Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Twenty Six Years of Illegal Punishment and Nobody Pleads for Us

“Marx begins his Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte modifying Hegel’s assertion that history always happens twice, by adding that it occurs “once as tragedy, and again as farce.”

 - Meena Kandasamy in OUTLOOK magazine, April 1st 2013 issue

Our esteemed Babus’ must have read Hegel a lot during their preparations for passing the UPSC examinations that guarantees a lifetime of immense security, loads of perquisites, hardly any responsibility & accountability, and for the luckiest, sinecures for “hard lifetime achievements.”  But deeper reading would have enabled them to read Marx too and what he added to Hegel’s assertion – history happening twice, once as tragedy and again as farce. 

Don’t believe me. Here are some instances from the revelations that the wonderful RTI Act 2005 facilitated to make you believe me.

Example One: - Note 8, para 2 of MoD File No. 34 (6)/2012 – D (Pay/Services)

Tragedy: - MoD states in “the (4th) Pay Commission recommended that this (Rank Pay) may also be taken into account while fixing their (Armed Forces officers) pay in the integrated scale of pay. The manner in which this was to be done was illustrated by way of certain examples given by Pay Commission 28.113. A printed version of the 4th CPC report was obtained at some cost. And lo & behold it had the illustrations but not the way the MoD argued for and then concocted its own version.

Farce: - MoD inserted a deduction by hand because whoever was ordered type "yahan se yahan" ("from here to here”) did is faithfully and truthfully by copying what was in the 4th CPC Report in Para 28.113 at page 304. The typist was not told that he/she should insert deductions, so some one (wouldn't need a handwriting expert to know which official) inserted figures by hand. And some helpful soul (to us Armed Forces officers) in MoD photocopied it without erasing those handwritten insertions.       

Example Two: Note 8, para 8 (xii) & (xiii) of ibid file

Tragedy: In para 8 (xii) the Under Secretary (Pay/Services) states “……………..as such Commissions recommendations are binding on both the Government as well as its employees.”

Farce: A few lines later, the same MoD official asserts in sub-para (xiii) that “Pay Commissions are only recommendatory authorities.”

And the note travels upwards all the way to the Defence Secretary and the FA (DS) and finally the Hon’ble RM accords approval in Note 16!

Example Three: Note 8, Para 9 of ibid file

Tragedy: - Under Secretary writes about the context of the Hon’ble Court’s decision and avers “the court order is not clear as to whether the pay scales also are to be revised for implementing these orders.

Farce: It is also stated that if on the basis of the Court order "takes pay beyond the pay scales those recommended by 5th and 6th CPC", it never mentions how the MoD promulgated SAI/SNI/SAFI No. 1/S/1997 on 19th December 1997 when the Maj Dhanapalan case was still sub-judice. It also never mentions that UoI filed an Additional Affidavit in November 2011 wherein Para 30 is so explicit that it does not require a winner of Mensa IQ test to interpret or understand it. But ................

Example Four: Note 63 of the ibid file

Tragedy: Maybe UoI is sanguine because while Armed Forces officers have to hire lawyers and pay them, the UoI can use the service of Ld Law officers though it has a low opinion of them MoD in Note 63, para 6 states “…However, it would be pertinent to mention here that when the matter was referred for legal opinion in the past, even after repeated chasing, legal opinion was rendered after being routed through the various channels of the Ministry of Lw in about 40 days……”

Farce: MOD never mentions an legal opinion taken prior to promulgating SAI/SNI/SAFI 1/S/1997. Is that a precedent because MoD continues in the same note, “JS (E) stated that Defence Secretary has desired that the DGL regarding the modalities and methodology of payment to affected officers must be issued within this week positively” and the note is signed by Director (AG-I) on 5.12.2012. JS (E) initials without comment but discusses with AS (A) & Def Secy and calls for a meeting next day i.e.6.12.2012 with, amongst others reps of Min of Law & Justice.

Example Five: Notes 67 & 88
Tragedy: In Note 67, para 3, it is stated, “ LA (Defence) was of the view that the principle of fixation of pay has been decided by the Supreme Court according to which pay of the affected officers has to be refixed with effect from 1.1.1986 without deducting the Rank Pay. This principle has to be followed for re-fixation of pay of the affected officers in the IV CPC, as well as V CPC."

Farce: MOF makes changes in Paras 1 and 2 of the DGL (Note 88, Para 2 (iii) and it is accepted, legal opinion notwithstanding and we have that letter of 27.12.2012.

 Satyam ev Jayate?

I hope those pleading for Sanju Baba also plead for us.            

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