ. After a series of deliberations, all three Services HQ were firmly of a view in favour of NFU, and still are, and have fully stood behind the concept. Please ignore emails castigating the Services HQ for not supporting NFU since there is no truth in them. My opeds may be sharp but those are meant to move the system into motion by stirring them out of inertia, and not to pinprick. My opinion, which is meant for positive movement ahead, should not be used as a tool to shame.

Spreading mails regarding false and imaginary calculation tables which are either lesser than what is admissible thereby resulting in disappointment or which are much higher than entitlement thereby resulting in raising false expectations.

Chain mails asking people to file individual cases even in those specific matters wherein judicial intervention has already succeeded and universal orders stand issued by the Govt for all similarly placed individuals or where judicial intervention has already failed resulting in a closure of the issue. (Clarification: Here I am only referring to futility of litigation in those cases where the Govt HAS suo moto already issued universal orders after a particular decision. I am not referring to those issues where despite a favourable judicial decision, the Govt has not issued universal orders)

Also, it is painful to receive messages pertaining to my last post wherein I had attempted to clear the air about pensions of ranks other than Commissioned Officers. It seems that in the melee, affected pensioners have overlooked a very important fact that the new Circulars issued by the PCDA (547 and 548) emanate from a Supreme Court decision stating that pension should not be based on the “minimum of pay band” itself but on “minimum of pay within the pay band” for each rank w.e.f 01-01-2006. It cannot apply to ranks other than commissioned ranks for the simple reason that their pension is based on notional maximum w.e.f 01-07-2009 and hence if the judgement is applied to them w.e.f 01-01-2006, it would result in loss to all ranks since then the pensions would then fall to ‘minimum’ like in the case of Commissioned ranks and all civilians and that is the reason why pensions have been protected for them from 01-07-2009 onwards. They stand to gain only from 01-01-2006 till 30-06-2009 by the Supreme Court decision during which time their pensions were based on the minimum and these new tables would only replace the old tables that were in force from 01-01-2006 till 30-06-2009. If at all there was an anomaly, it was not linked to this Supreme Court decision or these new Circulars and it was on some other issue- it should have been emphasized and taken up that if till 5th CPC (till 31-12-2005) their pensions were based on top of the scales, the same concept should have been extended w.e.f 01-01-2006 rather than from 01-07-2009.

It is bewildering that people are neither understanding the issue nor going into depth of the same and rather sending negative messages to those who are portraying the true picture to them. Rest assured that I am always willing to stand up for our men and women of all ranks unconditionally and that is the reason why this blog has never been officer-specific and neither have been my battles for justice. But I firmly believe in standing up only for causes which are legally sound and also do not believe in circulating sugarcoated mails with trumped-up figures which later cause disillusionment.  

From Maj Navdeep Singh's Blog - Irresponsible Chain Mails on pensions of Jawans and JCOs

Sunday, September 13, 2015 From Maj Navdeep Singh’s Blog

Though the instant post was not ideally required, but I feel compelled to throw light on a subject, which, since the last few days has led to a massive disinformation campaign fuelled by irresponsible chain-mails regarding pensionary benefits of ranks other than Commissioned Officers.

As was brought out in the last post on this blog, the Government has issued the sanction order implementing the Supreme Court decision on removal of a pensionary anomaly with effect from 01 Jan 2006, that is, the date of implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission (6th CPC) recommendations. There have been mails floating around and queries raised that the benefit as granted to Commissioned Officers and Civilians on 24 Sept 2012 has now been applied from 01 Jan 2006 but similar benefit has not been extended to ranks other than Commissioned Officers. Some mails have been nauseatingly abusive towards the Government and some have raised needless irresponsible conspiracy theories.

Let me attempt to clarify this issue for the benefit of readers.

When the 6th CPC recommendations were implemented, the pensions of pre-2006 retirees were fixed at 50% of the minimum of the applicable pay band with effect from 01 Jan 2006 rather than the pay within the pay band for each rank according to fitment tables. This was implemented for all Central Govt pensioners, irrespective of rank or service. This was objected to by pensioners and led to massive litigation since as per pensioners, the pensions were to be based on minimum of pay within the pay band for each rank/grade and not the minimum of the pay band itself.

While this controversy was simmering, the Government introduced a new system of pension calculation for ranks other than Commissioned Officers wherein they scrapped the system of minimum of the pay band but initiated a system of calculation by taking the maximum of the 5th CPC scales fitted notionally into the new 6th CPC pay bands and alongwith enhanced weightages. This new system came into force on 01 July 2009. The weightages were further enhanced with effect from 24 Sept 2012. Hence, the controversy of minimum of pay band vis-a-vis minimum of pay for each rank/grade within the pay band became redundant for ranks other than Commissioned Officers with effect from 01 July 2009 but the said anomaly continued to hold field for Commissioned Officers and Civilians. Ranks other than Commissioned Officers who were now fixed on notional top of the 5th CPC scales w.e.f 01 June 2009 were however hit by the minimum of pay band vis-a-vis minimum of pay within the pay band anomaly from 01 Jan 2006 till 30 June 2009.

On the other hand, in the case of Commissioned Officers and Civilian retirees, the pension continued to be based on minimum of pay of the pay band itself and later the Government itself rectified the anomaly with effect from 24 Sept 2012 and provided that from Sept 2012 onwards the pension would be based on minimum of pay for each rank/grade within the pay band. The letter was issued in Jan 2013 with retrospective effect from Sept 2012. Various Tribunals and more importantly the Delhi High Court however ruled that the removal of the anomaly would have to be effectuated from 01 Jan 2006 rather than the future artificial cut-off date of 24 Sept 2012, and the said decision was ultimately affirmed by the Supreme Court.

In implementation of the decision of the Delhi High Court affirmed by the Supreme Court, the Government has issued the implementation instructions under question. For ranks other than Commissioned Officers, the instructions would apply from 01 Jan 2006 till 30 June 2009 since from 01 July 2009 onwards the anomaly stood removed and rendered redundant since all such personnel were as it is fixed on notional top of scales. For Commissioned Officers and Civilian pensioners, the instructions would apply from 01 Jan 2006 till 23 Sept 2012 since the anomaly was only removed on 23 Sept 2012.

Those who are cursing the Government and Commissioned Officers and Civilian pensioners must realize the contours of the controversy before jumping the gun based on half-baked information. It is for the information of all, that pre-2006 retiree ranks other than Commissioned Officers are granted pensions based on notional maximum while Commissioned Officers and Civilians are granted pensions based on notional minimum within the pay band. The Government letter rather protects the enhanced pensions of Jawans and JCOs from 01 July 2009/24 Sept 2012 and this should have brought joy to such pensioners, even if the arrears are not that massive, rather than disaffection.

Please do not go by chain-mails being circulated based on half baked information of self styled experts since reliance on such information leads to needless frustration based on non-existent controversies.