There are about 22 lakhs exservicemen in the country. They are the most valuable human resources that the country can make use of. The objective of this blog is to provide a medium for exchanging views & educating the veterans of the Armed Forces by disseminating important information. This Blog has been conceived by a team comprising of Veteran Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd., Veteran BS Sohi(Both IAF), Veteran S.C. Sharma(Navy) & Veteran Malkiat Singh(Army). The postings in this Blog are only the personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the “Ex Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Association” blog team. These are expressed in good faith for the general welfare of the veterans of the Indian Armed Forces. The contents of this blog are neither for business nor for any commercial gains. Neither the “Ex Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Association” blog team nor the individual authors of any material on this blog accept responsibility for any loss or damage however caused (including through negligence), which you may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of your use or reliance on information contained on or accessed through this blog. All views and opinions presented are solely those of the surfer veterans and do not necessarily represent those of “Ex Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Association” blog team. This is not an official blog site. This blog is run by a team of Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MOD or Air Hq., Naval Hq., Army Hq. or Govt/State.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The govt.sleeps while the sadists take the system for a ride -Navdeep :Veteran Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd.

Dear Veterans,
Regards.Maj.Navdeep has posted the following onhis
blog.Our organisation fully endosres his views and I
request all otherwelfare organisations of veterans to
take same stand. The legal pundits are bent upon
crushing the pensioners, particulary, the veterans
and their dependents. We will have to take a boldstand
against this injustice being done to us all. We should
stand united and pay heed to the clarion call given by
Maj. Navdeep.Sunday, January 31, 2010
The gameplan of legal pundits :
The govt sleeps while sadists take the system for
a ride
You may have read this on the blog before.
All is fair in love and war they say, and the same seems
to be the battle-cry of the Central Government against
its retired employees.So what is it that the people in
officialdom have against disabled veterans and
pensioners ?The last months have seen the Union of
India filing appeals and SLPs in almostevery decision
of the Hon’ble Courts allowing disability pension to
disabled veterans. The same is the story with other
pensionary matters. I feel ashamed in saying this but
while the lawyers make hay, former soldiers and their
families suffer in silence.It is turning out to be sickening
now. And this is to say the least.Law has now been
well settled by the Courts includingthe Hon’ble
Supreme Court on certain issues, but the legal advisors
of the government are in no mood to relent. Even when
High Courts (and now benches of the AFT) are deciding
matters with well-rounded decisions based on settled
law and principlesof equity, the central govt continues
to mindlessly file appeals before the Supreme Court.
The govt also continues to refuse benefits to veterans
in settled issues till the time individual casesare filed
separately by pensioners. One such glaring example
discussed before is disability pension to voluntary
retirees. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court has
upheld the right ofvoluntary retirees to receive
disability pension, the Union of India continues to
fileappeals against decisions of High Courts granting
such benefits to affected disabled personnel. Another
very recent and shocking example is SLP No 688 of
2010 filed by the Central Govt before the Supreme
Court which was listed for hearing on 25th of January,
2010. The case involved the improvedpensionary
benefits granted to PBOR wef 10-10-1997 after
removing the anomalies of the 5th CPC. The Hon’ble
Punjab & Haryana High Court had earlier in the year
2008 held that such benefits had to be granted to
affected personnel with effect from01-01-1996 (and not
10-10-1997) since the anomaly had to be rectified
from the date of its inception and not from some other
prospective artificial date. The High Court had hence
held personnel who retired between 01-01-1996 to
10-10-1997 also entitled to the enhanced benefits. The
Union of India, as expected, challenged the verdict
before the Hon’ble Supreme Court through an SLP but
the same was dismissed on merits on 21-11-2008.
So far, so good, but what is shameful is that fully
knowing that the law was now settled by the Apex
Court and that the Central Govt.had itself rectified
this anomaly through the anomalies committee,
another SLP (the above mentioned 688 of 2010)
was filed by them this new year against another such
decision by the same High Court and the same has
again been dismissed by the Apex Court on
25-01-2010. I bet the Hon’ble Supreme Court would
not have been informed in the fresh SLP of the
earlier dismissal of an exactly similar case in the
year 2008.It is high time that the Defence Minister,
the military top brass and the Defence Secretary take
a call on this mindless one sided ego basedlitigation
which, besides leading to burdening judicial fora,is
also leading to burden on the State and demoralisation
of rank and file. Nobody stands to gain except probably
the battery of lawyers appearing for the Union of India.
It also seems that power has been concentrated in the
hands of a few officers dealing with pensionary and
legal matters who have spent quite a few years in the
corridors of the Services Headquarters & the Ministry
and decisions of filing appeals are thrust upon the top
brass without due judiciousness or sensitivity
concerning the issues at hand. This must change. A
letter recently marked to the Defence Minster by a an
ex-services welfare organisation aptly describes the rot:
“Lower staff at the Pension wing of the Defence Ministry
is also known to prepare misleading and deceptive
noting sheetswhich are put up to senior officers and
even the Raksha Mantri, who in good faith affix their
initials leaving the gallery open to such officers who
then flaunt the said approvals by stating that the same
have the sanction of the Defence Minister. It is also
learnt that the officers in the Defence Ministry have
asked Govt.lawyers in writing to change their legal
opinion when such lawyers had advised against filing
of appeals.”What is the game behind this, one may ask.
Well, the govt is well aware that disabled veterans and
poor pensioners do not have adequate financial
back-up to defend their cases in the Supreme Court,so
for the govt it is well worth taking a chance. I can only
say that in the interest of equity and fair-play, we all
must wakeup before some officers take the entire
defence services and the legal system for a royal ride.
It is also time for senior staff of theMinistry and our
uniformed officers to apply proper mindbefore they
permit their subordinates to resort to unethical
litigation against poor people who have served the
nation to the best of their abilities. The hint of my
call is particularlydirected towards the upper
echelons of Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in
the MoD and the Personnel ServicesDirectorate in the
Army Headquarters. The tendency to view poor
litigants as ‘Enemies of the State’ must also change.

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