Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Status Downgradation Of Armed Forces

Dear Veterans,

A Letter written to Hon’ble Raksha Mantri   and three chiefs by Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd) Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen
& Chairman Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM)  on the above subject is given below herewith for your information and widest circulation please.

                                                             Dated 27 Jun 2018
Smt  Nirmala   Sitharaman     
Hon’ble Raksha Mantri                                                                                 
104, South Block, New Delhi-110011


Dear Raksha Mantri,

With concern, we wish to bring to your notice the systematic and continuous downgradation of Defence Forces and request the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri to seriously address this issue to ensure, the most suitable youth is attracted to the noble profession of Arms.

It is brought to your notice that there has been deliberate down gradation of status of Armed Forces- Functionally as well with respect of Pay Parity.

Functional Downgradation.

Armed Forces Officers have always been equated with All India Services Officers, as documented in Warrant of Precedence (WoP), Post War Pay Committee Report & Raghuramiah Committee Report.  JCOs have been accorded Gazetted Officers status by an Act of Parliament vide Section 3 (xii) of Army Act 1950. Senior NCOs always carried the status of Non Gazetted Officers. However, MoD has started equating JCOs with Non Gazetted/ Gp C employees & Sr NCOs with even lower level employees. Lts & Capts are being equated with Gp B Offrs, Lt Cols with Dy Dir/ Under Secys (lowest Gp A designation), Cols with Jt Dir/ Dy Secys (2nd Gp A designation) & Brigs with Directors (3rd Gp A designation). This issue of Degradation of Military ranks is being actively pursued by AFHQ CS Cadre, which is a Gp B internal support cadre of Services HQ, in their quest for comparative up gradation of their own cadre designations.

A number of letters on these degraded equations have been issued by CAO/ MoD/ Cabinet Sectt during last over 20 years. Though RM had ordered for cancellation of one such letter during Jan 2018, but host of other letters remain in force. These equations are now slowly & slowly being put into effect on ground in all functional aspects in Services HQ, ISOs, MoD & on Deputations in other Deptts/ Ministries, including Channel of Reporting, Protocols & various Entitlements.

Also, presently Armed Forces have almost no say in decision making in their own Ministry. Even files endorsed by Chiefs are being subjected to scrutiny by lower bureaucracy. Decision making in MoD is being directly influenced by lower level civil bureaucrats who have aggressively started competing for status & service privileges applicable to uniformed personnel, thereby actively attempting to downgrade & degrade the Armed Forces.

Pay Parity Downgradation.

Till 5 CPC, Brigs were placed in SAG II equivalent Pay Scales, Lt Cols in Director’s Pay Scales & 2/Lts had their starting Pay Scale higher than IAS Officers. The JCOs were in Pay Scales
equivalent to Gp B Gazetted Officers, while Sr NCOs were in Gp B Non Gazetted Pay Scales. Today the old established Pay Parity is almost bordering two  Rank Downgradation. Presently Maj Gens are in Level 14 while Police ADGs have moved to Level 15; Cols are in Pay Level 13, applicable to NFSG Directors; Subedars are placed in Level 7, which is applicable to Non Gazetted employees & Nb Subs are Level 6, which is even lower than Non Gazetted. Havildars are in further   lower Pay Levels. This is the very reason the JCOs are not being given higher MSP, NFU is being refused to Officers & lateral absorption is not working out.

Way Forward.
 In Dec 2008, PMO had directed for setting up of High Powered Committee (HPC) for resolving Status & Rank Equivalence issue. However, same has not been done till date. While Anomalies Committee was set up by Govt immediately after 7 CPC for resolving Pay Anomalies of Civilian employees, including Defence Civilians, no such Committee has been set up for resolving Defence Pay Anomalies till date. It is therefore imperative that:-

(a)    There is immediate need to arrest the downgradation and restore the status which existed as on 15 Aug 1947.  This be completed in a given schedule at the earliest say by 31 Dec 2018.
(b)  HPC consisting of Parliamentarians be set up by Govt for establishing one to one Rank equivalence with All India Services within three months ie by 30 Sep 2018.
(c)    Separate HPC consisting of Parliamentarians be also set up for resolving outstanding Pay Anomalies of Defence personnel by 30 Sep 2018.
(d)    MoD be restructured to include adequate representation from Armed Forces for balanced & synergised decision making earliest.
(e)      AFHQ Cadre in Services HQ & ISOs be replaced by employing ESM & non-empanelled Offrs, thereby bringing considerable savings to the Govt.
            It is against all principles of management that decisions on Armed Forces are being taken by civilian executives who do not understand the ethos and comraderie of Armed Forces. The main driving force of the armed forces is its discipline and the fact that a soldier dashes into to volley of bullets and sure death on orders of his commander are very complex issues, beyond comprehension of a person who is not involved in these issues. Decisions taken by individuals who do not understand these issues and emotions will be void of reality and will never be for raising morale of Armed Forces. Request of Armed Forces to include their representatives in decision making has always been brushed aside on the pretext that Armed Forces HQs are always consulted for any decision. Whereas we all know that that is not the truth and Armed Forces HQs are only given orders to implement whether they like it or not.

            With regards,
Yours Sincerely,

Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM
(Retd)                                                                                                                          Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen
& Chairman Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement
Mobile: 9312404269, 01244110570                                                                                                  

Copy to :-

General Bipin Rawat,  UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM
Chief of the Army Staff                                       
Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence (Army)
South Block, New Delhi-110011

You are requested to take up this important issue jointly to restore the status of Defence Forces as suggested above.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa ,PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC
Chief of the Air Staff 
Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence (Air Force) Vayu Bhawan, New Delhi 110011

Our request as above.
Admiral Sunil Lanba ,PVSM, AVSM, ADC                                         
Chief of the Naval Staff  &
Chairman Chiefs of Staffs Committee (CoSC)
Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence (Navy)  South Block, New Delhi -110011

Our request as above.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tinkering with tribunals will make them useless
Harsha Kakar

The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) was established as a military tribunal under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act in 2007. This was based on the Law Commission’s 169th report of 1999, which stated that disciplinary and service matters of military personnel required quick resolution and proposed a special tribunal for para-military and armed forces. The act was steered through Parliament by the defence ministry, leaving the para-military, Assam Rifles and Coast Guard out of its purview.

The principal bench of the AFT is based in Delhi and it has regional benches at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai and Jaipur. Except for Chandigarh and Lucknow, which have three benches each, all others have a single bench. Each bench comprises of a judicial member, who is a retired high court judge, and an administrative member, who is a retired member of the armed forces.
In a democracy, the judiciary by nature is lenient. However, the armed forces because of their role and tasks must follow a disciplined structure, without which they would fail. Hence, the armed forces are governed by their respective acts and rules which are the Army Act of 1950, Air Force Act of 1950, the Navy Act of 1957 and the Defence Services Regulations. Disciplinary punishments, granted under respective acts, are periodically challenged in AFTs. Unless the circumstances and specific regulations are clarified to the judge, leniency in judgement would impact military discipline.
Further, vagaries and conditions of service are vastly different from any Central government organization. Hence AFTs have been liberal in approving disability pensions, which an unrelenting bureaucracy challenges in the Supreme Court to no avail. To advice the judicial member on service-specific issues and apprise him of the conditions of service, an administrative member with decades of service experience is appointed.
Till June 2017, the AFTs functioned at near full strength and was effective. After the government issued unilateral notifications incorporating changes in its composition and functioning, presently under challenge in the Supreme Court, there has been no induction of fresh members, resulting in almost non-functional courts. Thus, the very reason for creating the AFT, speedy disposal of cases pertaining to the members of the armed forces, has been lost.
On 1 June 2017, the government amended the AFT Act, amongst 19 other existing laws, enhancing its powers pertaining to the appointment and removal of members of various tribunals. Amongst the major changes which affect the functioning of the AFT is the appointment of the administrative member.
The earlier rules had stated that the administrative member could be retired major generals and above. However, the new rules state any person, ‘of ability, integrity and standing having special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than 20 years’ in multiple fields not connected with the armed forces but ‘in the opinion of the government is useful to the AFT’ could be appointed. Thus, knowledge of service conditions and military law is not essential, making such appointments redundant. It opens doors for appointing IAS and other Central government service members, who lack even basic military knowledge.
The chairperson of the AFT was appointed by the president, hence was difficult for the government to remove. The changed rules state that he would be appointed by the government in consultation with the chief justice, thereby denuding his appointment. Earlier rules stated only a retired High Court or Supreme Court judge could be the chairperson, whereas the amended rules state ‘any person who is qualified to be a judge of the Supreme Court’ could be appointed. Thus, an advocate with ten years’ experience can be nominated as a chairperson.
The appointment of the judicial and administrative members was amended so that they would be appointed by a search-cum-selection-committee which would comprise a Supreme Court judge, chairperson of AFT (appointed by the government), defence secretary and another member of the executive. Thus, majority power would be with the executive. The Supreme Court has disagreed stating it cannot be tilted towards the executive.
The new rules place the AFTs under the defence ministry, whereas earlier based on Supreme Court directions, they were placed under the law ministry. The power to remove members has also been diluted and the MoD can constitute a committee to recommend removal. These powers were earlier with the Supreme Court.
The new rules have reduced tenure of members from five to three years. It appears, when linked up with the other amendments, aimed at opening doors for ex-secretaries of the government, who retire at 62, to be nominated to the AFT, for which they would otherwise have been barred.
These amendments, which would alter the functioning of the AFT and make it useless for the task for which it was created, angered many veterans who practice in AFTs and they approached the Supreme Court. The court’s final determination is likely in July.
The bureaucracy, worried about a possible court rebuff, advertised for vacant posts based on its amended rules. It is now seeking the court’s permission to go ahead with the selection. If it succeeds, the AFTs would become just another example of the government’s apathy to serving and veteran military personnel.
A fallout of the case has been that unless court orders are finally issued, no fresh appointments can be made. Hence most AFTs are either non-functional or those with multiple benches have just one functional bench. This has impacted clearance of cases.
The sole reason for creating the AFT is now being lost. The government which has denied the forces various facilities is now seeking to make the AFTs redundant. It will require a concerted effort by all who support the military to pressurise the government against making a mockery of an institution created to speed up justice.
 The writer is a retired Major-General of the Indian Army.
By the kind courtesy of

कैसे सेना में सर्विस कर रहे जवानों और भूतपूर्व सैनिक जवानों को CSD , ECHS कार्डों के नाम पर चूना लगाया जा रहा है

Saabka Sainik Sangarash Committee Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh , HARYANA की तरफ से दिया गया मांग पत्र अवश्य पढ़ें के कैसे सेना में सर्विस कर रहे जवानों और भूतपूर्व सैनिक जवानों को CSD , ECHS कार्डों के नाम पर चूना लगाया जा रहा है.

Memorandum For CSD Or ECHS Card Letter No. SSSC/03/2018

  Honourable President of India
  Rashtrapati Bhavan , New Delhi
  Honourable Prime Minister of India
  South Block , New Delhi - 110011
  Honourable Defence Minister of India           
  South Block , New Delhi 

विषय - भूतपूर्व सैनिकों को ECHS (एक्स सर्विस मैंन कंट्रीब्यूटरी हेल्थ स्कीम) कार्ड और CSD (केंटीन स्टोरज डिपार्टमेंट) कार्ड को बार बार नए बनवाने के लिए हुक्म जारी करके मानसिक परेशान करने संबंधी मांग पत्र

श्री मान जी,
            निवेदन है कि हमारी साबका सैनिक संघर्ष कमेटी तरन तारन पंजाब तथा साथ में दूसरी सहयोगी यूनियनें पिछले 8 सालों से जवानों को इंसाफ दिलाने के लिए संघर्ष कर रही हैं और इसके लिए हम सैकड़ों प्रदर्शन कर चुके हैं

            श्री मान जी भूतपूर्व सैनिकों को कभी  ECHS  कार्ड और कभी CSD  कार्ड नए बनवाने के लिए हुक्म जारी हो रहे हैं और पुराने कार्डों को बिना किसी सूचना के रद्द किया जा रहा है ऐसे तानाशाही हुक्म किसके कहने पर जारी हो रहे हैं, यह सोचने का विषय है

            श्री मान जी अगर सेना पुराने ECHS , CSD  कार्डों को बदलना चाहती है तो पहले सभी भूतपूर्व सैनिकों को नएं कार्ड जारी किए जाएं और उसके बाद पुराने कार्डों को बंद या रद्द किया जाए ताकि किसी भूतपूर्व सैनिक को मुश्किलों का सामना नहीं करना पड़े लेकिन सेना द्वारा नएं कार्ड जारी किए बिना पुराने कार्डों को बंद कर देना भूतपूर्व सैनिकों के साथ बेइंसाफी है

           श्री मान जी बैंकों द्वारा ATM ( टी एम) कार्ड के एक्सपायर होने से एक महीने पहले ही नया ATM ( टी एम) कार्ड घर के एड्रेस पर पोस्ट आफिस से रजिस्टर्ड लैटर के माध्यम से भेज दिया जाता है ताकि बैंक ग्राहक को परेशान नहीं होना पड़े

           श्री मान जी यही बैंक ATM कार्ड सिस्टम सेना द्वारा ECHS ,CSD कार्डों के लिए अपनाया जा सकता है श्री मान जी बैंकों के ATM   कस्टमरों की गिनती ECHS, CSD मेंबरों से ज्यादा है इस लिए यह कहना भी बेमानी होगा कि ECHS , CSD की ज्यादा मेंबरशिप होने के कारण बैंकों के ATM जैसे सहुलियत उपलब्ध करवानी संभव नहीं है
            श्री मान जी सेना द्वारा ECHS , CSD कार्डों के बार बार बदलने का असली कारण नएं कार्डों के नाम पर पैसे इकट्ठे करना है इस समय टोटल  ECHS की मेंबरशिप तकरीबन  50 लाख है और नए कार्ड बनाने के लिए एक कार्ड की फीस 177 रुपए निश्चित की गई है अभी 50,00,000  मेंबर्स का हिसाब लगाएं तो 50,00,000 × 177 = 88,50,00,000 रुपए ( अठ्ठासी करोड़ पचास लाख रुपए) बनते हैं , जो कि बहुत बड़ी रकम है यही कारण है कि ECHS कार्ड बार बार बदली किए जा रहे हैं

             श्री मान जी अगर आप पैसे इकठ्ठे  करने चाहते हो तो भी आप भूतपूर्व सैनिकों को दफ्तरों में ख़राब क्यों कर रहे हो ?? आप नए कार्ड बनाकर  ECHS क्लीनिकों में भेज दें और यह मैसेज पास कर दें कि इस दिनांक (निश्चित की गई तारीख) के बाद पुराने ECHS  कार्ड नहीं चलेंगे इस लिए सभी भूतपूर्व सैनिक अपने नजदीकी ECHS क्लीनिक में 177 रुपए कार्ड के हिसाब से जमां करवाकर अपने नए कार्ड ले लें श्री मान जी रही बात डाक्यूमेंट देने की तो जब पहले ECHS कार्ड बने थे तो सभी जरूरी डाक्यूमेंट आपको जमा करवा देने पर ही अपने कार्ड जारी किए थे तो इस लिए बार बार डाक्यूमेंट देने की जरूरत नहीं होनी चाहिए आपके पास सभी भूतपूर्व सैनिकों का पूरा रिकॉर्ड मौजूद है

             श्री मान जी CSD कार्ड नए बनाकर घर के एड्रेस पर भेजने में तो कोई मुश्किल होनी ही नहीं चाहिए क्योंकि CSD से तो अरबों-खरबों की कमाई हो रही है और अगर सेना CSD से हुए लाभ का 33% (जो कि करोड़ों में होता है) सीधे सीधे आफिसर्स मेस को गैर कानूनी तौर पर दे सकती है तो जवानों के लिए CSD लाभ में से कुछ लाख से CSD कार्ड बनाकर जवानों के घरों में पोस्ट आफिस के माध्यम से भेज  सकते हैं यह तो बहुत छोटी सी बात है लेकिन सेना के आफिसर्स द्वारा भूतपूर्व सैनिकों को जान बुझकर खराब किया जा रहा है श्री मान जी इस समय भूतपूर्व सैनिकों और सर्विस कर रहे सैनिकों की गिनती तकरीबन 60 लाख है और अगर इस समय नए CSD कार्ड के लिए ली जा रही फीस 270 के हिसाब से टोटल राशि बनाई जाए तो वह 60,00,000 × 270 = 1,62,00,00,000  ( एक अरब बासठ करोड़ रुपए ) बनते हैं और यह राशि जवानों से अवैध रूप से वसूली जा रही है

             श्री मान जी राजनीतिक दल हमेशा इलेक्शन में भूतपूर्व सैनिकों को सहुलियतें देने के बड़े बड़े वायदे करते हैं लेकिन सरकार बनने के बाद किए हुए वायदे भूल जाते हैं श्री मान जी CSD और ECHS कार्डों को बार बार नए बनवाने के नाम पर जो ठगी चल रही है और जवानों को मानसिक रूप में परेशान किया जा रहा है श्री मान जी हमारी मांग है कि यह तत्काल बंद होना चाहिए और CSD  और  ECHS कार्डों की पालिसी में सुधार होना चाहिए ताकि जवानों को इंसाफ मिल सके

            इसके लिए आपके बहुत धन्यवादी होंगे
Copy to –
       MD ECHS
        IHQ of MOD (Army)
        New Delhi