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Maj Navdeep Singh

Advocate, Punjab & Haryana High Court
navdeepsingh.india @

Please do not forward without permission
Now that Lt Cols have been placed in Pay
Band-4, I do not mind sharing with
readers a presentation on the issue of
military status.

This presentation dates back to the time

when Lt Cols were still in Pay Band-3.
 The two issues of placement of Lt Colonels
(and equivalent) in a lower pay band and
the grant of lower grade pays (and status)
to officers of the three services emanate
from two basic anomalies :
 Incorrect presentation of historical pay
equivalence tables by the 6th CPC on
Page 73 of the report

 Non-inclusion / Non-addition of rank pay

into basic pay while formulating the new
pay scales and grade pays
The historical tables of pay equivalence
presented on Page 73 of the 6th CPC are
incorrect and present a skewed view of the
actual position. The said tables are a self-
created interpretation.

Here are a few examples from the III CPC

table, an apt point of comparison since
there was no rank pay at the time :
 The Non-Functional Selection Grade
(NFSG) scale shown equivalent to a full
Colonel is actually the (higher) scale of a
DIG of Police
 The scale of DIG shown equivalent to a
Brigadier is actually the scale
recommended for the erstwhile higher
rank of Additional IG which was later
merged into the rank of IG.
 Non-Functional Selection Grade / Selection Grade
scales of Rs 1650-1800 and 1800-2000 (both of
which are now in Pay Band-4 with a Grade Pay of
Rs 8700) were not reflected at all in the III CPC
tables on Page 73. Both these scales were similar
to the scale for a Lt Col (1750-1950) and in fact
also akin to the scale of the then existing rank of
Major (Selection Grade) who had a scale of Rs
1550-1900. To have a better idea, the III CPC
NFSG scale reproduced on Page 73 of the 6th
CPC may be compared with the complete scales
reproduced on Page 166 of the same report
 The rank of Capt is shown equivalent to
Senior Time Scale (STS) in the III CPC
table but suddenly shown reduced below
STS in the IV CPC table. Needless to say,
there is nothing in the IV CPC which even
remotely hints that a Capt is being
downgraded from the earlier (III CPC)
The tables on Page 73 of 6th
CPC hence have no official
sanctity and are not a correct
picture of actual equivalence
of pay or status. The tables
are also not based on any
official document for
A proper analysis of the situation could be
better presented by tabulating a one to
one comparison. Let us take the example
of the Indian Forest Service. In the
following table, a tabulated analysis of pay
and pension comparison is articulated :
CPC Civil Pay Scale Military Pay Scale Basic Basic Pension Edge Edge
(Selection Grade/ (Lieut Colonel) Pension admissible to at of
Non-Functional admissible to Pre-CPC Start Basic
Selection Pre-CPC civil military of Pension
Grade - reached after 13 pensioners of pensioners Pay for
years of service including the SG/NFSG of the rank of Scale Lieut
training) Lt Col for Cols
III 1650-1800 1750-1950 825 875 +100 +50
IV 4100-5300 4700-5900 2050 2350 +600 +300
V 14300-18300 15100-18700 7150 7550 +800 +400
VI 37400-67000 15600-39100 23050 17063 -10414 -5987
With Grade Pay With Grade Pay Rs 7600
Rs 8700 (Initial pay fixed in the scale at
The rank pay of military officers, which is an
integral part of basic pay, was not added
into the basic pay scales while determining
and formulating new replacement scales
and grade pays by the 6th CPC and later
by the Committee of Secretaries. Here is
why Rank Pay has to be added into
the basic pay :
 Rank pay was carved out of the basic pay
of military officers when a running pay
band was implemented. So there should
be no ambiguity or question on rank pay
being a part of basic pay. The said fact is
also conceded by the 6th CPC in
Paragraph 2.3.10 (iv).
 The 4th CPC had recommended an integrated
running pay scale of Rs 2300-5100 for all ranks
from Second Lieutenant till Brigadier to which
rank pay was added as a differentiating factor. If
we buy the argument of rank pay not being a
part of basic pay, it would mean that a 2/Lt as
well as a Brig had the same status vis-à-vis civil
services since both of them (2/Lt and Brig) were
in the same scale of Rs 2300-5100.
 Both SAIs 2/S/87 and 2/S/98 notified by the MoD clearly
define rank pay as ‘a part of basic pay’. No amendment
was carried out in these definitions at any point of time by
the Govt. So now to say that rank pay is not a part of basic
pay holds no ground.

 The carving out of rank pay from basic pay and then the
addition of the same into basic pay for all purposes was
approved by the Cabinet and no authority in the govt can
hold an opinion or view which is opposed to the
recommendations of the 4th and 5th CPCs approved by the
 While calculating new pay fixation, even the 6th
CPC added rank pay into basic pay. Ref Table
2.3.1 on Page 89 of the 6th CPC.

 The MoD as a respondent had submitted to the

Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal that rank
pay was to be added into basic pay for status
purposes. Two CAT Benches also held that a Col
was senior to NFSG/SG officers in the Rs 14300-
18300 scale (Ref decisions in OA 85/05 by the
Hon’ble CAT at Jodhpur and OA 298/06 by the
Hon’ble CAT at Chennai)
 The insistence of CPOs that their rank of 2IC is equivalent to Lt Col and
that rank pay is not to be added into basic pay of a Lt Col holds no ground
since originally in most of the CPOs there was no rank of 2IC but there
were two grades of Commandants known as Comdt (Selection Grade)
[State Emblem with Two Stars] and Comdt (Ordinary Grade) [State
Emblem with One Star], the point to be noted is that both these ranks
were in NFSG pay scales which are now in Pay Band-4. Comdts (Ordinary
Grade) used to be posted as 2ICs of CPO Battalions. The rank of 2IC
however existed in some CPOs but that rank was also in NFSG scale at par
with Comdt (OG). The 5th CPC however merged Comdt (SG) and Comdt
(OG) and granted them the NFSG scale of Rs 14300-18300, even the 2IC
rank wherever it existed was granted the same NFSG scale of Rs 14300-
18300 for existing incumbents. Having done that, the 5th CPC created a
new junior rank of 2IC in the Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) of Rs
12000-16500 between a Deputy Comdt and Comdt. Now this new JAG
rank of 2IC is what is being compared by the CPOs with a Lt Col. However,
if a new junior rank is created for the CPOs for their cadre management,
would the rank of Lt Col in the Army also stand automatically degraded ?
The answer is No. How can the argument regarding such action taken in
one organization be used for degrading ranks in an another unrelated
organization ?. Paras 70.19 & 70.21 of the 5th CPC may be perused for
complete information on the above situation.
 A document showing a supposedly new definition of rank pay is
now being used to suggest that rank pay is not to be added into
basic pay. Again a plain perusal of this document [MoD Letter No
1 (26) / 97 / 1 / D (Pay / Services) dated 29 Feb 2000] would
show that in fact it re-affirms the stand of the services since it
clearly states that rank pay is directly related to the basic pay and
scale of pay. The reason for not merging rank pay into basic pay
was quite different from what it is being made to look. Rank pay
was maintained as a different part of basic pay to cater for acting
ranks keeping in view the uniqueness of the services in this
regard. For example, if a Capt was promoted as Acting Major,
he/she was to be paid the basic pay of a Capt with rank pay of a
Major. In case rank pay and basic pay were merged, there would
have been a difficulty in maintenance of this concept and that was
the reason why there was no merger.
 The Committee of Secretaries after the 5th CPC
had also opined that a Major’s pay with rank pay
in 14th year of service should be equated with
the NFSG on the civil side (Paras 48 & 49). In
fact, during the 3rd CPC period, it was Majors
who enjoyed a close equivalence with NFSG.
During the 3rd CPC regime, the pay of a Major
(Selection Grade) was Rs 1550-1900 which was
quite similar to the Civil Selection Grade of Rs
1650-1800 now in Pay Band-4.
Civil Grade Length of Percentage Military Length of Percentage
Service of Officers Rank Service of Officers
including making it to including making it to
Training the Grade Training * the Rank
JTS 0 years 100% Lt 1.5 years 100%
No NA NA Capt 3.5 years 100%
STS 4 years 100% Major 7.5 years 100%
JAG 9 years 100% Lt Col 14.5 100%
NFSG 13 years 100% Col 21.5 Less than
years 30%
DIG 14 years 100% Brig 29.5 Less than
years 5% #
SAG 16 years 100% Maj Gen 34.5 Less than
years 2% #
Abbreviations and Footnotes for the table on the previous slide :

JTS : Junior Time Scale, STS : Senior Time Scale, JAG : Junior Administrative Grade,
NFSG : Non-Functional Selection Grade, DIG : Deputy Inspector General (of Police), SAG :
Senior Administrative Grade

* Considering that the officer has passed out of the Indian Military Academy with 1.5 years
of training.
# Approximate value subject to correction

Difference / Lag at each promotional level from Lieut till Maj Gen as becomes evident
from the table :

Lt is 1.5 years behind his/her civilian counterpart.

Major is 3.5 years behind his/her civilian counterpart.
Lt Colonel is 5.5 years behind his/her civilian counterpart.
Colonel is 8.5 years behind his/her civilian counterpart.
Brig is 15.5 years behind his/her counterpart from the IPS.
Maj Gen is 18.5 years behind his/her counterpart.


(RS 37400-67000)

All India Services 13 100%

Group-A Civil Services 13 100%

Medical Services under the 13 years for General Duty Doctors 100%
Central Government
6 years for Specialists 100%

University and College 12 years for Phd holders 100%

13 years for MPhil holders 100%

14 years for non-Phd/MPhil 100%

Defence Services 21.5 years Less than 30%
Though the 6th CPC has commented on ‘established
relativities’, it becomes important to understand
the modalities of actual relativities since
independence and put them against the present
situation. The relativities in the succeeding table
are based on Notification No F 49/9/35-Public (G)
dated 16 June 1937 (as amended and applicable
in 1947) issued by the office of the Governor
General. The said notification is available with the
Ministry of Home Affairs.
Civil Service and Position in 1947 Position as on date
Years of service After the 6th CPC
ICS (now IAS) officers with Brig Lt Gen
30 years of service (Refer Article
32 of Governor General’s notification)

ICS Officers with 23-29 years of Col Maj Gen / Lt Gen

service (Refer Article 38)
ICS Officers with 18-22 years of Lt Col Maj Gen
service (Refer Article 47)
ICS Officers with 12-17 years of Major At 13 years, Officers now
service (Refer Article 59) Equated with Col (SG/NFSG)
At 14 years, Officers now equated with Brig
At 16 years, Officers now equated with
Maj Gen (SAG)
IP (now IPS) Officers with Major At 14-17 years of service, Officers now
15-20 years of service equated with Brig (DIG)
At 18 years of service, Officers now equated
with Maj Gen (IG)
All Class-I Central Services (now known as Group-A Senior to Maj Gen
Civil Services) Maj (Art 59) but
Officers with 20+ years of service. junior to
(Refer Article 56) Lt Col (Art 47)
Thank You

Maj Navdeep Singh

Advocate, Punjab & Haryana High Court
Please do not forward without permission