WHITE PAPER ON THE RANK PAY ISSUE at
MOD has issued the order/instruction for payment of the rank pay arrears. Only the officers who were serving in the rank of Captain or higher upto Brigadier on 01.01.1986 will be benefited.
IMPLEMENTAION OF RANK PAY ORDER ( by Gp Capt(Retd) U R Dabir, VM)
The rank pay implementation order issued by the Govt on 27-12-2012 only amends the instructions issued to the three services for implementation of fourth pay commission for serving officers, to give effect to the SC orders. These orders have only been addressed to the three service chiefs and not to the PCDA(Pensions). Separate orders will be issued to them for pension provisions as given in fourth and subsequent pay commissions.
Fourth pay commission has a modified pension parity provision where an officer will be given pension of 50% of the minimum pay of rank. As such, all pre-1986 retirees will be entitled to increased pension after re-fixation as per the SC order. A separate PPO is not necessary for such increase in pension and an appropriate circular is expected to be issued by PCDA(Pension) in due course giving the pension entitlement of each rank based on the number of years of service rendered. This inference is also borne out from the fact that the Govt implementation orders only provide for Data Sheet/ LPC to be provided to pension authority and does not make any mention about pension provisions in respect of those who were in service as on 01-01-1986.
Since all other provisions of the Instructions referred to in the Govt orders are applicable to serving officers of various categories and ranks these, will not be applicable to retired officers, as such DGL framed by the three services based on these instruction will cease to operate after retirement.
The Govt order does mention that all improvements based on SC order be used to re-fix pay as per per Fifth and Sixth pay commissions, as such, pay scales of only serving officers will be modified. As per the modified pension parity principle followed by fourth and fifth pay commissions all pensions would be increased.
Sixth pay commission pensions were based on minimum of pay band till Sep 2012 when the RM changed the same to minimum of the pay in pay band for a particular rank, restoring modified parity in true sense. Hopefully the same will be restored from 01-01-2006 in due course.
MoD ‘twist’ leaves SC order on rank pay largely redundant
Chandigarh, December 30
While the Ministry of Defence has finally issued the much awaited instructions for the implementation of the Supreme Court order correcting that rank pay anomaly that arose consequent to the implementation of the Fourth Pay Commission, veterans have pointed out a twist in the instructions that makes the apex court’s orders largely redundant.
Not only do the instructions give pay scale upgradation of armed forces officers the go-by, but also leave out the re-fixation of pensions of those who retired before January 1986 as well as consequential benefits for all officers arising out of the implementation of the fifth and sixth pay commissions.
Veterans estimate that the new instructions, issued on Friday, are applicable to only about 20,000 officers who were holding the rank of captain to brigadier as on January 1, 1986, where as it should have covered over 80,000 officers, pensioners and widows had the court order been implemented in its letter and spirit.
The SC had in 2010 ruled that rank pay, first introduced by the Fourth Pay Commission, is to be included as part of basic pay for the purpose of calculating emoluments, allowances and benefits. Contrary to the recommendations, the orders issued for implementation of the Fourth Pay Commission had deducted rank pay from basic pay, causing financial loss to officers. A similar anomaly arose after the fifth pay commission too. An application by the Union of India before the Supreme Court to recall its order was rejected on September 4, 2012. The court had ordered re-fixation of pay “with effect from January 1, 1986.”
By the MoD’s own affidavits and submissions, the implementation of the judgment would involve re-fixing of not only the Fourth Pay Commission but would affect the fifth and sixth pay commissions. The MoD also maintained that it would alter payment of all consequential and resultant benefits of officers and their families wherever applicable. Further in a recently filed affidavit seeking extension of time for implementation of the judgment, the MoD had stated that the judgment related to three successive pay commissions and also affected the benefits of officers who had retired prior to 1986.
While the court had ordered re-fixation of scales with effect from January 1, 1986, Para 6 of the MoD instructions issued yesterday grants the benefits to officers “as on 01-01-1986.”
“This subtle variation makes world of a difference. The judgment, which was to have a cascading effect on the fixation of pay and pay-scales after January 1, 1986, that is with effect from the fourth pay commission, continuing till date, has been effectively rendered applicable only for those persons who were in receipt of rank pay as on January 1, 1986,” a high court lawyer dealing with service matters pointed out.