Military Families are shocked of certain claims made by Govt in Supreme Court while defending its decision of not giving NFU to military officers.
While presenting counter arguments in SC to the case presented by petitioner Col Mukul Dev and others, Govt claimed that Govt gives lots of perks to officers, like palatial houses, Army Public Schools, CSD, free ration, military service pay and free travel passes and they do not deserve to be given NFU as given to civil services officers of the govt and CAPF officers. Govt also claimed in terms of average career salary including allowances military officers cost more to govt than civil services officers. However Govt counsel did not produce any comparative data of govt expenditure to substantiate his argument.
Such govt defence without presenting any data on govt expenditure has caused resentment, shock and amusement among military families.
On social media like twitter, military families reacted sharply on govt claims like ‘Palatial Houses”.
It is known fact that military housing has been inadequate and in bad shape for long time, Army Public Schools are run by Army Welfare Education Society in which govt has no role, CSD and similar facilities are also available to civil services in one form or other, free ration, MSP and free passes are military compulsions. Govt presenting argument without giving details as per compensation ethics as followed in HR profession and no cost details, raise doubt on govt intentions?
Military Families have reacted sharply also posting some pic how they stay in dirty bashas, accommodations under demolitions, temporary accommodation with two or more families or single officers sharing it at many stations. Some also claimed that Govt counsel using words like ‘Palatial Houses” is ‘nothing but a dirty humiliation of military families.
Some military veterans claimed that Govt stand of military officers costing more are also not supported by details. Actually as per them, it is otherway round wherein military officers draw much lesser average career earnings than their counterparts in civil.
Instead of making a perception based statement with doubtful intentions in court conveying wrong message, Govt must take a comprehensive approach to whole compensation structure of govt employees and all public servants including President and PMs and MLAs following best HR practices and professional ethics as followed worldwide, while first fixing guiding principles of compensation model before fixing salary grades. Let us not forget at time of independence, such principles were worked by govt when Sh Nehru was the Prime Minister. Govt must bring reasons for not following same rather than rubbing salt to wounds by using words like ‘Palatial Houses’.
It may be appreciated that, British model of Governance was based on Master & Slave model and there is no justification to continue with same in independent India and allow loot of public resources in name of salary component like NFU. Present four grade model with each having separate entry is basically a master slave model and is not followed in any democracy in world. This model is totally unprofessional and focuses more on controlling resources than providing services. It surely needs total re-structuring and that also includes that of military. Govt compensation packages than accordingly be structured based on principle of equal opportunity of promotion to all based on equal performance.
Govt compensation model must be connected with average income of Indians rather than just with inflation and review every 5 years. There is no point giving compensations like NFU to civil employees and denying same to military officers without any reason, if average income of Indians is not increasing with same pace. Present model has no justification to give 52 times salary to President of India than average income of Indians. It has no justification to give such liberal pay and pension to MPs and MLAs just for one tenure, whereas short services commission officers serving more than them are denied such compensations? Where is sense of justice? Let us not forget US President just draws 8-9 times salary than average income of US citizens.
Considering that govt has now made certain claims like ‘Palatial Houses being given to military officers’ in Supreme Court, it is now their responsibility to support it with comparative data and expenditure details on each services in terms of average career salary index, average career earnings and average life long earnings. These three are key parameters in addition to qualifications, experience, work profile and jobs risks, which form foundation of salary structure. Govt needs to work with sense of justice and must put rational behind its every decision.
Some portions of statements of Govt counsels are certainly humiliating, dirty and in bad taste and must be withdrawn with due apology.