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YSN/19284/G/ADM-1

SQN. LDR. Y.S. Nijjar 19284 G AE(L) (Retd.) Commanders House, 139, Ganesh Nagar, Dakoha Road, Ramamandi, Jalandhar, Punjab-144023, Tel : +91-9988221335 Date: 3rd July 2011

1. Dr. Manmohan Singh Honble Prime Minister of India

2. Mrs. Sushma Swaraj Honble Leader of Opposition

3 Mr. A.K Antony Honble Defence Minister of India Parliament

4 Mr. Jaswant Singh Hon ble Member of (A retired Veteran)

SUB: HOW MAJORS ARE MADE MINORS Respected Sir/Madam 1. I, introduce myself as Sqn Ldr Yashwinder Singh Nijjar, 19284 G AE(L)(Retired) after serving in Indian Air Force from 12th January 1966 to 31st July 2003 (total 37 years 06 months and 19 days). It would be only fair on my part, that before requesting you to consider my representation on the above subject, I would with gratitude, whole heartedly congratulate you in leading the Country. 2. This country has had many a dignified leaders in the past, but today you will surely agree with me that there are only few parliamentarians who have their loyalties to the people of India, especially Defence personnel (Sir/Madam, you are among those few) 3. A case which never happened in the pension history of Indian Military Service i.e Majors pension anomaly is put/ elaborated for your kind consideration to act positively and BABUS type answer such as,If we give you ,others will also demand is not expected from you. My answer to this is: a. They are also ours kith and kin and not adversaries b. if they really deserve this, give to them also, but if they are used as a pretext to deny the soldier, their rightful demand, then it is unfair. 4. Now, I take this opportunity to apprise your honour regarding plight of Majors and their equivalent of sister organizations (Navy and Air Force). Upon acceptance of recommendation of 6th CPC report which resulted in great financial loss to the retired category of this cadre.The following scale of pension have been fixed for pre-2006 retiree officers:
Brig. Col. Lt.Col. Major Captain Lt.

26150/-

26050/ 100/-

25700/-

14100/-

13800/-

13500/-

Difference in pension with immediate higher rank

350/-

11600/-

300/-

300/-

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It could be seen that the pension structure has completely been distorted. For example, the difference in pension of Brig. And Col. Is Rs. 100/only, while the difference in pre-revised scale was Rs. 1000/-. On the other hand, the difference in pension of Lt. Col. And Major has jumped to whopping sum of Rs. 11600/- against the pre revised scale of Rs. 950/- only. Undoubtedly, a gross injustice has been done to the rank of Major.

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The Govt. Decision to bring Lt.Col into Pay Band IV is a laudable, happy and welcome decision. However, taking into isolation to its effect on immediate lower ranks of Major and their equivalents. It has over turned the apple-cart, bringing about the staggering, irrational and unjustifiable difference. The difference is also so glaring, since in service, there is no grade officer of any grade between Major and Lt. Col. In normal course, a soldier never demands. It is always felt that his superiors and seniors are always there to look after his interest. But as it is seen, it has not happened in case of Major rank and now we have been damaged due to lack of interest by higher in us. It reminds me of Chanakya, who is father of polity said to the king, soldiers must be given their dues without asking by them, if they are forced to demand for their right, it will not be good for the country. Further paragraph will justify my above statement, if contents of this letter are read thoroughly. In this connection, I have been reminded of two such occasions in the past where the seniors intervened positively. Once during the tenure of Defence minister, in early sixties, Mr Krishna Menon, happened to visit the Army unit of Madras Regiment and was surprised to find out that many of jawans have not availed their annual leave during the calendar year, which would otherwise get lapsed. On enquiry it was explained to him that the food in the market was very costly and beyond the reach of ordinary families to feed their members adequately ( the food shortage was very acute during those days in the southern sector of the country). Therefore the jawans preferred to forgo their leave and have proper meal while staying in the unit, Instead of getting their leave and starving back home. When Mr. Menon further learnt that jawan on leave do not get ration or any cash in lieu, he 2

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immediately ordered the payment of ration money at the rate of 8 Annas(Half rupee) per day during the period of leave. That is how, the ration money, during the leave period, to the troops was announced by the then Defence Minister with the understanding but without demanding by the beneficiaries. 9. Mr. Morarji Desai at the other instance, when the then Finance Minister of India, announced the monthly Dearness Allowance to the government employees for the first time. The armed force personnel were not considered for the grant. The reason advanced for this denial were that troops were getting free ration and free clothing and hence were not affected by inflationary trend in the country. This thinking continued for some time, but was corrected in two stages in two parts. Firstly, D.A. at the rate 50% of the civilian counterparts was sanctioned initially and later on increased to 100% by the highest government authority without raising any demand by troops. This all shows as how well meaning they (Defence Minister/Finance Minister/higher ups) were then and we hope you (as a Prime Minister/Leader of Opposition/Defence minister/Finance Minister/service chiefs/all higher ups) continue to be the same now and in the future as well. But extremely sorry to say that there is NO(R)NO comments from the Govt. high officials so far for a large representation/references forwarded to them in the past 12 months. Plight of Majors is appended below once again:a. The pension of pre-2006 Majors has been fixed as per pay of Lts., which is against natural justice and contrary to honourable Supreme Court judgment delivered on 17th December 1982 in the cases related to: i. DS Nakara (a Police pensioner) ii. Rear Admiral Satyendra Singh (a Naval pensioner) iii. HD Shourie (of common cause-A voluntary social org Vs union of India)

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The relevant portion of judgment is:


I. A pension scheme consistent with available resources must provide that the pensioner would be able to live: a. Free from want, with decency, independence and self respect. b. At standard equivalent to pre retirement level. II. Further pension is neither a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer, Also it is not ex-gratia payment. III. Pension is not a nature of alms being doled out to beggars. The senior citizens need to be treated with dignity and courtesy befitting their age. IV. Pension is their statutory, inalienable, legally enforceable right and it has been earned by the sweat of their brow. As such it should be fixed, revised, modified and changed in ways not entirely dissimilar to the salaries granted to serving employees.

A. It is further submitted that the whole class of officers used to be termed/classified as:a. Junior Officers (2nd Lts., Lts. And Capts.) b. Field Officers ( Majors and Lt. Cols.) c. Flag Officers (Cols and Above) Note1: I. II. III. IV. Majors always moved upward and were never clubbed with Captains and below. The following fact will justify the claim: Major wears National Emblem on his shoulders and not (R) not only stars while indicating his distinct category. Entitled for present of Arms from Armed Guard where as upto Captain only Saluting. Entitled for higher scale of accommodation equals to Lt. Cols. The officer of rank of Major is presently receiving a pure civilian pension. What an irony of fate that an officer who is employed most on frontline combat duties, leading the armed assault during war and peace as illustrated by a simple fact that amongst all ranks, who are engaged in front line combat duties in war, There are 21 recipients since 1947 of Bravest of Brave Param Vir Chakra (PVC) , the highest military honour, definitely not an isolated case, but spreaded over 64 years and amongst these, there are 12 officers awardees and out of these 12, there is only one Lt. Col. (Now a Pay Band IV Officer), 02 Capt. And four Lt/2nd Lt (between two ranks) and 05 Majors (now placed along with Hony. Lt./Hony. Capt.), Thus Major has been awarded PVC for the most times i.e. 05. Further only two Ashok Chakra has been declared on Independence Day 2009, The highest gallantry award, not in face of enemy and both has been awarded to Majors.The above illustration would clearly justify and substantiate the Combat/Military role of an officer of the rank of Major in war and in peace and in this making the supreme sacrifice for the defence of the Country. Yet, he is paid a purely civilian pension and placed along with Hony Lt./Hony. Capt., Lt., Capt.s, What a pungent and sad paradox? After being promoted beyond the rank of Major, that the real perquisites starts, Major and their equivalent never grudged this, but at least after retirement let their dignity be maintained. Then Why | Where | How, there is necessity to club him with junior officers and placed in lower pay band with Hony. Officers. The credibility of Major rank has been lost by doing so. The few remedial suggestions are:i. Creation of new payband (pay band 3+) to accommodate old Majors. ii. Give annual increment of 3% for number of years service rendered more by pre-2006 Majors than a 6 years Major. iii. All Majors with 13 years plus service to be promoted notionally to Lt. Cols. iv. Protective minimum pension closer to present Lt. Cols. Pension scale because all retired Majors have served more than 13 years

V.

Note2:

of service before a retirement and are meeting all requisite qualification for becoming Lt. Cols.

Special Note
If tomorrow some one wakes up and decides to do away with ranks of Lts. ,Capts. and officers are commissioned as Majors from the IMA, will then, old Majors retired earlier with qualifying service of 33 years, be equated with newly commissioned officers for the fixation of their pension with zero day of service. To some one, it may appear to be a unique achievement to have been in a position to be able to remove such an important rank from the list of retired Army officer and to earn UNDESIRABLE SEWA MEDAL. As per the present situation, after 13 years of service, the Major rank vanishes and gets merged with that of Lt. Col., whereas old officers of this rank might have served for 20 years and more years of service before retirement. The qualification and the criteria of promotion to the rank of Lt. Col. are exactly the same as applicable to Majors before introduction of present policy in this respect. The duties likely to be performed by the present Lt. Col. are precisely the same as assigned to the Majors prior to this development.

Special Appeal/ Humble Plea( one time measure)


A. Refer special Army instruction SAI/2/S/98 (applicable w.e.f. 01.01.1996 to 31.12.2005). It says, All those officers who stood promoted to the rank of substantive Major prior to 01.01.1996 (later on provision were also extended to after 01.01.1996) were to be automatically promoted to Lt. Col. pay scale with rank pay of Majors on competition of 21 (twenty one) years of commissioned service a one time measure. The authority of same is para 5(a)(IV) of SAI 2/S/98. This shall have a cascading effect on the pension of such officers in the current 6th CPC era too. B. I (along with 95% affected officers from Army/Navy/Air Force are from same category) served as commissioned officers for 15 years plus and rest numbers of years in the ranks. Hence total service 37 years 6 months and 19 days. The whole service is counted for pension purposes. The pension eligibility condition in officer cadre is 20 years of commissioned service. Though I served as commissioned officer only for 15 years plus, and I am getting service pension of SQN LDR as on date. It shows that I am fulfilling the eligibility condition of 20 years of commissioned service and all privilege to count gratuity/commutation/ full pension are further extended to 33 years of commissioned service except the most important privilege of 21 years of commissioned service laid down in above mentioned special Army Instruction. C. I was promoted to substantive rank of SQN LDR on 14 January 2000 and May I, (along with 95% affected officers of Army/Navy/Air Force) request your benevolence to recognize our commissioned service to 21 years and extend the privilege laid down in SAI 2/S/98 and all the issues such as (clubbing with juniors/ Hony Officers/ lost credibility/ Major is made minor) will be completely solved. A statement of case with slight amendment in present SAI 2/S/98 or fresh special Army Inst. may please 5

be considered, otherwise present position is that Major and their equivalent are pushed back to wall and are getting Lts. Pension from last 66 months. 11. In defence services, the rank is a unique feature of identity of a person and it remains as a part of identity even after ones demise. In order to enhance the social status of officers(Majors) at place of meeting/gathering with serving/retired officers and also to maintain a financial status equivalent to pre-retirement level for leading a decent independent life as senior citizens and also to maintain respectable difference with lower and next higher rank i.e. Lt. Col, the pension of Major be raised reasonably after giving due consideration to length of service also.

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I along with about 200 officers (under 16 petitions )from Army, Navy and Air Force have challenged the huge gap in pension between Major and Lt. Col. And their equivalent in other services which has increased from Rs. 950/to 11600/- per month by VIth CPC. 13. All the above petitions have been heard and admitted under three different judgments. None of the petitions has been disallowed. As against the three/four months given to the Govt., six months have already been past, but the order of the honourable principle bench, Delhi and AFT, Chandigarh have not been implemented yet. All efforts to know the present position for implementation of AFT verdict have failed from all concerned government authorities and whole Major cadre is made to live on reduced pension from last 66 months. 14. The establishment of AFT with a principle branch in Delhi and regional branches in various other cities has come as a great relief in many such cases. Yet a slow grinding system does not keep pace with the rapid relief offered by the AFT. Also, defence Ministry does not adhere to the time frame prescribed by the courts, unless contempt petitions are filed. Speedy justice is a far cry in the defence ministry. Of late the courts have been using strong language against the Govt. relating to the court cases involving serving personnel and the retired veterans VS Govt. of India. This can be taken as a reflection of prevailing sentiments in the country. A soldier is INDIAN in thoughts and deed and this concept needs to be adopted at the national level. This issue must not be allowed to be blocked by any narrow and parochial consideration.

General concept of retiree Veterans about, Bharat Sarkar and her Babus

All dispensations of Govt. are failing flat, one by one, when subjected to principle of Natural Justice in Court of Law. But still Govt. functionaries go on appealing even though their appeals are seldom upheld by Higher/Apex Court(s). But yes they do manage to stall and delay giving out dues to deserving cases. Thats how, unfortunately, Bharat Sarkar and their Babus work! No point blaming them as this is the only way they know to function and have been doing it all their lives, so expect NO change in their thinking and mindset in future too.It is therefore humbly requested your good self to act positively on the said anomaly and remove the general concept of retired Veterans especially Majors to get back their lost credibility. 15. I am confident that your good selves would be pleased to considered this issue sympathetically and pursue it for early issuance of favorable order and get back the lost credibility of Majors and their equivalent. Letter is quite lengthy, but one line reply will definitely give me healthy breathe/hope/overdue excitement from higher ups.

Warm regards Copy to: 1.Chief of Army Staff Sincerely 2.Chief of Naval Staff 3.Chief of Air Force 4. Dte. Of PP&R,Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan) LDR (retd.) West block VI,RK Puram New Delhi-66

Your YS Nijjar SQN