Friday, June 8, 2012

OROP: Government counsel misleading the Supreme Court

Read in conjuction with:
  • OROP twists, turns and twirls
  • Raw deal to the Armed Forces by Lt Gen SK Bahri
    Subject: IESM Gov Body 07 Jun evening
    Dear Colleagues,
    I had a meeting with Mr Salman Khurshid, the Minister of Law & Justice today. I apprised him of the unfortunate fact of the government challenging each and every judgment of the lower courts that go in favour of the ESM. I explained details of the disability broad banding case where a judgment of the AFT has been challenged despite instructions of the Defence Minister (issued on 06 Mar 2012) to the contrary. He was also apprised of the government counsel misleading the SC in many cases, such as in the case of Hony Naib Sub (leading to a judgment that only those pre 1.1.2006 Hony Naib Sub be given the pension of a regular Nb Sub, who get the Hony rank while being in service).
    On the point of the goverment dragging its feet in not implementing the SC judgment, I gave a concrete example in the form of a written handout on the ongoing rank pay case, with a request that either the government withdraw its appeal and implements the SC judgment of 08.03.2010 or the solicitor General be made to attend the next hearing on 04.09.2012 so that the case is finally disposed of. He promised to look into all these points.
    Making use of the opportunity, I also sought his help as a Cabinet Minister in prevailing upon the government in sanctioning OROP. He wanted to understand the various nuances of OROP which I explained. I mentioned to him about my letter to the Congress President in Oct 2011 where I had said non-grant of OROP may affect the ESM voting pattern in Assembly and Parliamentary elections, further underscoring the fact that this may have happened in the recent elections in UP and Punjab. I also mentioned that anti Congress sentiments of the ESM may be even stronger during the 2014 Parliamentary elections. He promised to do what he can.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan
    Chairman IESM
    Comment: All ESM organisations need to be apolitical. The Politicians know that the armed forces and their families just constitute 1% of the total population. Even out of this percentage Serving and Veterans do not bother to vote. Even if 50% vote, it is meagre and well under 0.5% of total Voters. The impact will be near negligible except for the states like Punjab, Himachal, Haryana and Rajastan where perhaps the voters percentage may exceed marginally by a percent. "Service before Self" must be the motto of all ESMs and being balanced will pay dividends in the long run. The Government intent is to make monkey of the Armed Forces. All Political Parties (except for few Independents) treat Armed Forces like the Nation's super Police Force and not as a Professional Army. The long Battle with insurgency is a quid pro arrangement between Government and Military- former reducing the sheen of the professional army and later to ensure the selected Officers are annointed for gallantry awards with decorations for guaranteed promotions (in most cases fakes go as real). This arrangement suits the Political Community as it constantly diminishes the image of the Military. The Officer Shortage will continue to haunt till the Glamour of Professional Army is restored. This is not likely to happen in the near future. Incidently Pandit Nehru trusted the Malabar Police more than the Military during the 1962 conflict (Krishna Menon propped up the calibre of Malabar Police). Nothing has changed... MOD, MHA, PMO, MEA have more trust on the PMF's than on the Indian Military... their scope and range is enlarging much more than their mandate... here we are reminded of Nidhi Razdan's Left Right and Centre refrain... "Let us look at the Bigger Picture".... maybe we will get the true reflection!
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