Monday, 16 April 2018

Expert Committee on Reducing Litigation - Part I


3 (4)/RTI/D (CMU)/2018
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
Room No. 157, ‘B’ Wing, Sena Bhawan
New Delhi, 03 April 2018
(Received by Speed Post article No. ED929840916IN on 07 April 2018)

Subject: Seeking information under RTI Act-2005 – regarding

Sir,

            Please refer to your online RTI application bearing registration No. MODEF/R/2018/80036 dated 12.01.2018 for providing requisite information under RTI Act, 2005.

2.         As far as D (CMU) is concerned, information sought vide your RTI is enclosed as under:

            (a)        Copies of file notings
            (b)        Copies of OMs dated 08.08.2016, 02.02.2017 and 07.02.2017
            (c)        Copy of letter No. Air HQ/C 25500/Lgl dated 12.12.2017 from 
             JAG (Air)
           (d)        Copy of ID Note B/01249/MoD/Misc/2016/AG Coord (c) dated 24.03.2017 from AG Coord (C).

3.         An appeal, if any shall lie with the Appellate Authority within 30 days of receipt of this letter. The name and address of the Appellate Authority is as under:

            Shri S K Sharma
            Director (MS)
            Room No. 229
            South Block, Ministry of Defence
            New Delhi
Yours faithfully,
Sd/----------------
(Charu Vijay)
Under Secretary (O&M/PG/CMU & CPIO

-7-
Ministry of Defence
D (CMU)

            A Committee was constituted by the Hon’ble RM to suggest measures for reducing litigation and a broad institutional Redressal mechanism. The Committee submitted its report on 24.11.2015. A summary of the recommendations made by the Committee is placed on file.

2.         A hard copy of the 75 recommendations made by the Committee along with a soft copy of the complete report was sent to all Joint Secretaries concerned, DESW, DDP and DRDO on 29.12.2015 with a request to submit Action Taken Report on the Recommendations within 45 days for for submitting a consolidated Action Taken Report to Hon’ble RM. No response was however received from any wing except the CAO Division under JS (CAO & Trg). The ATN received from CAO Division is placed on file.   

3.         In the above background, a meeting was taken by AS (R) with JS (E) and DS (E+MIS) on 23.02.2016. After going through the summary of recommendations it was decided that all 75 recommendations made by the Committee may be prepared in a tabular form and the line of action to be taken by each Wing/Division may be shown against each recommendation after taking inputs from Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare for the recommendations in Chapter II. Thereafter, the recommendations may be forwarded to each wing, after taking the approval of RM so that each wing/division in MoD can take further action as indicated in the statement expeditiously.

4.         Inputs for the recommendations bearing Sl Nos 1 to 16,18, 23, 26, 62, 66, 68, 69 and 71 have since been received from DESW. Though the remaining recommendations in Chapter I (i.e. 17, 19-22, 24 and 25) also relate to pension issues, they are general in nature and only seek to reiterate the general principles relating to implementation of court orders, decision making, etc. 

5.         DAD (Coord), Defence Finance have also given their comments on the recommendations. These are however only in the nature of observations or reaction to some of the recommendations made by the Expert Committee which contain references to the role of CGDA/MoD (Fin).         

6.         All the 75 recommendations made by the Committee have been classified under the following three categories based on the feasibility of implementation:

(a)        Recommendations which may be accepted: These recommendations only emphasise the need to follow the existing policy and instructions issued by MoD in letter and spirit. These may be accepted and necessary instructions may be issued.
           
            Sl Nos: 27, 28, 30, 32, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 44, 47, 48,49, 52, 61 and 68 (total 16).
           
(b)        Recommendations which may be agreed in principle: The recommendations listed below contain mostly suggestions on procedural aspects are acceptable but need further follow up action in consultation with the Service HQ   

            Sl Nos: 3, 10, 14, 16, 20, 22, 24, 25, 29, 31, 45, 46, 50, 64, 65 and 67 (Total 16)

(c)        Recommendations which need further examination: The recommendations listed below may require consultation with Service HQ and other Departments such as DO &PT and Ministry of Finance before a decision is taken to accept them

Sl Nos: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15,17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 26, 33, 34, 35, 41, 42, 43, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 66, 69, 70, 71, 73 and 75 (Total 42). 

(d)        Recommendation No. 72 relates to function of AFTs. The observation made by the Committee has been noted.

7.         The file may be submitted for seeking approval of Hon’ble RM for course of action to be taken as suggested against each of the recommendations in the statement.

            Submitted please
Sd/----------------
18/4/16
(R pandiyan)
DS (E+MIS)
JS (E)    Sd/------- 18.4.16

AS (R)  Sd/------- 18/4/16

Def Secy          The recommendations which would need further examination and to be examined in a time bound manner. This may be coordinated at the level of AS (R).
                        Sd/--------------- 7/7/16
RM       May give a presentation on the matter on 21.07.16 at 6 pm Sd/-------- 14/07

AS (R)  Please discuss the draft presentation on 19.7.16 at 4 pm                 Sd/--------- 15/7

JS (E)    Sd/-------- 15/7

Dir (E)  Sd/-------- 18/7/16
-9-

Ref notes on pre-page

            As discussed with AS (R) a draft presentation for Hon’ble RM on the recommendations of the Expert Committee is placed below for approval.                               Sd/--------- 25/4/16

JS (E)    Sd/-------- 25/7/16

AS (R) A presentation was made before RM today. Proposal at Para 7 on pre-page is submitted for approval of RM.            Sd/-------26/7/16

RM       Sd/------ 26/7

AS (R) Sd/-------- 26/7/16

JS (E)    Sd/---------- 28/7

Dir (E) Sd/-------- 29/7

DS (MIS)  Sd/------ 29/7/2016 

US (O& M/R)   Sd------ 29/7/16

-10-

            Reference preceding Note on page 9/N.

2.         Hon’ble Raksha Mantri has approved the line of action proposed in regard to the Expert Committee. We may now write to all wings heads to take necessary action in regard to the approved line of action as per DFA please.
Sd/------- 04/08/2016                                                                                      Sd/------ 04/8/2016

US (O&M/PG)  May kindly see                        Sd/------04-8-16
DS (MIS)          Sd/------- 5/8/2016
JS (PG/Coord)              May kindly see for information before issue.             Sd/---------------05/8

AS (K)   Seen

JS (Coord)        Sd/----
DS (MIS)          Sd/----- 5/8/16
Please issue    Sd/----- 8/8/16
US (O&M/PG)  Sd/---- 8/8/16
SO (Coord)

IMMEDIATE
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
D (CMU)

Subject: Analysis of Recommendations made by the Expert Committee constituted by Hon’ble RM to suggest measures to reduce litigation

            Please refer to ID Note of even number dated 29.12.2015 on the above subject vide which a hard copy of the 75 recommendations made by the Committee along with the soft copy of the complete report was sent to all Joint Secretaries.

2.         In this regard it has been decided with the approval of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri that further action on the recommendations made by the Expert Committee may be taken on specific lines shown against each of the recommendations in column-3 by the concerned Joint Secretary/Division as indicated in column 4. Accordingly, all Joint Secretaries are requested to take immediate action on the recommendations & send an action taken report on each recommendation within 45 days of issue of this letter.

3.         The report of the Expert Committee is available on the website of DoD.

Sd/-------------------
8/8/2016
(Manisha Bhatnagar)
Deputy Secretary (MIS)
Tele: 2301 3416
Encl: as above

JS (Army), JS (Air), JS (Navy), JS (Works), JS (E/CAO), JS (PG/Coord), JS (ESW), DAD (Coord), CCR&D (R&M), JS (P&C)/DDP, AFT Cell
MoD ID No. 61 (A)/D (CMU)/2015 dated 8th August 2016

Copt to Sr PPS to AS (K)

Recommendations made by the Expert Committee constituted by Hon’ble RM to suggest measures for reducing litigation and an institutional Redressal mechanism

S No.
Recommendation
Decision regarding acceptance/line of action
Action by
1
2
3
4
1
2.2.1. DENIAL OF DISABILITY BENEFITS BY INCORRECTLY BRANDING IN SERVICE DISABILITIES (DISEASE CASES) AS ‘NEITHER ATTRIBUTABLE NOR AGGRAVATED BY SERVICE”: Benefit of doubt regarding attributability/aggravation or service connection needs to be granted to any disability arising during service. The same however can be denied when it is shown that the disability is due to a person’s own gross misconduct or negligence, illegal activity, substance abuse or intoxication. There is no linkage as per rules with peace or field service as far as attributability of disabilities is concerned and any such differentiation locally put across or professed by any other authority is illegal, contrary to Entitlement Rules, contemptuous towards decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and also against Regulations for Medical Services in the Armed Forces. All agencies involved in the process should be directed to adhere to the applicable rules (Rule 423, RMSAF) which state that service in field or peace is immaterial for grant of attributability.

Broadly blaming domestic reasons for psychiatric disabilities arising during military service is against common knowledge and unethical since domestic reasons are bound to give stress and also to aggravate the same in soldiers because of the very fact that due to military service they remain away from their families most of the year and cannot hence cope up with all familial requirements efficiently by virtue of their being absent from home. All agencies must be directed not to ascribe psychiatric disabilities to domestic factors.

Cases of feigning of disabilities where none exist should be dealt with strongly and medical boards should also be extra careful in examining cases where individuals have reported with a medical condition jut prior to retirement or release. All appeals pending against such disabled soldiers filed in the Supreme Court be withdrawn immediately and pending future litigation in Courts and Tribunals related to past cases of disabled soldiers may be dealt with by the Government lawyers in judicial for a on the basis of Supreme Court decisions above, except in cases of gross misconduct, negligence, substance abuse or intoxication, on a case by case basis.   

The 7th CPC recommended that while the existing regulations involving disability Neither Attributable Nor Aggravated (NANA) by service may continues, it is for the authorities to establish, in each case, through a reasoned order that disability was Neither Attributable Nor Aggravated (NANA) by military service.

In view of the recommendations of the 7th CPC and that of the Expert Committee, this may be examined. Further, this has implication on the Civil side.
DESW
2
2.2. RATIONALISATION OF DISABILTY BENEFITS FOR ‘noN ATTRIBUTABLE/NON-AGGRAVATED CASES’ ARISING OUT OF INJURIES/DEATHS DURING AUTHORISED LEAVE: That it may be decided that injuries or deaths during authorised leave/absence (except in cases of gross negligence/gross misconduct/intoxication/action inconsistent with military service) be deemed as attributable to service by issuing a clarification in the Entitlement Rules to this effect or by issuing a separate letter. 
As per the existing provision, death/disability during leave which is not connected to performance of military duties may not be considered as attributable to Military service.

Hence this needs to be examined in consultation with DoP&PW and DoE, MoF. Further this has implication on Civil side.
DESW
3
2.2.3. DISABILITY BENEFITS TO VOLUNTARY RETIREES: Policy may be revised and till the time the policy is comprehensively revised, all appeals filed in the Supreme Court on the said point by MoD may be withdrawn. No fresh appeals be filed and pensding litigation in various Tribunals be conceded on a case by case basis.
Ministry has already agreed in principle. With the approval of the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, matter regarding extending the benefits to pre-2006 in PMR/VR cases was sent to Deptt of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance on MoD/D (Pen/Pol) file No. 16 (5)/2008 for concurrence. File has been received back from MoF for some clarifications and the matter is presently under process.   
DESW
4
2.2.4. ILLEGAL DENIAL OF PENSION BENEFITS TO PRE-2006 RETIREE HONORARY NAIB SUBEDARS: Pensions of Pre and Post 2006 Honorary Naib Subedars be calculated using the same base of the new scale of Honorary Naib Subedars introduced by the 6th CPC as directed by AFT and upheld by the Supreme Court. Since the pay for the purposes of fixation of pension for Honorary Naib Subedars and Naib Subedars has been equated by the Govt for post-2006 retirees and distinction between post-2006 and pre-2006 has been struck down and the striking down has been upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the pension of pre-2006 Hon Naib Subedars vis-à-vis pre-2006 regular Naib Subedars may also be equated since a wide disparity have been perpetrated between the two. 
6th Pay Commission vide Para 5.1.62 has recommended that pension of all Honorary rank of Nb Subsedars henceforth will be payable by taking this placement as regular promotion to the higher grade wherein benefit of fitment in the pay band and the higher grade pay will be taken into account for fixation of pension. Post 2006 Nb Subedars are given this benefit.

With the implementation of One Rank One Pension, pre-2006 Hony Nb Sub have been extended this benefit from 1.7.2014. However payment of same pension to Hony Nb Sub and Nb Subedars needs to be examined.   
DESW
5
2.2.5. LITIGATION ON DENIAL OF BENEFITS FROM 1996 TILL 2009 TO PENSIONERS (OTHER THAN COMMISSIONED OFFICERS) WHO RETIRED PRIOR TO 10.10.1997: The fresh scales introduced with effect from 10.10.1997 were bound to take effect from 01.01.1996 as per gazette notification issued by the Govt of India. Any later executive instructions restricting the effect from 10.10.1997 onwards is null & void in the face of the gazette notification and hence all litigation initiated on this point (popularly known as Jai Narayan Jakhar’s case) is unethical and needs to be withdrawn.
Trade rationalisation was carried out in Defence Forces on recommendations of 5th CPC and benefits of new scales in ‘X’, Ý’, and ‘Z’ group extended from 10.10.1997. Jai Narayan Jakhar, a navy personnel discharge in May 1996 claimed benefits on the scale from 01.01.1996. High Court of Punjab & Haryana pronounce judgment in his favour and SLP filed by UoI was dismissed by Hon’ble Supreme Court.

The Government accepted recommendations of CSC 2009 and issued Govt letter dated 08.3.2010 bringing pre-10.10.1997 PBORs and post 10.10.1997 PBORs ate par with financial benefits from 01.07.2009 to pre-10.10.1997 retired/discharged PBORs.

However, payment of arrears from 1.1.1996 to 30.6.2009 to persone retired/discharges between 01.01.1996 and 10.10.1997 needs to be examined in consultation with DoP&PW and DoE, MoF.
DESW
6
2.2.6. REQUIREMENT OF 10 MONTHS SERVICE IN A PARTICULAR RANK TO EARN THE PENSION OF THAT RANK: Since this issue has led to, and is leading to multiple litigation in Courts, the Committee recommends  that no appeals may ben filed before the Supreme Court on the 10 months stipulation since not only is the issue covered by the Constitution Bench decision of the Supreme Court in D S Nakara’s case.  
The matter was examined earlier on file No. 1 (6)/2014 and with the approval of Secretary (ESW) the same was not agreed to. However, the matter may be re-examined.
DESW
7.
CATEGORIES OF PENSION INTRODUCED BY THE 5TH CPC EXTENDED TO POST-1996 AS WELL AS PRE-1996 RETIREES ON CIVIL DIDAE BUT INAPPRPRIATELTY ONLY TO POST-1996 RETIREES OF THE MILITARY SIDE: It has been recommended that the categories as made applicable to civil pensioners must be applied to defence pensioners also.
The issue needs to be examined.
DESW
8
2.2.8. WAR INJURY PENSION TO WORLD WAR II RETIREES DISABLED IN WWII: War injury pension must be released to those veterans who were disabled during WWII. Similarly, Liberalised family pension must be granted to widows of personnel whom we lost during Second Great War.
Acceptance of battle casualty is as per Rules & Orders issued from time to time. The proposal to give war injury pension to WW-II retirees needs to be examined in consultation with DoP&PW and Deptt of Expenditure.
DESW
9
2.2.9. CONDONATION OF SERVICE FOR SECOND SERVICE PENSION FOR DSC PERSONNEL: The power to condone shortfall up to 1 years must be applied in cases of DSC personnel also.
 The matter was earlier examined and with the approval of Secretary (ESW), condonation in shortfall in service was not agreed to in the case of grant of second pension. However the issue may be re-examined.
DESW
10
2.2.10. BROAD-BANDING OF DISABILITY PERCENTAGES FOR THE COMPUTATION OF DISABILITY ELEMENT AND WAR INJURY ELEMENT: Broad-banding must be extended to all disabled personnel, irrespective of mode of exit.
May be agreed in principle. Ministry has recommended for grant of broad banding of disability to all Defence Forces Personnel irrespective of mode of exit from service. However Department of Expenditure , MoF has given concurrence for extending the benefit of broad-banding of disability  only to normal retirement cases with disability attributable/aggravated by military service in addition to boarded cases. Accordingly draft order is being sent tp MoD (F) for vetting.
DESW
11
2.2.11. NON-GRANT OF SERVICE ELEMENT OF DISABILITY PENSION TO DISABLED PERSONNEL WITH LESS THAN MINIMUM QUALIFYING SERVICE WHO SRE RELEASED FROM SERVICE OTHER THAN BY WAY OF INVALIDATION: Service element be released to all personnel who are held entitled to disability pension irrespective of the manner of exit or length of service.
As per the existing pensioners in such cases, the individual is eligible for disability element in service gratuity as applicable on length of service. The proposal needs to be examined in consultation with DoP&PW and DoE.
DESW
12
2.2.12. DUAL FAMILY PENSION TO MILITARY WIDOWS WHO ARE DRAWING PENSION FROM A CONTRIBUTORY OR NON-GOVERENMENT SOURCE OR FUND OE TRUST FROM THE CIVIL SIDE, FROM THE DATE OF DEMISE OF THE MILITARY PENSIONERS, RATHER THAN 24.9.2012: It has been recommended  that while for benefits of double family pension may be restricted w.e.f. 24.9.2012 in terms of GoI/MoD letter dated 17.01.2013 for family pensioners earning their second pension from a purely government source, the same may be released from date of death of the pensioner in all cases where the pension from the civil side is from non-government fund or contributory fund or any other pension trust or source as already interpreted by Courts.
Based on CSC 2012, dueal family pension is applicable wef 24.9.2012. Implementation of dual family pension from date of death is having huge financial implication& need to be examined in consultation including State Govts, DoP&PW and DoE, MoF.   
DESW
13
2.2.13. RESERVIST PENSION TO RESERVISTS RELEASED FROM SERVICE COMPULSORILY PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF PENSIONABLE COLOUR + RESERVE SERVICE: We have recommended withdrawal of appeals on this issue.  
As per existing Pension Regulations grant of service/reservist pension to those who had not completed required qualifying service are not entitled for service/Reservist pension. The proposal needs to be examined.
DESW
14
2.2.14. DENIAL OF PENSIONARY AND OTHER BENEFITS TO FAMILIES OF MISSING/MISSING PRESUMED DEAD SOLDIERS AS PER POLICY BY INCORRECTLY BRANDING THEM AS DESERTERS: We have recommended that whenever such instance comes to the notice of authorities corrective measures should be initiated as per policy and law laid down by Courts.
May be agreed in principle. Matter is under consideration with MoD/D (Pay/Services) for approval of SOP to declare such person dead for peneionary benefits.
DESW
15
2.2.15. NON ACCEPTANCE OF DECLARATION OF BATTLE CASULTY AND NON- GRANT OF WAR INJURY OR LIBERALISED BENEFITS TO CASULTIES IN OPERATIONAL AREAS: We have recommended that a practical interpretation of the rules and appreciation of ground realities needs to be initiated and benefits granted as interpreted by Courts of law. No further appeals to be filed and pending cases be resolved.
Acceptance of battle casualties are as per regulation/orders issued from time to time. As such it needs to be examined.  
DESW
16
2.3.1. ILLEGAL DENIAL OF OUTPATIENT MEDICAL FACILITIES BY SERVICE MEDICAL HOSPITALS TO NON PENSIONER EX-SERVICEMEN DESPITE IT BEING APPROVED BY THE MINISTRY AND THE ADJUTANT GENERAL’S BRANCH, AND CONSIDERATION OF GRANT OF ECHS FACILTIES TO SSCOs: Restoration of limited outpatient medical facilities to non-pensioners and withdrawal of appeals filed on the subject in the Supreme Court. 
May be agree in principle. The service medical hospitals come under the purview of D (Medical), Ministry of Defence. Regarding grant of ECHS facilities to SSCOs, it has been favourably considered by Hon’ble RM & RRM. The proposal was forwarded to D (Fin/Pen) for their concurrence. D (Fin/Pen) has requested to furnish the details regarding pending SLP in Hon’ble Supreme Court. Accordingly, DGAFMS has been requested to intimate the position of details of the court cases and present status. The reply from DGAFMS is still awaited. Further action will be taken on receipt of reply. 
DESW/JS (Navy)/D (Med)
17
2.3.2. WOMEN OFFICERS AND SSCOs WHO HAD OPTED FOR OLD TERMS (5+5+4 YEARS OF SERVICE) RATHER THAN NEW TERMS (10+4 YEARS OF SERVICE) DENIED PROMOTIONAL AVENUES, UPWARD CAREER PROGRESSION, PAY & ALLOWANCES, AND CONSEQUENTIAL PENSION AND RETIRAL BENEFITS AS LEGALLY ENTITLED TO THEM UNDER THE MINISTRY’S DIRECTIONS: Release benefits forthwith as granted by the Govt and approved by the Cabinet. Withdraw appeals pending on the subject.
This may be examined.
DESW/ Dir (AG-II)/JS (E/CAO)
18
2.3.3. NON INCLUSION OF MILITARY SERVICE PAY AND OTHER ELEMENTS OF EMOLUMENTS DURING FIXATION OF PAY ON RE-EMPLOYMENT OF MILITARY PENSIONERS ON THE CIVIL SIDE: It has been recommended that the issue be taken up strongly by the MoD with DoPT.
The subject matter pertains to Deptt of Personnel & Training. It is however intimated that as per Deptt of Personnel & Training Circular No. 3/19/2009-Estt- Pay II dated 8.11.2010, Military Service Pay (MSP) is not to be taken into consideration for fixation of pay and re-employment of military pensioners on the civil side. This may be re-examined.
DESW
19
2.4.1. Collegiate system of decision making: We recommend that the decisions on important issues of policy and verdicts of Courts must be taken in a collegiate manner in meetings rather than on file by involving all stakeholders, including voices of affected employees whenever a holistic view of the matter is required.
This may be examined. However, it may not be possible to involve the affected employees in all cases.
JS (ESW)
20
2.4.2. Non-implementation of decisions and flouting of existing guidelines on implementation of judicial verdicts: Non-implementation of judicial verdicts leading to heartburn as well as clogging the system with contempt and execution applications, The Services HQ as well as DESW have cited complicated and cumbersome procedures but the same is not acceptable since MoD on directions of Defence Secretary has already issued detailed guidelines for implementation of decisions in time. In case it is felt that procedures or layers need to be reduced then a decision be taken in a collegiate manner under the aegis of the Defence Secretary to put into place a well oiled machinery of implementation without delay.   
May be agreed in principle. However modalities for expeditious implementation will be further worked out.
JS (ESW)
21
2.4.3. Over reliance on MoD )Finance) and Finance entities for decision and policy formulation. We have found that there is over reliance on finance entities by the DESW as well as the Services HQ in issues where the role of the former is limited. It is also observed that finance authorities are interfering in matters which are purely based on medical or legal appreciation based upon existing decisions of Constitutional Courts. It is also observed that even decisions by competent executive authorities are not being honoured by finance authorities. It is further experienced that in Appellate Committees on disability and death benefits, the opinion of all Members is being overridden by junior representatives of the Finance Members. We have recommended in detail the correct approach in rectifying the above unfortunate situation. We have proposed that finance representatives may not be allowed to override the opinion of other Members of the Appellate Committee dealing with disability/death benefits and all decisions be taken as majority of these issues require a medical analysis and legal inputs based on Supreme Court decisions and not a calculation of amount. We have also stated that the staff dealing with pensionary claims and casualty benefits must gain first hand experience on existing conditions in which our men and women in uniform operate so as to sensitise them about the same.     
This may be examined
DESW
22
2.4.4. Impersonal, non-adversarial and dispassionate approach and dissuading prestige based litigation:  It has been stated in this paragraph that the Government is faceless and officers should not unduly make a prestige issue out of litigation or indulge in ego-fuelled appeals once the matter has attained finality. There should be no personal involvement in litigation or in specific cases and matters should be dealt with by way of an impersonal and dispassionate approach within four corners of law. Appeals should be filed on definite grounds when the Government is genuinely aggrived or when it is felt that the Court of Tribunal has misread evidence or applied a wrong principle of law or affected third party rights with a cascading effect, but not as a matter of routine on the ground that the Government has ‘lost’ a case. WE have recommended that litigation be viewed in a more impersonal and dispassionate manner and should not be made a prestige issue on a win/loss situation.  
May be agreed in principle. Suitable instructions may be issued
JS (PG/Coord)/D (CMU)
23.
2.4.5. Lack of availability of correct talent and inputs to DESW and functioning of the Standing Committee on Welfare of Ex-Servicemen: We find that inputs that are not well-balanced or legally sound are being rendered by junior functionaries to the competent authorities in the DESW thereby keeping seniors in the dark about the actual situation or position of law or rules. We have recommended that cross-postings may be made to DESW from the Service HQ with officers who are sensitised, sensitive, knowledgeable and experienced in such matters. Such an arrangement should not be resisted but should be gladly accepted with open arms since the primary aim of DESW is to work for the welfare of veterans and their families and any step to meet the aim should be willingly adopted and would reflect true integration of the Ministry and Defence Services. We have also recommended that the Standing Committee of Welfare of Ex-Servicemen should meet at regular intervals as envisaged and already notified and all major pensionary and policy decisions should also be discussed threadbare in the meeting so as to seek inputs of the end-users of those policies and not keep them in the dark.   
While agreeing in principle with the observation of the Expert Committee that there is a lack of availability of experts in DESW, the recommendation to place Service Personnel in the Deptt needs to be carefully examined. The recommendation regarding the Standing Committee would be examined further.
DESW
24
2.4.6. Continuous unethical filing of appeals in matters that have attained finality: Currently there is a tendency to file appeals in individual cases on the pretext of being against Government Policy even in matters which have attained finality for similarly placed individuals at the High Court or the Supreme Court level. This tendency is not only unethical but also reflects an approach wherein officers handling such issues are unable to come to terms with the fact that the case has finally been decided against them. We have hence strongly recommended that there should be quietus and n further appeals in issues that have attained finality at the High Court or Supreme Court and all such pending appeals should be identified and immediately withdrawn. 
May be agreed in principle. Suitable instructions would need to be issued. For filing SLP detailed instructions have already been issued with the approval of RM.
JS (PG/Coord)/D (CMU)
25
2.4.7. Unnecessary red-tapism and hyper technical requirements of forms, affidavits etc which militate against the spirit of Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for citizens: Our deliberations pointed out to the fact that to claim many of their basic pensionary benefits, veterans and their families are encumbered with suffocating official procedures which are unnecessary and a waste of public time. In some of these issues, executive decisions have already been taken to simplify procedures but still not given effect to. We have recommended simplification of cumbersome procedures to bring relied to affected veterans and families and also to reduce litigation in this regard.   
May be agreed in principle. Suitable instructions would need to be issued.
JS (ESW)
26
2.4.8. Suspect legality of Pension Regulations, 2008 and Entitlement Rules 2010: The above Regulations have been issued without due process and without concurrence of the Deptt of Pensions & Pensioners Welfare as required un the Rules of Business. When we raised the question about the legality of the Pension Regulations, it was intimated to us by representatives of DESW that as also informed to the top echelons of DESW the new Pension Regulations 2008 were merely a collection of latest policies issued from time to time and made no substantive or material changes to Pension Regulations 1961 or to existing Government instructions. This contention is incorrect and we have pointed out in detail how these Regulations are not legal and how material and substantive changes have been made through the backdoor and the higher echelons of the DESW as well as the then Raksha Mantri were kept in the dark about the process. We have observed that the so-called Pension Regulations 2008 or the Entitlement Rules 2010 have no sanctity of law as far as alteration of entitlements is concerned. The same can at best be adopted to regulate procedural aspects and if there is a conflict between the same and the actual Pension Regulations 1961 or Entitlement Rules 1982 thereby affecting the rights of pensioners negatively then the Regulations of 1961 and Entitlement Rules 1982 shall prevail to determine the entitlement.          
This may be examined
DESW


2 comments:

  1. Jai Hind Sir,

    1. One small query regarding Sl No-6. Hasn't the 6CPC done away with the requirement of putting 10 month service in that rank to earn the pension of same rank.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please read Paragraphs 4.1 and 6.1 (1) of the MoD letter No. 17(4)/2008 (2)/D (Pen/Policy) dated 12.11.2008. It states 50% of the average of 10 months reckonable emoluments or last pay drawn prior to retirement or death, whichever is beneficial.

    ReplyDelete