Wednesday, December 29, 2010

IESM: Veteran Pension Stonewalled?

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
IESM letter of 28 Dec 10 is reproduced below.
While main reason for our demand for OROP is early retirement, there are many other reasons that other services should not be equated with the Defence Services.
1. Defence Services are the only one denied fundamental rights of a citizen. A serving soldier has no freedom to speech or to form any union.
2. As per the Constitution of India, Defence Services do not appear in the list of Government servants. So why others be compared with us?
3. There is no other service where a person joins knowing high risk to his/ her life.
The rate of casualties in the Defence Services is the highest, even when compared to BSF or other police forces.
4. Other than Defence Services, there is no other service which is not allowed to keep family in place of posting. The BSF and CRPF etc have family accommodation almost everywhere – except where facing the enemy across the border.
5. Defence Services are the only one which have quota for family accommodation even when posted to peace area.
6. Defence services get the least allowances when posted in difficult forward areas.
7. Defence Services are called to do duty of other services when those services fail to carry out their assigned task.
8. “Other services will also ask for OROP”, is a trick of Babus to bluff the political leaders.
9. Babus do not want to support us.
10. Political Leaders may have the desire to grant OROP but, they do not have the moral courage to overrule the Babus.
11. Lastly our three Chiefs – they do not wish to support - why???
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.

Dear Colleagues,
Some stray thinking.
While our apprehension on bureaucratic antipathy may be correct, from available information, the political leadership do not seem to be averse to our demand of OROP per se. Their only known and declared reluctance is on the grounds that if OROP were given to defence forces, it would provoke a similar demand from other government employees. In our perception this equation is not justified in view of our totally different service conditions; early retirement being the main one. The regime does realise that, but is still apprehensive of a similar demand emanating from others thus pushing up the pension bill beyond affordability. If this line of thinking is correct, then the government might relent if some kind of an alibi on this score were available to them.
Constitution of the AFGRC might perhaps serve the above purpose. Even though the stipulated charter of this Commission is recommendatory, it cannot be denied that in the manner the AFGRC is coming about, it carries the seal of SC approval. Therefore, should the AFGRC be convinced of OROP for defence forces and recommend it, it should reasonably be construed to have the legal nod of the SC. This would then remove ‘legal difficulty’ as one of the three hurdles repeatedly cited by the government in rejecting OROP. The other non-defence aspirants for OROP, if any, would be expected to follow a similar path, which as of now does not exist.
It may be noted that the government is certainly concerned about the ongoing struggle by the IESM, particularly the medal deposits. As is learnt, after our latest 28 Nov 2010 rally and visit to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, they showed anxiety and have reportedly tasked one of the retired VCOAS to examine the issue and make ameliorating recommendations.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Air Force Band entralls spectators

Air Force Band playing for the gather public at India Gate in New Delhi on December 26, 2010. Photo no.CNR - 35762

Monday, December 27, 2010

Britain honours WWII Havildar Lachhiman Gurung, VC

The Telegraph Monday 27 December 2010

Havildar Lachhiman Gurung, who died on December 12 aged 92, won the Victoria Cross while serving with the Gurkha Rifles in Burma in 1945; in recent years he had been a prominent figure in the campaign led by the actress Joanna Lumley to allow former Gurkhas to settle in Britain.

At the end of April 1945, the 89th Indian Brigade of 7th Division was ordered to cross the Irrawaddy and destroy the enemy north of the Prome-Taungup road. By May 9 the Japanese, after a series of desperate attacks, had broken off contact and were withdrawing towards the Taungdaw Valley. “B” and “C” companies of the 4th/8th Gurkha Rifles were positioned to block their route at the village of Taungdaw, on the west bank of the river.

When the Japanese arrived, the two Gurkha companies were surrounded and their lines of communication cut. On the night of May 12, Rifleman Gurung was manning the forward post of his platoon almost 100 yards ahead of the main company.

At 1.20am, more than 200 Japanese attacked the company position. The brunt of the assault fell on Gurung’s section and, in particular, on his post, which dominated a jungle track leading up to his platoon’s position. Had the enemy been able to overrun it and occupy Gurung’s trench, they would have secured control over the whole of the field before them.

One grenade fell on the lip of Gurung’s trench. He quickly grabbed it and hurled it back at the enemy. Almost immediately another grenade came over. This one fell directly inside the trench. Again Gurung snatched it up and threw it back.

A third grenade landed just in front of the trench. Gurung attempted to throw it back, but it exploded in his hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded and lay helpless in the bottom of the trench.

The enemy, screaming and yelling, now formed up shoulder to shoulder and attempted to rush the position by sheer weight of numbers. Gurung, regardless of his wounds, loaded and fired his rifle with his left hand and kept up a steady rate of fire.

The attacks came in wave after wave, but the Japanese were beaten back with heavy losses. For four hours Gurung remained alone at his post, calmly waiting for each new onslaught, firing into his attackers at point blank range, determined not to yield an inch of ground. His comrades could hear him shouting: “Come and fight a Gurkha!”

The following morning, of the 87 enemy dead found in the company’s immediate locality, 31 lay in front of Gurung’s section. The Japanese made repeated attempts to break through, but the 4th/8th held out until May 15, when they were relieved.

Gurung later said: “I had to fight because there was no other way. I felt I was going to die anyway, so I might as well die standing on my feet. All I knew was that I had to go on and hold them back. I am glad that helped the other soldiers in my platoon, but they would have all done the same thing.”

Gurung was invested with the Victoria Cross by Lord Louis Mountbatten at a parade at the Red Fort in Delhi on December 19 1945. The citation declared: “This Rifleman, by his magnificent example, so inspired his comrades to resist the enemy to the last that, although surrounded and cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack. His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds, were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy.” Partiman Gurung, Lachhiman’s father, then aged about 74, was carried for 11 days from his village in Nepal to witness his son being decorated.

Lachhiman Gurung was born on December 30 1917 at Dakhani village in the Tanhu district of Nepal. He enlisted in December 1940 and after completing basic training was recruited into the 8th Gurkha Rifles. Of small build (he stood just 4ft 11in tall), he was under the minimum height and would not have been accepted in peacetime.

After the action in which he won the Victoria Cross, Gurung was evacuated to hospital, but lost his right hand and the use of his right eye. He continued to serve with the 8th Gurkha Rifles but transferred to the Indian Army after Independence in 1947. He retired in the rank of havildar (the equivalent of sergeant) in the same year.

Gurung married soon afterwards and had two sons and a daughter. Later, after the death of his wife, he had two sons from a second marriage.

He farmed a two-acre plot and owned several buffalo, oxen, goats and cows. In 1995 the VC and GC Association provided the Gurkha Welfare Trust with £2,000 donated by the Armourers and Brasiers’ Livery Company, and these funds were used to build a new house for Gurung and his family near the Gurkha Welfare Centre at Chitwan.

In August 1995 Gurung was received at 10 Downing Street by the Prime Minister, John Major, who presented him with a cheque for £100,500 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

In 2008 Gurung became closely involved in the campaign to allow Gurkhas to settle in Britain. The British government had refused entry to the 2,000 Gurkhas who had retired before July 1997, the date when their base was moved to the UK from Hong Kong.

Five claimants — including a Falklands veteran, Lance-Corporal Gyanendra Rai; a Gulf War veteran, Birendra Man; and a Gurkha widow — launched a legal challenge, supported by Lachhiman Gurung and a fellow winner of the VC, Honorary Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun, then aged 87. Both men had been told that they would not be allowed to settle here because they had failed to “demonstrate strong ties” to the UK.

In the High Court in September 2008, however, Mr Justice Blake said that the policy should be reviewed, referring to the “Military Covenant undertaken by every British soldier by which, in return for their pledge to make the ultimate sacrifice, they are promised value and respect”. He added: “Rewarding distinguished service by the grant of residence in the country for which the service was performed would be a vindication of this covenant.” As the judge rose after his ruling, Gurkhas and their supporters shouted their battle cry “Ayo gorkhali”.

In May 2009 the government announced that all Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years’ service would be allowed to settle in Britain. Even as this victory was secured, however, Gurung was appealing to the Queen and the Prime Minister for his 20-year-old granddaughter, Amrita, who had been facing deportation, to be allowed to stay in Britain to care for him.

“I have paid a great price for Britain,” Gurung said, “but I do not complain as I love this country as much as I love my family. However, in my last days I ask Her Majesty the Queen to help by allowing my granddaughter to be with me and at my side.” The Home Office relented, and granted her permission to stay.

In 2008 Gurung had settled at Hounslow, to which he was formally welcomed at a ceremony led by the mayor and the council; he was later made a Freeman of the Borough. He attended many functions of the Nepalese communities in Hounslow and elsewhere, and was honorary vice-president of the Chiswick branch of the Royal British Legion. He had recently moved into the Chiswick War Memorial Homes.

Lachhiman Gurung attended this year’s Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Centotaph, and was also present at last month’s VC and GC Association reunion in the presence of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

One of Gurung’s sons subsequently became an officer in the 8th Gurkha Rifles. His second wife, Manmaya, survives him with his five children.
Havildar Lachhiman Gurung, VC

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Perceptions from the Golden Jubilee Reunion at IMA

Am forwarding the following perceptions written by an officer from our course. It is well worth a read.
I've learned that you can keep going long after you can't. Have Wonderful and Happy Days Ahead….
Brig VA Subramanyam (Retd)

Hullo All,
We, the passing-out Course of autumn term 1960, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of our commissioning from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun on the 14th and 15th of this month. Amidst the back-slapping display of reuniting camaraderie there were three touching events.
First, the solemn wreath laying ceremony at the Academy’s War Memorial where we observed a two minute silence twice – one, for all those who having passed through the portals of the Academy, laid down their lives for the Nation; next, for our course-mates who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting the enemy.
The second ceremony was the singing of the Academy song in the Auditorium by the Gentlemen Cadets when we all stood to attention charged with patriotic fervour; the song has drawn inspiration from Bankim Chatterjee’s Vande Mataram and is composed in the words of Javed Akhtar with emphasis on the soldier’s commitment to fight for Mother India.
The third was the ceremony during the Course Dinner in which we presented the Commandant with a silver bust of Capt Vikram Batra who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his supreme gallantry in the Kargil war; the Commandant assured us that the bust would be displayed prominently in the Gentleman Cadet’s Mess which has also been named after Capt Vikram Batra.
The Chetwode Hall of the country’s ‘safety and honour first’ fame had on display Gen Niazi’s pistol – symbol of his surrender of all Pakistani troops in erstwhile East Pakistan to Indian Forces. For two days we were transported to a different India untainted by corruption. It is an atmosphere that pervades the Military Academies and the Army’s fighting regiments and battalions where it is an honour and duty to fight for Mother India and give of oneself for her sustenance to the last drop of blood if need be.
Thereafter we are back to the other India where Money, to meet the demands of insatiable greed, is desired beyond one’s needs to keep body and soul happily together. The businessman-bureaucrat-politician-criminal nexus is sucking the Nation dry and has roped in the other elements of Society like the Police, Media and Judiciary and most importantly, the common man. Conversely, one may propose that it is the common man in India, who with his readiness to offer and receive bribes, created and supported this ugly nexus.
It is a time for serious concern, for now, even some in the Military’s top leadership seem to have been infected by the virus of insatiable greed. Officers and men in regiments and battalions offer their unconditional faith and trust to their senior commanders; when that faith and trust are betrayed they shall not fight to the finish. If that happens, India will be doomed. It is time for the common Indian to rise above his greed.
Regards – Suresh

Soldiers live forever

Dear Friends,
Loneliness faced by our soldiers while protecting the Nation is poignantly reflected in a poem written by a soldier is circulated herewith. Please circulate the same to the maximum possible.
With Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
Poem: The Soldier's Christmas- Summary of eRumor:
A poem said to have been written by a soldier stationed in Okinawa, Japan. It describes a visit by Santa to a simple home occupied by a solider.
The Truth:
This poem has been popular on the Internet for several years and occasionally makes a fresh appearance when there is a fresh attitude of support for the armed forces. There are several versions and several different names listed with them as author. The name most often associated with the poem is is that of Air Force Lt. Col Bruce W. Lovely. He says that he wrote it in 1993 while stationed In Korea. An article on says the poem was actually written by Corporal James M. Schmidt, described as a former U.S. Marine Scout-sniper and that is was published in LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE in December of 1991, two years before Lt. Col Lovely claims to have written it.
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:




















This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....
PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.
Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.
Poem: The Soldier's Christmas

Thanks- Happy Two Eleven!
From the womb of time,
Emerges another manmade
New Year
We want to be happy,
As towards our ends we near,
That’s an irony,
None can see,
But as we approach
The door of eternity,
We seek solace comfort and dignity,
That we leave behind a legacy
Of brotherhood,
Hoping in future
There’ll be lesser corruption,
In the hands of youth,
Yet to seed a plantation
Of human beings,
We did seed,
As someone had us known,
As their progeny,
We pass on the same
To a generation,
Whom we hope in deeper veneration,
Shall seed better tomorrows?
And let joys surpass
All yesterdays and today’s sorrows,
As we live on borrowed time,
Some come early and pass away,
Tomorrow we shan’t also stay.

So till then let me once again,
Wish my brethren
A Happier Two Eleven.
Colls glory is as ever before,
Be not mistaken,
Love of humanity now,
Than then, is much more
As ever, ever before

Col S K Kohli (Retd), Canada

Adarsh case: Babus deflect, delay and evade disciplinary action

Adarsh case: Pressure on Maha govt to initiate action against babus
Sanjay Jog / Mumbai December 25, 2010, 0:15 IST
Pressure is mounting on the Maharashtra government to take action against bureaucrats and officials for their alleged involvement in the Adarsh society scam.

Ministers in the Prithviraj Chavan-led led cabinet got a shot in their arm following the Bombay High Court observation that everyone who cleared the files was gifted a flat. The Shiv Sena has also stepped up its demand for action against officials.

Chief Minister Chavan has already announced a probe under the Commission of Inquiry Act into the Adarsh scam and the Central Bureau of Investigations and the Army are carrying out independent inquiries.

However, the government is yet to appoint the two-member commission comprising a retired judge of the Supreme Court or the Bombay High Court and a retired official of the rank of chief secretary. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has announced that the bureaucrats and officials will face action and they will not be spared.

Preliminary findings have revealed that senior defence personnel, bureaucrats and politicians had allegedly formed a nexus to get flats in the building meant for the widows of Kargil war heroes.

The government has sent notices to 12 top bureaucrats, who own flats in the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, asking them to respond to allegations of a breach of conduct of civil service rules.

The bureaucrats who have been issued notices include former BMC chief Jairaj Phatak, former urban development secretary and the incumbent information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, former urban development deputy secretary PV Deshmukh, former chief secretary DK Shankaran, former agriculture secretary Shivajirao Deshmukh and Human Rights Commission member Subhash Lala.

Sons and daughters of all the officials have a flat at Adarsh. Some of the officers have already sent their replies to the government. At least five bureaucrats, who were contacted, declined to comment on the issue.

A senior Congress minister, requesting anonymity, told Business Standard: “It is ironical that Ashok Chavan had to step down as the chief minister in the wake of the expose on the Adarsh scam. His mistake was that three of his relatives have flats in the Adarsh society. However, it is disappointing that despite Bombay High Court’s snub, the government has not taken action against the concerned bureaucrats and officials.”

“To begin with, Tiwari and Lala must immediately be removed from their present posts and severe action against them should be initiated under the civil services rules,” he said.

Currently, the high court is hearing a petition filed by the members of Adarsh society challenging the suspension of occupational certificates and the decision to disconnect water and power supplies to the building.
Adarsh case: Pressure on Maha govt to initiate action against babus

Onion prices soar as scamsters frolic

24/12/2010 The week that was
Week@glance was dominated by the whole country crying hoarse when prices of onions, tomatoes and garlic hit the roof. The government woke up late from its slumber and Pawar was caught on the wrong foot. This week was also dominated by CBI raids in the residences of A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi and Nira Radia — the scamsters of 2010. N D Tiwari has been asked to take a DNA test, while veteran Congress leader K Karunakaran passed away. All this and more...

When the govt was in a veg soup

Onions, tomatoes and garlic dominated the week that started on Dec 20. Onion prices touched a record Rs 90 (in contrast- price in USA- less than 90 Cents- Rs 45/- per Kg) in major markets, sending the government into a tizzy. Garlic and tomatoes followed the onion's race to pinch the pockets of the aam admi even as the opposition and the public hauled the government over the coals. The government stopped the exports, but the action came a bit too late. The government, however, remained clueless about surging trend in tomato given that the Agriculture Ministry has not received any reports of damages from any part of the country.
The week that was

Real Idea of India

Fri, 24 December, 2010 10:45:45 AM
Subject: Real Idea of India - From Anand, Office of Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament
Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament shares a photograph of a brilliant and extremely thoughtful signpost put up by the Indian Army that captures the essence of being an Indian. The photograph speaks volumes about Indian Army and the Real Idea of India.
Visit Rajeev web page: click here
Will be grateful to your feedback.
Mr. Chandrasekhar extends his Best Wishes for the Season and for the coming New Year.
Best Regards
Principal - Public Affairs,
Office of Rajeev Chandrasekhar,
Member of Parliament

Netaji Subhash Memorial Lecture on 24 Jan 2011

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
An open invitation to all Military Veterans and their families, received from Netaji Subhash Chander Bose Trust, is reproduced below.
Those of you, who wish to attend the function, should kindly forward their names to Brig RS Chhikara, at
I have attended the functions organised by the Trust many times. The quality of lectures and the general administration is of a very high order.
The Metro Station nearest to the location of FICCI Auditorium is “Mandi House” - an easy walking distance. “Mandi House” Metro Station is on the Metro Line going from Noida to Dwarka (via Connaught Place). Do find time to attend it.
You are sure to like it.
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.
PS – Kindly give wide publicity to the contents of this email among the veterans living in NCR.
5th Netaji Subhash Memorial Lecture on 24 Jan 2011
Dear Chander,
The fifth Netaji Subhash Memorial Lecture is being organised at FICCI Auditorium, Tansen Marg, New Delhi from 2-30 to 4-30 PM on Monday the 24th January 2011.
The theme for this year is 'Nation Building Since 1947' - Achievements and Challenges.
Speakers are expected to cover four major aspects of nation building:
  • Our Democracy and State of the Polity.
  • National Integrity - Societal cohesion, Security and Defence of our vital National interests within and abroad.
  • State of Governance and Corruption.
  • Readying our youth to face challenges ahead.
    All members of IESM are Cordially invited. Those who insist on invitation cards may please send me their address & Email ID.
    You may please circulate as widely as possible on your own and associated networks. The Netaji Subhash Chander Trust will be very happy if ladies also can grace the occasion.
    My mail IDs are netajisubhashvision(at), and
    Brig RS Chhikara
    Secy General
    Netaji Subash Chander Trust
  • Newsletter from Veekay

    Dear Friends,
    Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year. My newsletter click here.
    Vinay and Kumud Singh

    Extracts from Veekay Newsletter 2010
    The year is coming to an end and it is time for the annual ritual of connecting with friends, acquaintances, comrades and colleagues. I do not recall the last time I sent a New Year's card or a hand written letter. Ever since we started using e-mail, letters have become passé. Until a few years ago, very few people had a computer and one had to write a letter. The advent of mobile telephony has put paid to the art of letter writing altogether. What a pity. I have begun to relish the advantages of being a senior citizen. One can buy rail tickets at a 30% discount. (Women get 50%, but Kumud is still to qualify. Even when she does, I think she would rather pay the full fare than be classified as a senior citizen!). Youngsters, especially girls, sometimes offer you a seat in the Metro. Shopkeepers, parking attendants and handymen address you as uncle, though hardly anyone calls Kumud an auntie, and woe betide anybody who dares...

    There is little change in our routine. I go to the gym in the DSOI, which is a stone’s throw from my house, at 0645, returning at 0745 or so. Kumud goes at 0830 and returns only when the gym closes at 1000. By this time I have gone through my newspapers, had my bath and my breakfast and am ready to leave for Signals Enclave, where the Corps History Cell is located. On the days I have a hearing in Tis Hazari or the High Court, I have to give the gym amiss. The Ansal Plaza is next door and Kumud does not miss a movie. She is usually accompanied by my daughter in law or one of her gym buddies. They go for the morning show, when the children are at school and the tickets are cheaper. Twice a week, I too get a chance to go to the mall – it has a Reliance Fresh outlet and buying vegetables is one of the chores entrusted to me.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    Air Force Bands to Perform at India Gate on Sunday

    Saturday, December 25, 2010 Ministry of Defence
    PIB 17:39 IST

    A 30-member IAF Band will enthrall audiences and visitors to Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate on Sunday, December 26. With a combination of Jazz and Military Brass musical instruments, the air warriors will play western, Indian classical, martial, patriotic and popular Hindi tunes during a ninety-minute performance. The free display will commence at 4 p.m. TKS/-
    Air Force Bands to Perform at India Gate on Sunday

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Seasons Greetings

    PM Greets The Nation on Christmas
    PIB 18:49 IST
    The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has greeted the nation on the joyous occasion of Christmas.
    In a message Dr. Singh said that Christmas is a celebration of the spirit of brotherhood and an opportunity to spread joy and share happiness. The festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ underlines the need to follow the ideals of sacrifice, service, redemption and love and compassion. May the festival usher in peace, prosperity and happiness to all, the Prime Minister added.
    PM Greets The Nation on Christmas

    Seasons Greetings
    Wishing all Readers a Merry Christmas and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR & ALL the VERY BEST of EVERYTHING in '2011'.
    May the NEW YEAR bring all the HAPPINESS for EVERYONE - Particularly the Soldiers of our Nation - both Serving & Veterans.
    Report My Signal
    Blog Team

    जूनियर कमीशन अफसर इंदिरा गांधी ओपन यूनिवर्सिटी द्वारा एक विश्वविद्यालय की डिग्री से सम्मानित

    एक जूनियर कमीशंड अधिकारी होने के लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल वी के चतुर्वेदी, एवीएसएम, एसएम, महानिदेशक (जनशक्ति एवं कार्मिक सेवा) और श्री वी.एन. से एक डिग्री से सम्मानित राजशेखरन, इग्नू के कुलपति, 23 दिसंबर, 2010 को नई दिल्ली में एक समारोह में दीक्षांत समारोह
    A Junior Commissioned Officer being conferred a degree by the Lt Gen VK Chaturvedi, AVSM, SM, Director General (Manpower & Personnel Service) and Shri V.N. Rajasekharan Pillal, Vice Chancellor Ignou, at a convocation function in New Delhi on December 23, 2010. Photo no.CNR - 35736 PIB

    Consumers Rights and Responsibilities

    PIB 3:43 IST Dr. Sheetal Kapoor
    24th December is an important day in the history of consumer movement in India as on this day the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 came into existence. Consumer Protection Act is considered as the Magna Carta for protecting consumer rights through establishment of advisory and adjudication authorities. This year the theme proposed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is “Consumers! Discharge your Responsibilities: Assert your Rights” which clearly means ‘there cannot be rights without responsibilities’.

    Consumer Rights under Consumer Protection Act
    Section 6 of the Consumer Protection Act clearly mentions the six rights available to the consumers. These are:
  • Right to Safety: To be protected against the sale of goods and services, which are spurious/ hazardous to life and property.
  • Right to information: To know the quality, quantity, weight and the price of goods/services being paid for, so that one is not cheated by unfair trade practices.
  • Right to Choose: To be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
  • Right to be heard: To be heard and to be assured that the interest would receive due consideration at appropriate fora.
  • Right to Seek Redressal: To seek legal redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.
  • Right to Consumer Education: To have access to consumer education.

    Gandhiji in the light of the above rightly said “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work - he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve him.”

    Having examined the consumer rights and the purpose served by them, it is necessary to consider whether consumers should also be responsible enough to be entitled to exercise their rights. For instance, to be able to exercise their right to be heard, consumers should avail of the opportunities to know and be informed about consumer problems. To exercise their right to seek redressal of complaints, consumers must take all precautions to choose the right goods at the right price and learn how to use the products to prevent injury or loss. Some of the consumer problems can be avoided if we act responsibly.

    Before Buying
    As a responsible consumer we should plan our purchases in advance so that we get the right value for our money. We should try to enquire about the past performance of a product/ service and also try to find out the reputation of the producer/ seller/ service provider. Thus, self-help is the biggest tool in the hands of the consumers and they should make an informed choice. In this regard we can make use of comparative testing reports as published by voluntary consumer organizations such as, Voice and CERC for getting reliable and unbiased information about various brands which have been tested at various government approved laboratories.

    While Buying
    Consumers should collect information from various dealers regarding price and quality before purchasing products such as, cars, refrigerators, computers, etc. The proof of purchase and documents relating to purchase of durable goods should be obtained and preserved. It is important to get a cash memo with serial number, address and phone number to register a complaint, in a consumer courts, regarding defective product or deficiency in service. Similarly, durable consumer goods like TV, refrigerator, etc. carry warranty /guarantee cards issued by the dealers. The cards entitle the consumers to get the service for repairs and replacement of parts free of cost for a certain period after the purchase. Consumers should never sign a contract without first reading it. They should never sign a blank contract that a salesperson says will be completed later. If there is anything they do not understand, they can insist that it should be explained to them.

    After Purchase
    It is the responsibility of the consumer to use the product as per instructions given in the user manual. Further receipts, guarantee cards, terms of contract (photocopies), should be kept safely. In case of fault the dealer or the service center should be informed. Consumers should not meddle with the products themselves and should keep records for all correspondences and file them. Some consumers, especially during the guarantee period, make rough use of the product, thinking that it will be replaced during the guarantee period. This is not fair on their part. They should always use the products properly.

    Besides the above responsibilities, consumers should be conscious of some other responsibilities. They should stick to the agreement made with manufacturers, traders and service providers. They should make timely payment in case of credit purchases. They should remember that they can exercise their rights only when they are willing to fulfill their responsibilities. As a dutiful consumer we should reduce waste, reuse and recycle products and think in terms of sustainable consumption. Thus, on the National Consumer Day we should be proud that we have rights but also should discharge our responsibilities. (PIB Features)
    *Associate Professor, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi
    Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of PIB. RTS/VN
    “Consumers! Discharge your Responsibilities : Assert your Rights”
  • पूर्व सैनिकों संसद के पास 'एक रैंक एक पेंशन' के लिए विरोध प्रदर्शन करेंगे

    जालंधर | शनिवार, 4 दिसम्बर 2010 नई दिल्ली
    भारतीय पूर्व सेवाएं लीग (IESL) ने आज केंद्र को एक अल्टीमेटम सेवा की है कि लाखों में पूर्व सैनिकों संसद gherao अगर होगा 'एक रैंक एक पेंशन' के लिए उनकी मांग 18 अगले साल फरवरी तक स्वीकार नहीं था.
    यहां पत्रकारों से बातचीत में Bhag सिंह, पंजाब और चंडीगढ़ IESLs अध्याय के अध्यक्ष ने कहा IESL 40 से 'एक रैंक एक पेंशन 30 ' जबकि के आंशिक सफलता हासिल की थी फीसदी मामलों अभी तक कर रहे थे बसे हो.
    उन्होंने कहा कि लीग रक्षा मंत्री, राज्य मंत्री के अलावा रक्षा के लिए राष्ट्रपति के साथ 2009 के दौरान, लेकिन कोई लाभ उठाने के लिए बातचीत की थी. 21 अक्तूबर को, रक्षा राज्य मंत्री लीग जहां वह फिर से लीग के सदस्यों के साथ अलग से बातचीत द्वारा आयोजित सम्मेलन में भाग लिया.
    उन्होंने कहा कि 'एक रैंक एक पेंशन' की मंजूरी पहले ही इस वर्ष 15 अगस्त को उसके ऐतिहासिक लाल किले से भाषण के दौरान किया गया था प्रधानमंत्री द्वारा दिए गए.
    कर्नल सिंह ने आरोप लगाया कि सरकार अभी भी छुपाने और सेवारत और सेवानिवृत्त सेना व्यक्तियों के साथ की तलाश का खेल खेल रहा था. उन्होंने कहा कि देश सशस्त्र बलों की कीमत पर युद्ध और शांति के दौरान दोनों जीवित थे. उन्होंने कहा जब सरकार दी 'एक रैंक एक पेंशन' की थी और अन्य आईएएस कैडर तो क्यों सशस्त्र बलों की सुविधा से वंचित थे.
    पूर्व सैनिकों संसद के पास 'एक रैंक एक पेंशन' के लिए विरोध प्रदर्शन करेंगे

    Toilet mafia threatens war hero

    Delhi: Toilet mafia threatens war hero as reported by Abhishek Anand in on 23 December 2010

    War hero Udaybhan Singh threatened by Toilet Mafia- pic/mid day

    He fought and defeated Pakistan in 1965. Now 68-year-old Udaybhan Singh alleges he is in danger after filing an RTI plea on illegal charges at public conveniences in Delhi

    The battleground has changed. In 1965, Udaybhan Singh, then a part of the Agra regiment, took the Pak army head on. Now the 68-year-old, who has turned an RTI activist, is waging a lone crusade against enemies closer to home. It all began when Singh went to a public toilet run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

    Soldiering on: Udaybhan Singh says a woman visited him with her husband and threatened she would implicate him in a false case if he didn't mend his ways. According to the civic agency the lavatories are free for public. But Singh discovered that the person sitting at the gate was charging between two and five rupees a person.

    "I visited almost all the MCD toilets in the area and found that a gang was at work, making money from the public conveniences. The person sitting on a chair outside charged every person two rupees for urinating and five rupees for defecating.

    I filed a RTI on 26th of August, about the operating system of the MCD. But the civic agency replied that all the toilets are free for public. I saw with my own eyes that sweepers of MCD do not clean the toilets but the agency replied on the 3rd of November that designated employees clean the toilets on a regular basis," said Udaybhan Singh. MiD DAY has a copy of the RTI.

    But as soon as he started his campaign, Udaybhan started receiving threats from the toilet mafia. He was asked to stay away from their business or face consequences.

    "I was surprised when the toilet mafia of the area got information about me and the RTI and started threatening me. They warned me of dire consequences if I meddled in their affairs. I intimated the local police immediately on the 12th of October.

    But cops didn't take any action on the complaint. Again on November 13, a lady came to my house with her husband and threatened me to stay away or she would falsely implicate me in a case. Without delay I again complained at the Govindpuri police station the next day. But no one took my case seriously," Udaybhan added. Udaybhan is now planning to complain about the situation to higher authorities. Cops confirmed that Udaybhan had complained about the threats but refused to comment further on the issue.

    55% of Indians still defecate in the open which costs the nation Rs 12 billion due to poor sanitation and related illnesses. Number of people who have no access to toilets, globally is 1100 million (According to a WHO-UNICEF report)
    Toilet mafia threatens war hero

    Vijay Diwas- Report from various cities

    Click here to read report from various cities
    Vijay Diwas is commemorated every 16 December in India as it marks the decisive military victory over Arch-rival Pakistan achieved on 16 December, 1971. The anniversary of Vijay Divas is observed across India by paying rich tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the nation. Most important celebration is held in nation's capital New Delhi where Defense Minister and head of all three wings of the armed forces pays homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.

    BANGALORE: Thursday is Vijay Diwas. The National Military Memorial (NMM) park in the Indira Gandhi musical park premises originally scheduled to be completed by this day is still under construction. Though work is going on at a brisk pace, the memorial will be delayed by atleast a month. Which means it will not be ready even by Republic Day, the second deadline. Work on this Rs 15-cr memorial park started in August first week. More than a month was lost on legal issues. When work resumed, rainy days followed.

    "There is some delay due to the rains. The pits dug up for the underground motivation hall were inundated. It's a nine-month contract that's on till May, 2011. But we had planned to finish it by January 26. But now, it might extend to February end,'' a BDA engineer told TOI. According to BDA estimates, 30% of the project is completed.

    "We are sure not happy with the delay. We still hope to dedicate the memorial to the martyrs and their families on the Republic Day,'' Rajeev Chandrasekhar, chairman, National Military Memorial Committee, said.
    Read more: The Times of India War memorial may open only after R-Day

    Malfeasance in the Military

    The Tribune Wednesday, December 22, 2010, Chandigarh, India
    Malfeasance in the military: It can be relied upon to apply the correctives
    by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (Retd)

    For some time the military has been much in the news for almost all the wrong reasons. With the increasing number of scandals and scams being reported by the media, one cannot help but suffer the sinking feeling that the Indian military, too, along with almost every other constituent of the government is on the downward slide. Some may argue that the military can be no other than a mirror image of society from which it draws its manpower. Even so the ethos, the sense of honour and discipline in the military make it apart from society at large and as such can be relied upon to apply the correctives and stay on course.

    It may be instructive to put in the right perspective some of the scams which have in the recent past drawn attention of the media and seem to tarnish the military’s fair image. Take the case of Sukna scandal. It relates to the issue of the No-Objection Certificate ( NOC ) to a private party for building a school on a piece of land outside the cantonment (not Army land). This NOC contravened a law that no civil construction can be allowed within 1000 yards of the cantonment boundary, but there has to be a notification to that end by the civil authority. In this case,there was no notification. Even so, the NOC issue was taken as an improper act and disciplinary action initiated against the officers concerned, including three general-rank officers.

    In the Tehelka episode, one senior officer was put behind the bars and the career of another general came to an end for merely accepting dinner from a Tehelka team. Some others suffered various degrees of punishment. As against this, those from the Ministry of Defence and involved in the case are yet to be punished. The additional secretary who accepted a gold chain from the Tehelka team was soon promoted. One defence secretary charge-sheeted in the Bofors case, instead of facing proceedings against him, was given the assignment of a Lt-Governor, placing him outside the reach of the long arm of the law. Another defence secretary was indicted by the Delhi High Court for altering the annual confidential report (an official document) of an air force officer. He was merely shifted to another ministry. Then there was the case of a defence secretary who on his own went ahead and entered into a dubious deal for the purchase of one lakh rifles for the Army for which no ammunition was available in the world market. Nothing happened against him. It would be interesting to note that none of these cases were brought to light by any internal mechanism of the Ministry of Defence. This was done by outside agencies.

    In the case of some other scandals and fake encounters by Army men, which have been in public domain, action was taken and those involved were arrested, including a few senior-level officers, while some others were given a range of punishments. A number of cases reported later have not seen timely disposal, as the officers concerned have been seeking relief from civil courts, resulting in delays. They may be able to buy time, but in no way will they escape the wrath of the military law.

    In the high-voltage case relating to the Adarsh Housing Society flats in Mumbai, the malfeasance is far more serious than the Sukna scam. In this particular case, the land (named Khukhri Park) was given to the Army by the civil administration a few decades earlier in exchange for some land of the Army elsewhere, taken by the civil administration to make a bypass, etc. Since this land was given to the Army, in the first place it should have come on the land records of the Defence Estates Department (a department of the MoD). This was obviously not done and the land remained on the records of the civil administration, though ipso facto the land belonged to the military and was in its possession. There is no provision under which this piece of land could be given to anybody, even to Kargil widows/heroes, without sanction from the Union Cabinet in Delhi. Putting the label of “Kargil war widows/heroes” on the Adarsh Housing Society appears to have been a later-day innovation.

    It was the implied ambiguity in the ownership of the land which was exploited by RC Thakur, a functionary in the Defence Estates Office ( DEO ) at Mumbai. Though the military was the de-facto and de-jure owner of this land, slip-up, intentional or otherwise by the Defence Estates office, in not taking it on its records was of little consequence. While the military land records are maintained by the Defence Estate Office, it is the Army Commander who is the custodian of all kinds of military land within his command.

    The sub-area commander of the military station at Colaba (who later came back as area commander after an NDC course), the subsequent area commanders and some others most shamefully collaborated in this nefarious scheme. They also roped in some of their greedy seniors. Not to be left out, those in the politico-bureaucratic set-up who were to give various clearances for the project picked up slices of the cake for themselves, friends and relatives. Eventually they formed the majority. Some others who could and were equally desperate for that piece of cake too joined in. Since this building was originally meant to have only six floors, its foundation would have been laid to cater to that requirement. Therefore, how could the building with the same foundation be raised to 30/31 floors? The mischief runs deeper.

    From the large number of cases that have been brought to light, the impression seems to prevail that the military, too, has gone under. With officer-strength of over 35,000, even dozens of cases should not cause any alarm. The environment in the country is conducive to corruption, and an increasing number of Army men are not able to resist the temptation. It would be interesting to note that only the military organisations that come in contact or deal with the civilian contractors and wheeler-dealers of civil organisations are affected by the corroding influence of corruption. All the others in the military abide by high standards of integrity and honesty.

    Therefore, it would be seen that it is the military’s own internal mechanism which invariably brought these cases to light and then proceedings were launched against the suspects. One can be certain that in the Adarsh Housing Society case, too, those whose actions are still governed by the military law (military law continues to operate in the case of an individual up to two years after retirement ) will face the military’s music.

    While the military can be relied upon to routinely deal with the rot that seems to be creeping into its system, more vigorous and determined efforts will have to be made by the top brass to dig out every suspected case of corruption and misconduct and promptly dealt with. The exaggerated notion of scale and scope of privileges which supposedly go with higher ranks needs to be curbed. The present Army Chief is known for high integrity, probity and moral values and will surely clean up the Augean stables.
    The writer is a retired Deputy Chief of the Army Staff.
    Malfeasance in the military

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Do Military Welfare Organisations come under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act?

    Impact of Consumer Protection Act becoming Perceptible: Prof. Thomas
    Thursday, December 23, 2010 17:33 IST
    The impact of Consumer Protection Act is now perceptible in the operations of providers of goods and services. This was stated by Prof. K.V. Thomas, Minister of State for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution while inaugurating the National Consumer Day function here today.

    The Minister said “In the Government and Public Sector we now see several Regulators, Ombudsman and grievance redressal mechanism in place, we can also discern the operation of consumer grievance redressal system in the private sector. This, to my view, is due to the proactive approach adopted in the Consumer Protection Act, by bringing the consumer rights in the forefront.”

    Prof. Thomas said, “In India it is not the legislative measures that are lacking in providing the consumer with the mechanism or the enabling environment for protecting their rights. The challenge is in the strengthening of the administrative mechanism in implementing such measures. This can be achieved by striking a balance between the health of the economy and that of the consumers.” He said, the responsibility lies on the stakeholders, in particular the government and VCOs to crate awareness about the existence of the redressal mechanism and laws protecting consumer interests. This will not only empower the consumers, but also smoothen the process of policy implementation, the Minister stressed.

    On the consumer responsibility which is this year’s theme of National Consumer Day, The Minister said that introduction of consumer responsibility should have a salutary impact on the growing market economy in India as well as on its environment. Prof. Thomas asked the higher income groups to work towards environment protection as they are in a good position to influence the other sections of the population.

    Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Shri Rajiv Agarwal in his address stressed on the need for concerted efforts by all the stakeholders for educating the consumers. He said, Government has taken up a number of activities and schemes for creating consumer awareness in the country. The ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ slogan is now well known for informing the common man of his rights as consumer.

    President, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mr. Justice Ashok Bhan, in his key note address, said that it is possible to bring down the pendency of consumer dispute cases to zero level if proper infrastructure and logistical support is provided to dispute redressal machinery. MP:SB:CP: consumer day (23.12.2010)
    Impact of Consumer Protection Act becoming Perceptible: Prof. Thomas
    Question: Do Military Welfare Organisations (like AWHO, AWES, CSD, AWWA etc) come under the purview of Consumer Protection Act?

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    IESL serves ultimatum to centre

    Ex-servicemen to gherao Parliament for "One Rank One Pension".
    Jalandhar | Saturday, Dec 4 2010 IST

    Indian Ex-Services League (IESL) today served an ultimatum to the Centre that ex-servicemen in lakhs will gherao Parliament if their demand for 'One Rank One Pension' was not accepted by February 18 next year.

    Interacting with mediapersons here, Bhag Singh, president of the IESLs Punjab and Chandigarh chapter, said the IESL had achieved partial success of 'One Rank One Pension' whereas 30 to 40 per cent cases were yet to be settled.

    He said the league had interacted with the Defence Minister, Minister of State for Defence besides the President during 2009 but to no avail. On October 21, the Minister of State for Defence attended a conference organised by the league where he again interacted separately with the league members.

    He said 'One Rank One Pension' nod had already been given by the Prime Minister during his speech from the historical Red Fort on August 15 this year.

    Col Singh alleged that the government was still playing the game of hide and seek with the serving and retired army persons. He said the country was surviving at the cost of Armed Forces both during war and peace. He asked when the government had given 'One Rank One Pension' to IAS and other cadres then why the armed forces were denied the facility. -- (UNI) -- 04DR67.xml
    Ex-servicemen to gherao Parliament for'One Rank One Pension'

    Ex-airmen seek one-rank one-pension
    by Special Correspondent, The Hindu
    Association for constituting panel to look into grievances
    Demands free site for poor ex-servicemen
    Coimbatore: The Tamil Nadu Ex-Airmen Welfare Association has urged the Centre to implement the system of one-rank-one pension. In a release, the ex-Airmen Association said that a resolution to the effect was passed at a general body meeting held here recently.
    Property tax
    Another resolution urged for constituting committees comprising Defence Minister and Chiefs of the three Armed Forces to regularly look into their grievances. The association also urged the State Government to exempt them from paying professional and property tax as it was done in the neighbouring States. They also sought free house site for poor ex-servicemen.
    The following have been elected as office-bearers of the Association for a year at the meeting: S. Nithyanandan (President), G.E. Meyer and V. Subramanian (Vice-Presidents), G. Sankaran (General Secretary), C.K. Durairaj and M. Mallikarjuna (Joint Secretaries), K. Durairaj (Treasurer), K. Jagadeesan (Legal Advisor).
    Ex Airmen seek One Rank One Pension

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Alumni of National Defence Academy wins Prestigious Alexander Graham Bell Medal

    Honour for Ex- naval Officer of India, Cmde Arogyaswami Paulraj (Retd)
    Dr Arogyaswami Paulraj received 2011 IEEE Alexander Bell Graham Bell Medal. It is IEEE's most prestigious medal, and given mainly to pioneers/ fathers of major telecom and networking technologies- internet, ethernet, DSL, cellular phones, satellite Communication, are some examples. Recognized as the highest recognition in the world for pioneers in telecom technology. A first for India- The first Indian of course- Proud Alumni of National Defence Academy, Pune.

    Broadcom congratulates Dr. Arogyaswami Paulraj
    "As a community of engineers, we at Broadcom are delighted and honored by the IEEE's selection of Dr. Paulraj for the Bell Medal," said Dr. Henry Samueli, Broadcom's co-founder and Chief Technical Officer. "This is an outstanding achievement, and all of us at Broadcom extend our collective congratulations to him, his family and all of his colleagues who have had the pleasure to work with Dr. Paulraj over the years." Dr. Paulraj, a co-founder of Beceem Communications Inc., which Broadcom acquired last month, is a pioneer in MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) wireless technology, which relies on multiple radio antennas as both the transmitter and receiver to improve communications performance. An emeritus professor at Stanford University, where he supervises the Smart Antennas Research Group, Dr. Paulraj will continue as a senior technical advisor to Broadcom.

    Citation: Alexander Graham Bell Medal
    "For poineering contributions to application of multiantenna technology to wireless communications systems."
    Citation Letter: Click here

    He has also won more than a dozen national awards in India, including the Padma Bhushan in 2010, one of India's highest civilian awards. He serves on several company advisory boards, university councils, and government committees in the U.S. and India.

    Paulraj's career in India included development of military sonar systems (1971-82) for the Indian Navy (NDA Alumni), massively parallel computers (1987-91), and the founding three national level laboratories -- Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Center for Advanced Computing, and Central Research Laboratories (1986-91). He has received over a dozen national awards in India for his contributions and is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering.
    Read more
    Naval Officer is Padma Bhusan Awardee 2010

    Corps of Signals Connection: Prof A Paulraj is son in law of Late Brig RA Rajan (ex CO of 11 Corps Sig Regt)

    2G Scam: No one will be spared- Manmohan

    New Delhi: On the second day of the Congress' plenary session – a meet that has become the occasion for earnest soul-searching as well as an attempt to exorcise the demon of corruption plaguing the party -- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the lead in his speech on Monday and said he is ready to appear before the Public Accounts Committee on the 2G spectrum scam, stating emphatically that he “has nothing to hide”.

    The Prime Minister was addressing the Congress plenary in Burari on Monday. While he exhorted partymen and office-bearers on the need to show integrity and to be honest, Singh also dared the Opposition by categorically rejecting its demand for a joint parliamentary probe (JPC) in the spectrum allocation.

    He said: "All aspects of the 2G spectrum allocation are being probed. No purpose will be served by a JPC as a multi-agency probe is underway into the spectrum allocation."

    He added: "I am ready to appear before the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament on this issue although there is no such precedent. I have nothing to hide."

    He said the PAC has all powers which can be given to the JPC. He said the BJP has "falsely propagated" the government does not want a JPC because it does not want the Prime Minister to appear before it.

    "I believe like Caesar's wife, the PM should be above suspicion," he said.

    Singh firmly said no "guilty person will be spared in the 2G spectrum and CWG scams" irrespective of which party he belongs to.

    He also said the government will pay careful attention to the four-point agenda to fight corruption set out by Sonia Gandhi.

    The Congress, embattled in a fight against allegations of financial irregularities by its ministers and senior leaders, needed both Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh to come out with statements that would emphasise its intent to fight corruption.

    A united Opposition has already ruined an entire session of Parliament on its demand for a JPC probe into 2G. The Opposition has also demanded the Prime Minister appear before the JPC and explain what went wrong in the spectrum allocation.

    On Sunday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had unveiled a four-point action plan to intensify the "battle against corruption", advocating a new system of fast-tracking all cases of corruption involving public servants, "full transparency" in public procurement and contracts, "open and competitive system" of exploiting natural resources, and asking all party chief ministers and ministers at both the Centre and states to set an example by reviewing and relinquishing all discretionary powers, particularly in land allocation.
    Source: The Indian Express
    No one will be spared: Manmohan
    Related Scam:
    All Who Cleared Adarsh File Were Gifted a Flat: HC
    Comment: What about the loot. Will it be brought back or confiscated?

    आरटीआई को प्रभावी तरीके से लागू कराने की मांग

    आरटीआई को प्रभावी तरीके से लागू कराने की मांग
    21 Dec 2010, 0400 hrs IST
    - आरटीआई कार्यकर्ता लोकेश बत्रा ने लिखा नोएडा अथॉरिटी के सीईओ को पत्र
    - कानून की धारा 26 को लागू कराने की मांग
    - कानून के प्रचार- प्रसार पर बल देती है धारा 26

    प्रमुख संवाददाता ॥ नोएडा
    नोएडा अथॉरिटी के नए सीईओ रमा रमण को आरटीआई कार्यकर्ता रिटायर्ड कमोडोर लोकेश बत्रा ने पत्र भेजकर कानून की धारा 26 को प्रभावी तरीके से लागू कराने की मांग की है ताकि आरटीआई के प्रति जागरुकता फैलाई जा सके। गौरतलब है कि इस धारा में पब्लिक अथॉरिटी को ऐसे प्रोग्राम करवाने को कहा गया है जिससे लोगों को सूचना के अधिकार के इस्तेमाल के बारे में जानकारी मिले। पब्लिक अथॉरिटी को इस धारा के तहत साहित्य, वर्कशॉप, सेमिनार आदि के जरिए लोगों को आरटीआई के बारे में बताना होता है।
    नोएडा अथॉरिटी के नवनियुक्त सीईओ रमा रमण ने पदभार संभालते ही साफ किया था कि नोएडा अथॉरिटी के कर्मचारी व अधिकारियों को अपने काम करने के ढंग में बदलाव लाना होगा। उन्होंने कहा था कि वे सिटिजन चार्टर को लागू करेंगे ताकि लोगों का काम तय वक्त से पहले पूरा हो।
    लोकेश बत्रा ने सीईओ से कहा है कि आरटीआई एक्ट की सेक्शन 26 में जनता को इस एक्ट की अधिक से अधिक जानकारी देने, अपने कर्मचारी व अफसरों को इस एक्ट के बारे में प्रशिक्षित करने व जनता की जरूरत के हिसाब से आवेदन जमा कराने में मदद करने का प्रावधान किया गया है। इस जानकारी के अभाव में न तो डिपार्टमेंट से जुड़े कर्मचारी व अधिकारी आरटीआई के तहत पूछे गए सवालों का जवाब गंभीरता से देते हैं और न ही इस पर किसी अधिकारी की जवाबदेही तय होती है।
    उन्होंने अपने पत्र में कहा है कि अब वक्त आ गया है कि प्रशासन में जनता की भागीदारी को बढ़ाया जाए। इससे जानने का अधिकार पब्लिक को मिलेगा।
    आरटीआई को प्रभावी तरीके से लागू कराने की मांग

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    नियमित नायब Subedars की मानद नायब Subedars को पेंशन की सुप्रीम कोर्ट की पुष्टि की अनुदान जो 2006 से पहले सेवानिवृत्तजैसा

    सोमवार, 20 दिसंबर, 2010
    कि पहले बताया गया 6 केंद्रीय वेतन आयोग की सिफारिशों के आधार पर, सरकार ने एक भुगतान नियमित नायब सूबेदार की Havildars तक के पैमाने पर आधारित पेंशन देने अधिसूचना जारी किया था नायब सूबेदार की मानद रैंक दी गई. हालांकि कहा अधिसूचना केवल एक शर्त है कि यह प्रभाव (वित्तीय) के साथ लागू 2006/01/01 से होगा निहित, यह कहीं नहीं कहा कि यह केवल जो 2006/01/01 के बाद सेवानिवृत्त जो पहले सेवानिवृत्त नहीं है और को लागू नहीं होगी इस कट ऑफ तारीख. यह अभी भी नकारात्मक था, लेकिन संबंधित अधिकारियों है कि यह केवल पोस्ट करने के लिए 2006 के सेवानिवृत्त लागू किया गया था से व्याख्या की जा रही है. सशस्त्र बल न्यायाधिकरण (पीछे) के चंडीगढ़ खंडपीठ Feb 2010 में तथापि नीचे काल्पनिक कट ऑफ तारीख के इस प्रतिबंधात्मक व्याख्या मारा था और फैसला सुनाया कि लाभ सभी मानद नायब Subedars के लिए उपलब्ध सेवानिवृत्ति की तारीख से प्रभावित हुए बिना किया जाएगा.

    रक्षा मंत्रालय ने चुनौती दी थी कहा माननीय उच्चतम न्यायालय में जिस तरह से एक विशेष के आदेश याचिका (SLP) छोड़ो. SLP पिछले जिससे पीछे का आदेश कायम रखने सप्ताह बर्खास्त कर दिया गया.

    दिलचस्प है, सेना मुख्यालय, पहले भी कहा अधिसूचना के जारी करने, बाहर रक्षा मंत्रालय, एक तथ्य है जो रिकार्ड पर है कि वहाँ स्पष्ट आदेश दोनों से पहले और बाद 2006 से सेवानिवृत्त लोगों के लिए किया जाना चाहिए की ओर इशारा किया था. लेकिन पुनश्च निदेशालय की बहुत उचित अनुरोध ऐसा लगता बहरा जिससे विषय पर अनावश्यक मुकदमेबाजी के लिए अग्रणी कानों पर गिर गया.Navdeep द्वारा पोस्ट / 4:39 पर मेजर Navdeep सिंह AM
    पढ़ें मूल लिंक

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Protest against corruption: Soldiers and Citizens join forces

    A joint Panel of Citizens and Soldiers protest in Patiala on Saturday, 18 Dec 2010.
    Protest against corruption: Soldiers and Citizens join forces Tribune News Service,
    Patiala, December 18
    Representatives of the Joint Panel of Citizens and Soldiers protested at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial here this morning. The joint panel pledged to take forward the “Flame of Hope” kindled by the Supreme Court to check corruption in governance.
    The panel also maintained that the nation must rise to save hard-earned sovereignty and integrity. Dr MS Randhawa and Capt CS Sidhu, co-conveners of the panel, warned the nation if it continued to remain silent on corruption issue.
    A joint Panel of Citizens and Soldiers protest in Patiala

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Honour the soldier: India must never forget its armed forces

    The Tribune Saturday, December 18, 2010, Chandigarh, India
    Thirtynine years ago, India recorded a spectacular military victory over Pakistan which has since been closely studied and analysed by several military forces the world over. The military victory, which involved considerable planning, evoked the largest surrender after World War-II, a record that was later broken by Saddam Hussein’s mother of all surrenders during the 1991 Gulf war. The most significant consequence of India’s military victory was that it rendered irrelevant Jinnah’s two-nation theory – East Pakistan broke away from West Pakistan to build a national identity based on (Bengali) ethnicity and language rather than on the commonality of religion.

    Indeed, the record of the Indian soldier has been among the most glorious. From conducting nation-consolidation operations starting with Junagadh, Kashmir, Hyderabad and later Goa to nation-preservation against attacks from Pakistan and China, the Indian military has also been wantonly misused if not abused as evident from its involvement in Operation Bluestar in Punjab, Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka and internal security operations in Kashmir and in the Northeast due to a long history of gross political and administrative mismanagement.

    Yet, the stoic and apolitical Indian soldier has performed uncomplainingly and with aplomb even as some governments in our neighbourhood succumbed to military interference or coups. His sacrifice remains mostly unheralded. In April this year the Supreme Court observed that our soldiers were being shabbily treated by the government. Disgustingly, successive governments have failed even to build a national war memorial. The India Gate, where our President ritualistically lays a wreath every Republic Day and which we treat as a war memorial, was, ironically, built by the British colonialists to commemorate the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting in World War-I and in the Third Anglo-Afghan war. It is a national shame that ex-servicemen have been returning their gallantry medals to the indifference of our politicians. Unlike the US where successive presidents starting from US Army Colonel Harry Truman to Air Force First Lieutenant George W. Bush or the present British Royal family starting from Queen Elizabeth-II to her grandson, Royal Army Lieutenant Prince Harry, all of who have a distinguished record of military service and of seeing action in wars, the Indian politician ranks among the most corrupt and self-seeking with rare examples of either he or his son serving in the military. India cannot afford to forget that all books of statecraft starting with Sun Tzu’s Art of War, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Niccolo Machiavelli’s Prince warn against neglecting the soldier. We can risk this only to our own peril.
    Honour the soldier: India must never forget its armed forces

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Ex Servicemen reduced to danda wielding chowkidars

    1. Dr T C Rao called on Dr M M Pallam Raju, Rajya Raksha Mantri (RRM) on 10 Dec 2010, to discuss various points of Welfare and Rehabilitation of Ex-Servicemen. He also stressed the difficulties faced by Ex-Servicemen by DGR office. Following points of discussion with him are enumerated below for your information:-
    Dr Rao mentioned to RRM that this test was introduced by DGR about three years back, without the knowledge of Ministry of Defence. Dr Rao apprised the RRM that officers are made to do 10 weeks of Officers Security Course, where all issues related to run the security agencies are discussed and taught. Hence, the logic of another exam by DGR is not understood hopefully this test will be scrapped.
    As per latest policy, NHAI is not going to offer the operation of Toll Plazas by Retired officers. Some of the officers are on waiting list for the last 2-3 years for the sponsorship of Toll Plaza by DGR. The DGR is not accepting their names for the empanelment of Security Companies those who have crossed the age of 59. It was suggested that such officers should be given a relaxation of one year e.g. up to age of 60 to register themselves for Security Agency. Orders on this aspect are being issued very soon.
    On 18 Nov 2010, 51 Retired Officers were not permitted to sit for exam with an excuse that they had not taken prior sanction of DGR office to sit for exam. This adhoc rule / system were intimated on internet in first week of November 2010. Officers who were denied by the DGR made a request to Maj Gen Pramod Behl, Director General, to permit them to write for exam as provisional candidates. This strong argument of officers was not understood by Maj Gen Behl. Hence, officers were denied permission. Director General of Directorate General Resettlement did not appreciate that officers came from all over the country spending huge amount of expenditure on transportation and lodging and boarding at Delhi. RRM was apprised that he should convey to DG of DGR to be sympathetic towards Retired officers and not to show negative attitude.
    2. Dr Rao made a request to RRM that a war memorial be constructed at Delhi Cantt for the Martyrs of Delhi State.
    3. A request was also made to construct a Sainik Rest House at Delhi Cantt for Ex-Servicemen visiting Delhi as lodging and boarding at Delhi is very costly.
    4. Numerous problems faced by Delhi Cantt residents were also discussed. RRM assured Dr Rao that he will ask GOC Delhi Area & CEO of Cantonment Board to do the needful.
    5. I am hopeful that our problems will be solved.
    Always at your service.
    Comment: Wish Dr Rao's hopes are translated to concrete action on ground!

    Steady decline of Military status will erode morale and combat effectiveness

    Respected Sir/Madam,
    The following report -- released by the United News of India news agency on December 17, 2010 -- is for your kind perusal.
    With regards,

    Anti-India strategy part of Pak mindset: IESM Chairman
    By Abhijit C Chandra

    Bhopal, Dec 17 (UNI) An anti-India strategy is an indelible part of the Pakistani mindset and generations of that country's military officers and civilians alike have been raised with it, opines Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement Chairman Lieutenant-General (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, AVSM, VSM.
    "At any point in the future, Pakistan will never stop short of exploiting any chink in the Indian armour to stage a Kargil-type offensive," the veteran told UNI on the sidelines of yesterday's celebrations commemorating Vijay Diwas, the anniversary of the 1971 Bangladesh War.
    Regretting the lack of enthusiasm among youngsters to enlist in the Indian Armed Forces, Lt-Gen Kadyan pointed out that society is becoming increasingly consumerist.
    "At the juncture when I joined the Army, opportunities were limited and chiefly comprised the engineering profession, the medical stream and the military. Today, the Government and the Armed Forces simply cannot match the private sector mainly in terms of financial returns," he explained.
    Soldiers are being increasingly deployed in insurgency-affected areas but that is not the Army's 'primary' role -- defending the nation against external aggression.
    "Earlier, the general public simply had no idea of the hardships of a military existence but now television journalists have given them more than a peek into what it takes to be an officer or even a jawan," the veteran said.
    Limited avenues for promotion also form a key factor that keep youth away from the olive green uniform.
    "Respect is what one can earn even in society by being an ideal citizen but status is something that the Government accords. Unfortunately, the status of the military hierarchy has been constantly declining. In 1947, the Chief of Army Staff was the third position in the country but has now been relegated to 12th place," he lamented.
    The spectre of leading a life of separation from families and in isolation from the social mainstream also haunts those shying away from a military career.

    Pension of Majors Stonewalled?

    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    Please promulgate the folowing in RMS Blog
    The AFT principal Bench Delhi in open court on 14 Sep 2010 passed judgement on our petition OA 24/2010.
    The honourable Tribunal was pleased to admit our petition and had directed to the respondent to pay us a minimum of Rs 18205 per month as pension. The honourable court has also stated that this exercise should be completed in as far as possible in three months.
    The period of three months has passed and the government has not issued order till date,
    I propose to wait till end December 2010 and shall then start my further action.
    I shall keep you all in loop.
    Feel free if you have suggession to guide me.
    Avtar Singh

    Do we honour our Soldiers? Government apathy is apalling and painful

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    An email and article received from Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Former VCOAS, is linked here. When will we honour our soldiers?
    It is a matter of great shame for the Indian Nation that The President – The Supreme Commander of Armed Forces of India and the Prime Minister of India, have no time to pay homage to those who laid their lives in the past for the honour, safety and security of India and they have no time to remember and honour the greatest victory of Indian Armed Forces of 16 Dec 1971 (and the Kargil Diwas).
    And why blame only the President and Prime Minister of India?
    Why don’t our three Chiefs ensure that The President and the Prime Minister are made to visit the India Gate on 16 Dec, and respectfully advised to lay the wreaths there on Vijay Diwas and Kargil Diwas???
    Why are they shy of giving this proposal to the Supreme Commander and through her to the Government of India and the PM???
    The three Chiefs should know that as per the Constitution of India Armed Forces do not fall in the list of Government servants. They are directly under the President of India and operate through the Government for better management and simplicity of coordination of all Government resources for the safety and security of India.
    Further, the so called the control of Armed Forces on behalf of the President is to be done by the political leaders and not by the ‘Babus’. And our senior Armed Forces officers keep lumping all nonsense the Babus tell them.
    What a shame that every response, veterans receive from the RM for their representations, are drafted by the Babus and RM quotes the Committee of Secretaries for all problems??? The Babus are deliberately misleading the Government and there is no one who can detect what damage these Babus are doing to our nation.
    For the PM and RM the Committee of Secretaries is more important than the Standing Committee for Defence, which consists of representatives of all political parties. Any numbers of Defence Committees have recommended OROP but the few Babus have successfully bluffed the Government and made the Government take decision to the contrary. There is also a clear cut case of Rank Pay, where the Babus have deliberately cheated the Armed Forces officers. These are the ways of our Government of India!!!
    Will our Chiefs forever continue to bear this insult to the Armed Forces and the Military Veterans of India??? Don’t the three Chiefs have the responsibility that the Armed Forces of India get their due respect and their serving subordinates and the Military Veterans of India get justice from Government of India in terms of their financial dues and order of Protocol???

    The Three Chiefs and other senior military officers should realise that tomorrow they will also be in the list of “retired” and then - it will be too late for them to do anything. Is it the carrot of becoming a Governor, Ambassador, High Commissioner, MP or being given other high chairs of Government of India, which is keeping them away from looking after their Military Veterans, who helped them to reach those high ranks in the Armed Forces??? How they expect us and serving soldiers to respect them if they do not respect our sentiments and know our expectations??? The Government and the Three Chiefs should appreciate that a fairly large number of serving personnel are the sons, grandsons, daughters and granddaughters of the retired military veterans. What the veterans are undergoing is now well known to these serving soldiers and through them the entire serving soldiers know it now.

    How can these serving soldiers remain faithful to the Government of India if their grandfathers and fathers are being insulted and humiliated daily??? During various rallies and TV programmes, the media persons ask the IESM members and other veterans – “If the demands of the Indian Military veterans are just than why don’t the three Chiefs openly support your demands?” – and on hearing this simple question - the veterans become speechless. If the veterans tell the truth the serving senior officers of the three Services will be humiliated, therefore, they keep mum!!!

    Can some of you kindly make sure that the contents of this email reach the three serving Chiefs and the Senior Armed Forces Officers occupying chairs of Governors, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, members of parliament and members of state legislative assemblies and other senior posts of Government of India. All these retired senior Armed Forces officers need to realise that they are occupying those high chairs because their subordinates helped them to rise to those heights!!! And all these gentlemen are now sitting as silent spectators – with earplugs and blindfolded – as if they reached those high posts by their own efforts only.

    The Chiefs should be informed that the Indian Military Veterans are now at the verge of losing their patience. In the recent past, thousands of cases have been decided by AFT and other courts in favour of the Veterans but no action is being taken by Government of India to implement these court orders. Don’t the three Chiefs know about it?
    Is the information system of our Service HQs’ is so useless that they do not get any information about the welfare and injustice to Indian military veterans??? If you can - PLEASE do try and convey the contents of this email to the Three Chiefs and retired Senior Armed Forces officers, occupying high chairs of Government of India.
    The Indian Military Veterans are a highly disciplined force, but even the most disciplined soldier has a limit to his patience. The Government of India and The Three Service HQs should act before it is too late.
    The IESM is trying its best to ensure that all rallies organised by it remain peaceful but, the opposition to its peaceful ways is gradually rising among the veterans. IESM Governing Body and its conveners at state, district and lower levels are hopeful that at least the IESM rallies will continue to follow the ethos of Indian Military – but for how long???
    The Veterans are fed up of the shameless silence of the Government of India on the thousands of Court cases, which have been decided in favour of the Veterans – there are no indications of the implementation of these court orders.
    Those of you who have contacts with the media – do forward this complete email to them also.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.
    PS – Kindly do try your utmost and give widest possible publicity to the contents of this entire email. THANK YOU

    When will we honour our soldiers?

    Thursday, December 16, 2010, Chandigarh, India
    Today is the 39th anniversary of the greatest victory India has won, not just since Independence but also in the last hundreds of years. It was on this day in 1971 that the Indian Military won resounding victories in all theatres of that war, with the crowning glory being the capture of East Pakistan; the birth of Bangladesh; and taking more than 93,000 Pakistani soldiers as prisoners of war. It is on this date that the victory is celebrated as Vijay Diwas, but sadly only by our armed forces.

    On this day, in military stations, onboard ships and at airbases, military personnel remember the officers and jawans who had fought wars for the nation, some sacrificing themselves and others their limbs. It is a day of rejoicing and jubilation, as also of reflection and remembrance. Yet only 1.3 million souls who don the uniform, nearly three million veterans and their families commemorate this important day. The rest, comprising over a billion Indians, are not even aware of it, thanks to the government that has no time to even commend the soldiers for their sacrifices. What a monumental shame!

    Most European and Commonwealth countries, celebrate November 11 as Remembrance Day, while in the US it is Veterans Day. On November 11, 1918, an armistice (truce) was signed that ended World War I. On this day these countries honour their men and women in uniform. Grateful nations, led by the governing elite, recall the gallantry, sacrifices and the selfless spirit of their soldiers.

    Similarly, most nations have days or weeks earmarked for felicitating their soldiers and veterans. All military personnel who had fought, died and lost limbs in wars and battles for their nations are honoured. It is a treat to see how proudly nations place their military men and women on pedestals, recall their exploits and honour them. There are parades with heads of states presiding, where the populace cheer and express their gratitude for the soldiers of yore. There are memorial services; visits to the sites where great battles were fought; escorted tours for the veterans still living, where much is made of them; and speeches extolling the bravery of soldiers and how the nation is beholden to them.

    What do we do in India? Practically nothing, because our leaders are not bothered with such niceties as honour, sacrifice and national pride as it distracts them from their favourite pastimes, which are too well known to be reiterated. The Commander-in-Chief of our republic, the President, remains ensconced in the hallowed precincts of Rashtrapati Bhawan, instead of meeting a selection of military personnel at an "At Home"; the Prime Minister does not visit jawans guarding our inhospitable borders, or meets and discuss the problems of the war disabled; and governors and chief ministers do not even know it is a special day for the nation, not just for the military. A few years ago, political leaders stooped to the lowest levels possible when they dubbed the two recent wars as the "Congress War" and the "BJP War"!

    Then there are the bureaucrats, the intimate advisors to political leaders. They are past masters at ignoring or playing down sentiments and coming up with ingenious arguments as to why there is nothing to celebrate! At one stage, they stated that any such celebration may upset the dialogue we were then having with Pakistan. They also had the temerity to question the need to celebrate something that happened decades back!

    On Vijay Diwas, the defence minister makes an appearance at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate to lay a wreath. He does so oblivious of the fact that he is laying a wreath at a place constructed by the British when India was a colony. He does not even feel the incongruity of having no war memorial for soldiers who have made sacrifices in the wars fought bitterly in the post-Independence era, even after six decades of Independence. What a monumental shame!

    After Independence the government decided that instead of following the Commonwealth, India will have its own day for commending soldiers. On August 28, 1949, a committee chose December 7 and christened it as the Armed Forces Flag Day. However, the significance of the day, viz. "commemorating the sacrifices of the soldiers" was soon forgotten. It became just a day for collecting funds, ostensibly for the welfare of the soldiers. The status today is that state governments are unable to collect even the small targets laid down and the bulk of the funds are contributed by soldiers, seemingly for their own welfare! How ironical in an era when nine percent rate of growth of the GDP is announced with much fanfare every other day. Is the nation still in penury that collections are needed to provide some welfare to the soldiers?

    Over six years ago, a Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) was created to give focused attention to welfare programmes for ex-servicemen and their dependants. In reality it was a cosmetic exercise as three existing entities of the Ministry of Defence merely started reporting to another set of bureaucrats. Even after six years, except for garnering additional vacancies for their cadre, the department is yet to come out with a single programme for the welfare of veterans. They also commenced looking after the pensions of veterans and the mess they have made post--Sixth Pay Commission is too well known.

    Here is a department tailor-made to make much of the soldiers' sacrifices by conceiving a comprehensive and long-term plan to commemorate their valiant deeds, not only on Vijay Diwas, but also on other such occasions. The need is for vision, empathy and dedication, which requires staffing this department by military personnel. They know what soldiers want and how best to meet their needs. The incongruity of welfare of soldiers by the bureaucracy needs immediate burial. Let us do so without delay and start honouring our soldiers.
    Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (Retd)
    The writer is a former Vice Chief of the Indian Army

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Bangalore: Free sites and passes for State’s ex-servicemen

    Army Welfare Committee asked to identify the eligible- Bangalore, December 7, DHNS:

    Salute to Bravehearts: Students of Army School sing patriotic songs at the Armed Forces Flag Day programme in Bangalore on Tuesday. Home Minister R Ashoka, Governor H R Bhardwaj and Air Chief Marshal (Rtd) F H Major are seen.

    The State government would allot free sites to retired Army personnel from Karnataka, who wish to settle down in the City.
    Minister for Home and Transport R Ashoka said here on Tuesday that the Army Welfare Committee had been asked to furnish a list of the eligible. The condition is that the applicants must have provided a residential address (of any place in Karnataka) while joining the Armed Forces.
    Furthermore, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation would issue free passes to the families of soldiers who have participated in war or anti-terror operations.

    For 15 families
    The passes, valid for 10 years, have already been issued to 15 families so far. The facility will be extended to the buses of the State Transport Corporation in future, the minister said. He was speaking at a function to mark Armed Forces Flag Day at Raj Bhavan. “It’s a way of saying thank you to military personnel who put their lives at stake to protect us,” Ashoka said. He urged the youth to join Armed Forces in the service of the nation.

    Donation to Welfare Fund
    It was declared that the Transport Department would donate Rs one lakh to the Army Welfare Fund. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation handed over the money collected from the sale of Armed Forces Flag Day stickers, on the occasion.

    Governor Bhardwaj, who spoke on the occasion, underscored the need to provide financial security to war widows. “I know personally how difficult it is to serve in Armed Forces under tough conditions. We cannot pay them back for their services, but certainly can take steps to improve their lives,” he said.

    ‘No shielding’
    Meanwhile, speaking to presspersons, Ashoka refuted the allegation that the Monday’s notification delineating the probe into land scam cases was aimed at ‘shielding’ tainted former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu. “There is no such intention. The Constitution empowers a State government to order judicial inquiry into any matter. The Lokayukta has been investigating a lot of other cases and let him continue with it,” he said. He also denied the charge that there were attempts to withdraw the FIR filed against Katta on December 2. Ashoka said it was a wrong notion that only the present Government has ordered a judicial probe bypassing the Lokayukta. “Previous governments have ordered far more number of judicial inquiries,” he said.

    When visibly unconvinced journalists persisted with more questions, Ashoka said he would comment at ‘an appropriate time’ as the matter was sub judice.

    Citizens fears
    By: Vision
    On: 08 Dec 2010 05:44 pm
    It is only the matter of time. Bogus Ex-service Man claim these benifits. Look at Adarsh & Sukhna. After 10 years scheme will be scapped. A scam will be unearthed.

    By: LimcaRecords
    On: 08 Dec 2010 07:32 am
    One more excuse to loot State land amongst relatives and friends. Politicians, you are untouched, unquestioned. So please dont state reasons to look after our Motherland. JUST DO IT. We need to beat the 1.6 Lakh Crore Scam with something bigger. How about selling India to UK or Osama ?
    Free sites, BMTC passes for State’s ex-servicemen

    Two defence welfare societies under cloud

    Sandeep Ashar, TNN, Dec 8, 2010, 05.12am IST
    MUMBAI: Even as the CBI probes the role of retired generals and politicians in the Adarsh housing society scam, two more complexes set up originally for the welfare of defence personnel and war widows in Navi Mumbai have now courted controversy.

    The two societies- Raghunath Vihar Army Welfare Society (RVAWS), which has 534 flats in 13 multi-storey buildings in Kharghar's Sector 14; and the Army Welfare Society (AWS) Dara Enclave, which has 518 flats in 11 buildings and 38 row houses in Nerul's Sector 9—are housed on Cidco plots allotted at concessional rates. Their occupation certificates were granted in 2002 and 1995, respectively.

    The Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO) —a Delhi-based welfare society formed by serving defence personnel which constructed the complexes to provide low-cost housing to servicemen and war widows— has served legal notices on the managing committees of the two societies, asking them to refrain from violating regulations laid down by AWHO at the time of allotment.

    The bone of contention is the transfer of land and ownership of the plots. The AWHO has opposed steps taken by the societies to register themselves under the Maharashtra Cooperative Housing Society Act, 1960 (MCHSA, 1960). The move is being seen as an attempt to acquire conveyance of the plots. While AWS has already processed an application to be registered as a cooperative housing society (CHS) with the registrar of societies after getting a go-ahead from Cidco, the general body of RVAWS has also approved a proposal along similar lines.

    AWHO advocate A K Tewari has threatened legal action against the societies.
    In a legal notice, Tewari has said these were already registered as welfare societies under the Society Registration Act XXI, 1860, and therefore could not be re-registered under the MCHSA, 1960. The notice was sent to RVAWS on November 22, 2010; it was issued to AWS on September 30. Colonel P R Sirohi, secretary for managing director of the AWHO, has also written to the registrar of societies, asking it to refuse any registration request from the societies. The societies, though, insist the CHS formation was vital to overcome "practical difficulties in the day-to-day maintenance of the complexes". Both have decided to oppose the notice.

    Umesh Sharma, chairman, AWS, said their current registration— that of a welfare society under the Bombay Public Trusts Act— did not permit maintenance of housing societies.

    Even colonel (retd) Shashidharan, secretary, RVAWS, said no specific rules were laid out for housing maintenance in the case of a welfare society. Refuting this, a senior AWHO official said, "Tasks pertaining to maintenance of a society and its development could easily be performed using provisions of the 1860 Act." A few members of both the societies hold this opinion too. Col (retd) T S Tanwar, a resident of AWS, said the original transfer deed stated that the society was completely owned by AWHO and that society members could only maintain it. "No transfer of interest can take place."

    A RVAWS member alleged the re-registration was aimed at acquiring rights to sell additional FSI and TDR rights to private developers, a charge refuted by office bearers of both societies.

    It is AWHO's decision to allow civilians to purchase flats in the societies which is being blamed for the mess. As AWHO has collected charges for the flat transfers, its claim of being a "welfare organization functioning on no profit basis" is being questioned.
    Read more: Two defence welfare societies under cloud - The Times of India
    AWHO Demystified


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