Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rank Pay: 20,000 Armed Forces Officers to get arrears

20,000 army officers to get pay arrears
Published: Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012, 9:00 IST | Updated: Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012, 23:55 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
Giving a major boost to the morale of a section of armed forces officers who have been awaiting payment of arrears on account of the Fourth Pay Commission report, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a Central government’s application that had contested a Kerala high court ruling on the matter.
A three-judge bench of Justices R M Lodha, TS Thakur and Anil R Dave also directed the Union government (ministry of defence) to pay a six per cent annual interest (only from Jan 2006) along with the arrears of revised pay scales since January 1, 1986 within three months.
According to an estimate, the ministry of defence may have to cough up about Rs 1,620 crore in the payment of arrears to nearly 20,000 officers who have suffered due to faulty fixation of their rank pay.
This direction in an off shoot of an application filed by the Union government seeking a relook at the top court’s earlier order that had upheld the pay fixation.
The commission recommended a hike in salary ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 1,200 from the ranks of Captain to Brigadier. The commission had justified this hike saying it’s essential to add the financial incentives in the pay packet of the hard-pressed forces.
However, the government was averse to this finding and it deducted the additional amount from the officers’ existing pay scale.
The bench has directed the Armed Forces Tribunal to dispose of all the petitions filed by the aggrieved officers in the light of its judgment.
The officers had contended that there was a wrong fixation of rank pay awarded by the Fourth Pay Commission in which the element of rank pay was introduced for all ranks from Captain to Brigadier in the army and their equivalent ranks in the air force and navy, in addition to pay in the integrated scale. However, at the time of fixation, the rank pay was first deducted to arrive at the total emoluments and thereafter added after fixation in the integrated scale. This ensured that the final fixation of the total pay of the officer became at par with his civilian counterpart and the edge was neutralised during fixation.
The rationale of this was to make the armed forces an attractive career option and to continue the edge that was always provided to the defence officers vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts, owing to the difficult and challenging nature of job profile.The officers had contended they got a raw deal from the bureaucrats who have systematically worked on ensuring that the historic edge defence officers had with respect to their civilian counterparts is first neutralised and eventually reversed.
With inputs from agencies
20,000 Armed Forces Officers to get arrears
Relief to thousands of officers Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, September 04, 2012
Comment:The then Expenditure Secretary who was a smart A.. needs to be punished and taken to task for cheating the Armed Forces of their legitimate pay. MOD and spineless AHQ are responsible for degrading the Officers of Rank Pay.

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