RETIRED DEFENCE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (REGD)
President:Col BK Sharma:+91-9212252627:
Secretary General: Col Satwant Singh:+91-9818039172
Website.http://sites.google.com/site/rdoaindia. For membership see under link 'Updates'
Law ministry asks defence ministry to get its act right and not to keep bothering AG Vahanvati over Rank Pay issue
Jugal R Purohit | Headlines Today | New Delhi, November 22, 2013 | UPDATED 06:44 IST
Defence Minister AK Antony.
The constant to and fro of the files pertaining to the Rank Pay case involving veterans has certainly irked the community. However it now seems that the country's top law officer is being made to face the red-tapism, something he is not taking very lightly to.
It has been reliably learnt that while dealing with the Statements of Case (SOC) on this issue from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in a meeting with the Law Ministry, it as conveyed to the Legal Adviser (Defence) that the ministry should not keep bothering the AG with queries of same/similar nature. Not just that, with this blow, the MoD had no option but to retreat on this and take the SOCs back. Reliable sources say the MoD has to now re-work its SOCs.
Not only will it further delay the case but also add another layer of bureaucratic procedure before the AG's office can be approached. This, it is learnt, was conveyed to LA (Defence) in a meeting on October 28, 2013 which he conveyed to Joint Secretary (Establishment) MoD on October 31. With that move, the SOCs of service headquarters as well as MoD were returned by the AG's office and Law Ministry towards 'framing questions of law pertaining to the case.'
There have been multiple SOCs which have been sent to the AG already on which he had given his opinion in the month of September 2013. However since AG had replied on an old SOC sent to him by MoD, service headquarters objected to it. Subsequently when services sent it to him, SOCs were returned as proper protocol had not been followed. The lack of coordination can be gauged by the fact that while the SOC was returned by AG, MoD was about to begin implementing AG's version to which services objected to Antony. It was only after all this that Antony wanted SOCs to go together, a move which has now been stalled.
In June this year, the Defence Minister AK Antony had made it clear that the final word on the implementation of the SC order of September 2012 will rest with the AG who had to interpret the apex court's order correctly. There was a wide disparity between how the armed forces had construed the SC judgment and how the MoD's civilian bureaucracy was implementing the same. It was for this reason that Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne as the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee wrote twice in this year itself to Antony, informing him of the widespread discontent among the services on account of MoD's handling of the case.
Said a source, "True that we've been asked to rework our case. These are issues of language and wordings which we will overcome." When asked, a source at the AG's office too confirmed that 'all representations had been returned to MoD.' A set of questions sent to the MoD went unanswered despite repeated requests.
Contempt Petition filed by RDOA in the IV CPC Rank pay case came up for hearing today (19 Nov 13) in Court no 3 (Justice RM Lodha). The court ordered that contempt notice be served to the contemnors.( Defence Secy Shri Shashi kant Sharma, CGDA, Secy Def Finance and Secy Expenditure)
Date of next hearing will be intimated in due course.
As most would know, the Govt had challenged before the Supreme Court the decision of the Delhi High Court wherein the judgement by the Central Administrative Tribunal granting benefit of rectification of pensionary anomalies from 01 January 2006 rather than 24 September 2012 was questioned. The order in effect and essence affected all central govt pensioners, including defence pensioners.
The controversy had emanated from the fact whether the benefits of the correct pension were to flow from 01 Jan 2006 which is the date from which the 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations were implemented or from 24 Sept 2012 when the Govt had decided to remove the anomalies in the pension structure after the said Pay Commission. Of course, it was held by Courts that the removal of the anomalies shall date back to the date of the inception of the said anomalies and not any later artificial date.
It is intimated that as per the circular dated 12.11.2013 of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the
matters shown in the final list of 15.11.2013 (Item no 32, Court no 3) will now be taken up for hearing on 19.11.2013 (Tuesday) due to 15 Nov 13 being declared as Holiday on account of Moharram.
With reference to the proposal of RM; it is learnt that both the statement of cases ie one proposed by Service Hqs (COSC) and the other by MoD have been fwded to the Law Ministry. It is presumed that after their comments (Law Ministry) will fwd to Attorney General.
Next date of hearing of the 'Contempt Petition' is on 15 Nov 13
RDOA wishes all its members, Veterans and their families 'A Very Happy Diwali'