Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 14
Faced with differing interpretations of a Supreme Court order on correct fixation of “rank pay” of armed forces officers, Defence Minister AK Antony today decided to seek opinion of the Attorney General (AG).
The “rank pay” issue is popularly known as the Major AK Dhanapalan case. The Supreme Court, in a verdict last September, ordered fixation of “rank pay” since January 1, 1986, for the Fourth Pay Commission.
Antony, at a high-level meeting today, made it clear that the apex court verdict had to be implemented. The forces and the MoD are in disagreement over interpretation of the SC order. The MoD interpretation is that the order may be implemented for personnel impacted by the Fourth Pay Commission “as on January 1, 1986”. The interpretation of the forces is that it means “with effect from January 1, 1986”.
This would mean that the anomaly in the subsequent pay commissions (the fifth and the sixth) should also be corrected. Rank pay, when calculated with the basic, will enhance pension of thousands of retired officers.
Going by the MoD interpretation, officers affected by the Fourth Pay Commission would benefit, while there would be no hike for those covered under the later pay commissions.
Antony said the Services would give their interpretation and submit to the Attorney General directly while the MoD would take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance that fixed the pays and salaries of all government employees.
According to official sources, Antony wants the matter to be sorted out soon. The MoD will also give its interpretation to the AG.
The Supreme Court had directed the government to re-fix the pay scale of Army officers affected by the Fourth Pay Commission and this would entail an additional burden of Rs 1,600 crore on the exchequer.
The orders benefited officers in the rank of Captain to Brigadier in the Army and equivalent ranks in the Air Force and the Navy, between January 1, 1986, and January 1, 2006.
The apex court also directed the Centre to pay 6 per cent interest from January 1, 2006, to all officers, whether or not they have filed any petition before any of the high courts or the Benches of Armed Forces Tribunal, within 12 weeks from today.
Major AK Dhanapalan was the first officer to challenge the fixation before the Kerala High Court which, in October 1998, directed the government to re-fix the pay without deducting the rank pay.
- The Supreme Court, in a verdict last September, ordered the fixation of “rank pay” since January 1, 1986, for the Fourth Pay Commission
- The forces and the MoD are in disagreement over the interpretation of the SC order
- The MoD interpretation is that the order may be implemented for personnel impacted by the Fourth Pay Commission “as on January 1, 1986”
- The interpretation of the forces is that it means “with effect from January 1, 1986”
Projected Pay Structure for Next Seventh Pay Commission
A Wing Commander went to Grand Hotel, Mall road, Shimla.
The receptionist said, “Are you from CDS/NDA?”
The retired Wing Commander Sahib said, “Yes, I am a retired Wing Commander. Can I get the room?”
The receptionist said, “Yes Sir, you can get the ordinary room for Rs 400 per day. You can also get the VIP room in Mayo Block if your grade pay is Rs 8700 or more.”
Wing Commander sahib’s face went pale as he recalled he had payband 4 but Govt. Of India Babus had deliberately depressed the grade pay to Rs 8000. On the civil side, the payband 4 starts with grade pay of Rs 8700. As already explained in an earlier post, the Wing Commanders and equivalents deserve grade pay of Rs 8800.
Wing Commander Sahib who had put in 30 years of service could not get VIP room and felt small. What’s the use of commanding the elite fighter aircraft squadrons? A commanding officer of Seema Suraksha Bal has been given higher grade pay than the Wing Commander who commands elite squadrons like the Sukhoi, Mirage etc. That’s the reward you get; insult and lowering of status.
Officers of other central services with just 15 years of service are enjoying the grade pay of Rs 8700 whereas still 75 % of the officers in the defence service are having grade pay of Rs 8000 even after 25 years of service.
Old Lt Cols who commanded the battalions and fought the wars for the nation are being slighted by the babus and the rulers of the country. Sadly and surprisingly, The serving top leadership is silent on these issues. They say,” No issues with Govt.”
The excellent article by the Veteran Brig Sivasankar Vidyasagar, A Bombay Sapper highlights the modus operandi of various authorities in denying the benefits of the 6 CPC, duly approved by the Government of India to add one more of the bundle of injustices heaped upon the Defence Veterans. Another bluff or a mischief played to mislead the Defence Veterans as well as the Nation was perpetrated by the Authorities themselves on 24 September 2012, through a grand media publicity stunt, in the announcement, terming it as a “Bonanza for the Defence Veterans” in the disguise of recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries.
Kindly read the full article at the below mentioned link
Wing Commanders are the backbone of the IAF since it is this rank that commands the elite Sukhoi or other fighter squadrons or performs equivalent functions. The Wing Commanders have been placed in the payband-4 with grade pay of Rs 8000.
Strangely the Commandants who are Police Battalion COs (CPOs i.e. CRPF, BSF etc.) have been given higher grade pay of Rs 8700 i.e. more than the grade pay of Wing Commanders. This is not understood and appears illogical because of the following reasons:-
- Is commanding a Squadron of the Mirage/ Sukhoi fighter planes (or others) anyway less than commanding the police troops?
- Historically the pay of Wing Commander has been more than that of the Commandant.
|Wing Cdr||Police Commandant|
|4th Pay Commission||4700-5900||4500-5700|
|5th Pay Commission||15100-18700||14300-18300|
- According to Warrant of Precedence, a Lt Col lies just one step below the DIG (Sl no. 38 & 37). DIG lies 4 steps below a Colonel (Sl no. 37 & 33)
A DIG has been granted a grade pay of Rs 8900. Hence a Wing Commander should be given a grade pay higher than Rs 8700 but equal/slightly less than Rs 8900.
Hence based on sound logic, facts & figures, a grade pay of Rs 8900 or 8800 should be given to the Wing Commanders of the IAF.