Generals’ pay anomaly under HC scanner
Five retired Major General-rank officers say they’re getting pension lower than juniors
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 12
A long pending prominent anomaly in military pay scales and consequently in pension, affecting officers of the rank of Major General and above, has come under scanner of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
In a writ petition filed by five retired officers of the rank of Major General, the affected pensioners have averred that they are getting lower pension than Brigadiers because the Military Service Pay (MSP) is added to regular pay only till the rank of Brigadier, which results in junior officers drawing more pay and consequently higher pension than senior ranks.
According to some lawyers, some cases have come to light where even Lieutenant Colonels are drawing more pay and pension than the Vice Chief of the Army Staff who holds the rank of Lieutenant General.
Sources say the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had duly pointed out the anomaly to the Finance Ministry just before issuance of pay and pension instructions of the Seventh Pay Commission. The MoD had given the example of a Lt Col getting a pay higher than the Vice Chief’s pay of Rs 2,25,000.
The then finance minister, who was also holding dual charge as defence minister, had decided to resolve the anomaly by “stepping up” the pay of senior officers to bring it on a par with juniors or to grant them “personal pay”. The file was, however, closed by officers of the finance ministry by stating that a separate case needed to be moved for the same.
The petition contends that despite requests by MoD for a conference with officials of the Finance Ministry to resolve the issue, the same has not taken place and the anomaly continues to persist.
While issuing a notice of motion to the Finance Ministry as well as MoD, the High Court has directed the government to attempt to resolve the matter before the next date of hearing in March 2020.
The implementation of the 4th, 5th and 6th Central Pay Commissions had also resulted in a similar anomaly, especially for officers of the rank of Major General vis-à-vis Brigadiers, and each time the matter had been resolved by judicial intervention of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
Notice of motion to MoD, FinMin
- Issuing a notice of motion to the Finance Ministry and MoD, the HC has directed the government to attempt to resolve the matter before the next date of hearing in March 2020
- In a plea, five retired officers of the rank of Major General claim they are getting lower pension than Brigadiers as the Military Service Pay is added to regular pay only till rank of Brigadier
- As a result, junior officers draw more pay and higher pension than senior ranks. In some cases, even Lt Colonels are drawing more pay and pension than the Vice Chief of the Army Staff
Source: Indian Military Veterans
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