Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Ex-servicemen take up One rank one pension Issue with Antony
Tribune News Service
A delegation of retired Army officers, led by Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa, called upon Defence Minister AK Antony and, besides various issues, discussed the implementation of one rank one pension (OROP) scheme with him.
While pointing out that even the Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence had validated the OROP, the delegation sought Antony's intervention for its early implementation.
Bajwa said the Armed Forces Tribunal, in the cases of Babu Ram Dhiman versus Union of India and Sohan Singh versus Union of India, had held that the grant of unequal pay in the same rank was a violation of the principles of equality enshrined in the Article 14 of the Constitution. The Tribunal ruled that the state could not lay down different criteria for grant of pension for the same rank of officers on the basis of cut-off date of retirement.
Stressing upon the need to do justice to ex-servicemen without comparing them with their civilian counterparts as the two were not comparable, be it in terms of service conditions or the risk that they face, Bajwa urged Antony to de-link the civilian pay from that of the personnel of the armed forces.
The ex-servicemen also sought establishment of a National Commission for Military Veteran Affairs on the lines of the Minority Commission as well as nomination of military veterans to the Rajya Sabha, treating widows at par with other military pensioners for the purpose of enhancement of pension and related issues, increasing quota for youth in armed forces from border districts, particularly in Punjab, ensuring equitable representation of ex-servicemen in all Central boards, corporations and PSU's and using the skills of ex-servicemen in training and raising battalions of national disaster relief and environment protection forces were other issues raised by the delegation.