COAS Objections on Selective Upgradation
After the submission of 6th CPC Recommendations, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS- in connivance with DGAFMS- this dubious act alone has doubled his Pension) as an after thought had vide letter no. C170211V1-PCC (Army) dated 20 Jun 2008 written to the Cabinet Secretary that, "selective upgradation of Basic Pay, Grade Pay and hence the status of Nurses only in the Armed Forces to equate them with Doctors will seriously impact on the functional relationship and command and control in the Military Hospitals, which would adversely affect patient care in the long run. Hence, there is a need of reconsidering those aspects and keeping the Pay and Grade Pay of MNS officers distinct from the Service Officers". The COAS letter was a quick turnaround from the Armed Forces established stand of demanding 'same pay scales to MNS Officers as for other Service Officers' made to the previous pay commissions. The 6th CPC observed that the starting pay scales of MNS cadre is equal to group A civilian starting pay scales, and is only slightly lower than the pay scales other service officers. The slight upgradation recommended by the 6th CPC was in line with the Armed Forces own pending demands. Opposing the upgradation of MNS cadre fearing an impact on the patient care is illogical.
Armed Forces Tribunal Order
In Maj Gen Mrs. Usha Sikdar Vs. Union of India & Ors (TA. No. 211/2010) the Hon'ble Principal Bench of AFT held that, "she is a regular commissioned officer of the Indian Armed Forces and she is authorised to all entitlements and benefits which a regular officer entitled under the Army Act, 1950 and rules framed thereunder and regulations issued from time to time. Therefore, we have no hesitation to declare that the petitioner is entitled to be treated as a commissioned officer and as a part of the regular force, and she is authorised to all entitlements which are authorised to the regular recruited army officers of the Indian Army." The AFT further directed the Government to "to treat all the commissioned officers of Military Nursing Service as a part of the regular force of the Indian Armed Forces and extend all entitlements which are commensurate with the rank as equal to commissioned officers of Indian Army to her". It is brought out here that, post 6th CPC implementation, the entitlements of a rank is based on the Grade Pay attached to the rank.
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Comment: Will the AHQ right the wrong? Do the powers at hand have the spine to stand up for the Juniors. The Chetwode message seems blown to the winds! Interesting parallel Army gets hit by clubs- click here to read more
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