Notice: Annual General Body Meeting of RDOA on 22 Dec 2013. 
The Annual General Body Meeting of RDOA will be held on 22 Dec 2013 at DSOI Dhaula Kuan from 1100h onwards.
Points if any be forwarded to Secy RDOA by email at id:

Veterans approach SC, seek exemplary punishment for MoD babus

RDOA has dragged the top babus of the MoD to the SC in a contempt petition over non-payment of dues like pay and pensions.
At a time when the sacrifice of valiant men in uniform is yet again under the spotlight, here is one instance the controversy-ridden Ministry of Defence could have done without. Last week, the Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA) has dragged the top babus of the MoD to the Supreme Court (SC) in a contempt petition over non-payment of dues like pay and pensions. The petition was filed last week and hearing in the same is being awaited. 

Those named in the contempt petition include Shashi Kant Sharma, former Defence Secretary and present Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Priti Mohanty, current Advisor Defence Finance, Arunava Dutt, former Controller General of Defence Accounts and RS Gujral, currently Secretary in the Finance Ministry's Department of Expenditure.

A copy of the 49-page contempt petition was accessed by this correspondent. The primary grouse, as mentioned by the RDOA pertains to the 'willfull and deliberate disobedience and violation of the Order dated 4.9.12 passed by this Hon'ble Court' it further seeks, 'exemplary punishment to contemnors for deliberate and intentional non-compliance'.
The case, famously known as the Rank Pay case was initiated by Major AK Dhanapalan when he approached the Kerala High Court in 1998 praying that as per Government of India resolution, 'rank pay' was admissible to army officers in addition to their integrated scales. Since this was taking place since 1.1.86 i.e date of implementation of the fourth pay commission, court allowed him re-fixation of his pay from that day without deducting his pay based on rank pay - a practice which was taking place before. Subsequently, MoD lost all appeals and petitions filed before Kerala High Court as well as SC.

Said Group Captain Karan Singh Bhati, advocate for the petitioners, "The court had given them more time than what they sought to rectify this injustice. That lapsed on May 31, 2013 and MoD did not even bother replying to our legal notice on contempt. Thus we had no option." He added, "What is most unfortunate is that the people suppose to ensure that the armed forces are administered well are the ones failing and thus facing contempt."

In fact, using Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, RDOA sought details from the MoD. In response, the ministry stated that as on June 14, 2013, only 31718 officers from a total pool of 45485 were paid in part, leaving out 13767 officers despite the date for paying all in all respects was May 31, 2013. "We've been forced. From meeting the Defence Minister to writing letters, we did everything but the MoD was simply stonewalling us," said Lt. Col BK Sharma, President of RDOA.

On July 26, Kargil Diwas, defence minister AK Antony had stated, "We are aware of the sensitivity of our men. This issue of Rank Pay has been referred to the Attorney General (AG) for his advice."
After initially reporting on the Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne's repeated persuasion to Defence Minister to implement the SC order of September 2012, Antony had called top-level meeting on June 14 in which it was decided that AG's opinion will be taken on the Rank Pay case. However, on sending the matter to the AG, he passed the buck asking the services to approach him though Law ministry. 

MoD promises to offer immediate remedial steps in Rank Pay case

Aggrieved ex-servicemen and war widows, who have been demanding from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) fair implementation of the Supreme Court order concerning their pay and pension, may finally get relief. Top sources in the ministry said that they would soon take "significant steps" to resolve the conflict.

"The defence minister is extremely concerned at the reports alleging mistreatment of veterans, and towards settling it he has asked the Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur to study the matter and take immediate steps," a top official said. 

It was also informed that the newly appointed defence secretary will form a team and ensure total compliance with regards to the implementation of the Supreme Court's order on the Rank Pay case. "Defence minister will, most probably in July, convene a meeting with all the veterans' organisations involved in this subject to personally understand and act," the official said. 

As facts stand, the MoD had been allowed till May 31 to complete the payment of arrears and pensions to over 45,000 officers who were the affected parties in the Rank Pay case. Despite seeking facts from the MoD's public relations wing, the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR) and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), there was no reply on the subject. Notwithstanding the olive branch extended to it, the veteran community is not taking things at face value.

Air Marshal (Retd) S.Y. Savur of the Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA) said, "My personal take is that Antony is being misled by his bureaucrats about the way in which the MoD is appearing in the courts and how dangerously it can backfire."

Another RDOA colleague of his, Lt-Col. (Retd) B.K. Sharma reacted by saying, "MoD is very late. They were to first pay in November 2012, then in February and then court gave them till May to pay to all beneficiaries, i.e nine months after the court order. Even today the part payment has not been made completely. So we are not inclined to take their words very seriously.


Exclusive: CAG, top babus to face contempt notice over selective implementation of Supreme Court's Rank Pay ruling

After Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne took the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to task over its alleged failure to correctly implement the Supreme Court order concerning granting of dues to veterans and widows, it seems like several top babus, including Comptroller and Auditor General and former defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, too, may be in for a rough ride.

On May 11, the MoD was intimated by the Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA) of the possibility of their filing a contempt petition if the May 31 deadline for implementation of the SC ruling was not met. And given the lack of progress in the matter, the association is all set to drag the bureaucrats to court.

This move was confirmed by Aishwarya Bhati, an SC lawyer representing the RDOA. "By this contempt petition, we want the apex court to note that the MoD has not implemented its order in letter and spirit," she said.

The genesis of the spat lies in the MoD's 'selective' implementation of the SC order dated September 2012 in the Rank Pay case, which the ex-servicemen community won after a long legal battle.

Bhati said that along with CAG Sharma, the others who will be named in the petition are Financial Adviser (Defence Services) Priti Mohanty, Secretary (Department of Expenditure) R.S. Gujral and Controller General of Defence Accounts Arunava Dutt.

The contempt petition, a copy of which was accessed by this correspondent, states, "Various orders of the Hon'ble Kerala High Court and that of the Hon'ble Supreme Court are not being complied with in letter and spirit and deliberate efforts are being made to exclude the application of these orders."

Commenting on the controversial implementation letter issued by the MoD on December 27, 2012, the contempt notice says, "From the perusal of the letter, it became clear that the judicial orders were not intended to be complied with fully consequential benefits." The petition is likely to be filed as soon as courts reopen, post-vacation.

Lt Col. (Retd) Satwant Singh of the RDOA said, "Out of the over 40,000 affected officers, there are about 10,000 who are yet to get their pay issues resolved. Only once the pay issue is resolved can the pension be settled." Officials at the Directorate of Public Relations and the Ex-Servicemen Welfare department did not respond on the issue.



Rift between Armed Forces-Defence ministry over selective implementation of SC verdict on Rank pay case widens

AK Antony
Defence Minister AK Antony. Photo: PTI
Over the last six months, the rift between the uniformed services and the civilian leadership of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has widened, right at the top over the maltreatment of the veterans and widows.

Leading the charge is Air Chief Marshal (ACM) NAK Browne, who as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) has sought the Defence Minister AK Antony's attention for resolving the issue, but to no avail.

The genesis of the spat lies in the MoD's 'selective' implementation of the Supreme Court order of September 2012 in the Rank Pay case, which the ex-servicemen community won after battles in the Kerala High Court as well as in the apex court from 1996 to 2012.

After the anomalies emanating from a 'faulty' order were pointed out, the ministry has been unable to rectify its stand. 

Letters accessed by this correspondent, written by ACM Browne to Antony written on January 18 and May 27, 2013 show the utter disappointment of the uniformed services at the MoD's conduct.

Both these letters were written with the intention to get Antony to make the bureaucrats fall in line. However, there has not been much progress.

In his latest letter, ACM Browne writes to Antony, "The present approach the infirmities has caused a inordinate delay which has given rise to apprehensions in the environment that the delay may be intentional... the beneficiaries to this verdict include many of such officers who retired decades ago and do not have a long time left to wait for their dues. It will be a grave injustice to these veterans if they pass on without getting their rightful arrears."

ACM Browne went on to state, "It is with a deep sense of regret that I convey to the honourable Raksha Mantri about a growing feeling that cases involving Armed Forces personnel are unnecessarily being dragged to higher courts whereas the same could so easily be resolved in the ministry itself."

In fact in his previous letter to Antony on January 18, ACM Browne had specifically pointed out three major anomalies arising out of MoD's implementation order. Towards solving that, Browne had made four recommendations.

In that too, ACM Browne had stated, "The implementation order suffers from unprecedented disparity. It falls much short of expectations and I fear it will fuel further litigation and may enhance the feeling of alienation among veterans." 

Lt. Col (Retd) BK Sharma of the Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA), which fought the case in the Supreme Court said, "It is very strange. We met the Defence Minister twice, the last time we requested him to ensure implementation of court orders. While he was positive, his ministry does everything to negate that. If this is how they treat veterans, which youngster will want to join the armed forces?"

His colleague, Lt. Col (Retd) Satwant Singh added, "I squarely hold the babus of the MoD responsible. What they are doing to our morale is indirectly aiding the enemy!"

The RDOA, it was learnt is planning on filing a contempt petition in the SC against the MoD as soon as the vacation ends. 

Despite repeated requests made to the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR), MoD's public relations wing, there was no response.

Even written requests made at the office of the Secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) for a response did not elicit a response. 

What is the case all about?

The Rank Pay case is also known as the Major Dhanapalan case.

The Supreme Court had envisaged re-fixation of pay for all officers of the Army, Navy & Air Force who were eligible for Rank Pay with effect from 1.1.86, the date of implementation of the Fourth Pay Commission.

However, the MoD implementation letter of December 2012 changed it to 'as on 1.1.86'.

The SC order had also sought the re-designing of the minimum basic pay in the integrated pay scale of IV pay commission to avoid different basic pay to similarly placed officers.

Also, the subsequent amendments in the pay and pension orders issued towards fifth and sixth pay commissions. 

Where is it stuck at present?

Meetings were held in the MoD on January 30 and March 6, 2013 following ACM Browne's letter which were attended by officials from MoD Finance, Expenditure and other departments.

It was later learnt that the services were asked to make a statement of case which would b circulated among all and forwarded to Solicitor General for his comments.

But, for all this, the MoD had time till May 31 2013 as per SC orders. According to RDOA, only a handful of officers have been given their due that too partly, within this deadline even as a majority remain waiting.  

Mystery over 'change'

ACM Browne's letter stated, "Despite the efforts of AS(A) to arrive at a consensus, representatives of CGDA continued to maintain that their version of the interpretation of the court orders needed no review... there has been no explanation as to how and why 'with effect from 1.1.86' was changed to 'as on 1.1.86' despite specifically documented by the apex court in its judgement. It has not bee established as to who had authorised this change since this arbitrary change has now become the root problem."








Veterans Cell in AG's Branch
Address: Veterans Cell, 153 Kashmir House, Rajaji Marg, New Delhi-110011
Toll free no : 1800-11-6644
Pension Grievancies
Smt Molly Sengupta IDAS
Jt CDA(P), Public Grievances Offr (PGO),
Office of the PCDA (Pensions)
Draupadi Ghat, Allahabad-211014
Ph: 0532-2622618, 0532-2622698
Direct Phone no : 0532-2420210
Shri RP Singh,
Dy CGDA (Admin), Public Grievances offr,
Def Accts Deptt, New Delhi
Ph: 011-25674840
MD ECHS: Maj General J George




The whole nation is proud that the cricket team has won the world cup after a gap of 28 years since 1983. There were jubilations/celebrations all around hailing Dhoni and his men in blue. Even the Chairperson of UPA Mrs Sonia Gandhi did not lag behind and was seen mixing with the crowd to be part of the frenzy. Starting from the ICC, States, corporate’s, railways everyone has come forward to shower praise and money/wealth on to the players to endorsing brands making them richer by a couple of crores. No hard feelings. The team has done a good job and deserves a pat.

  Now that the euphoria of the cup is waning it is time to do some introspection as to how the country views its war heroes and what the Govt / State offers them to sacrifice their lives at the alter of duty.

Each player would get Rupees One crore from the BCCI in addition to its share from the ICC, 2cr for Dhoni and one cr each for the four Delhi boys; land/house to Dhoni & Sachin by the Uttarakhand Govt; one cr to Sachin and Zaheer by Maharashtra Govt; one cr to Yuvraj and Harbhajan by Punjab Govt; land to Dhoni for cricket academy in Jharkhand; Housing plots to team members by karanatka Govt; Audi to Yuvraj and lifetime railway pass to travel by first AC to all .

The team partied at the same Taj Hotel which was the battle ground on 26/11 & witness to many a soldier giving up his life. Major Unnikrishnan who died while fighting the terrorists is yet to receive his complete NOK entitlements. He gave his today for the tomorrow of others so that they can party all night without any threat.

The world Cup finals at Mumbai was held under safe environments with the army, navy, coast guard, NSG and what not to ensure the conduct of the match without a hitch. Remove the men in uniform and see if the events pass smoothly, be it CWG games or cricket match.

The Kargil War has still its shadows on the number of officers/jawans who laid their lives to protect the nation and its territorial integrity. What the recipients of Param Vir Chakras/Mahavir & Vir Chakras got in comparison to the cricket boys is known to all (peanuts). What the families of the dead go through can only be experienced by them. Having a decent living is hard to come by. It’s passé as far as the nation is concerned. There is no crib here, but for the value of blood, shed for others to have a peaceful life. The railways is not prepared to honour the percentage concession given to the war heroes in stark comparison to a lifetime FIRST AC FREE PASS throughout the country along with a aide to the cricket stars. Let us not forget the Kabul blast in which a Brig was also blown up with a bureaucrat.  The Babu got all the cake and the icing, the Brig was treated as a casualty. The PM went and paid homage to the babu and his family, the Brig got the traditional ‘Shok Shashtra’. The naked truth is known to all but yet our tolerance levels are very high and we continue to be downgraded/kicked around and accept with a smile.

Many have written to the PM on lot of issues without success. The PM himself is a seasoned bureaucrat. Perhaps it would be wise to remind him that one day he too would go away. When the PM passes away, the Generals will stand guard on his coffin and carry it to the pyre and sound the last post; it is for the PM to think whether he has done his bit towards those who guard the nation and would be part of his last entourage till he melts away.

Where do we go from here? Should we be a silent spectator to the happening around us or should we form part of the Anna Hazare team and mobilize people on the lines of Egypt or pass away into oblivion. I leave this thought with you.














 Dear Veterans

There are mixed reactions, both euphoria as well as apprehension/misgivings on the formation of the Armed Forces Grievenances Redressal Commission. Justice M Katju must have given a deep thought over the matter and in his wisdom he felt that there was a need of such a commission to address the anomalies/grievenances of the armed forces with every case coming to the judiciary and the executive failing to perform its duty. The armed forces have been given equal weightage in the nomination of members along with the judiciary, first of its kind in independent India and we as members of the armed forces should feel proud about it

Some veterans feel that the commission is toothless and is only recommendatory in nature. Let me tell you that nobody is born with teeth. They come out with age. The Women’s Commission is also recommendatory but yet is doing wonders. So let us not sit on judgement over a commission which is yet to take shape. We can keep our gun powder dry till the commission starts showing results.

Lot of emails have been exchanged over the outcome of the IV Pay Commission Rank pay anomaly case and what could/should have been done. The fact that Justice Katju refused to refer the case to the commission and recall his order is proof enough that his judgment is sound and the case is on solid footing. On behalf of RDOA I would request the veterans to refrain from giving conflicting views or suggest ideas to the UOI. Facts of the case are known to RDOA and our advocates are capable to handle the case.

Lastly to say that the credit of the AFGRC does not go to RDOA but someone else. RDOA is not for scoring brownie points. Our aim is to get relief and we are persuing it relentlessly. We want the problems to be resolved and we are working to that end. Means can be anything. We are confident that the AFGRC would do its job judiously. In the words of Kautilya let the Mauryan Empire be given a chance to look after the welfare of its soldiers before it looses its morality to rule.

Functioning of Resettlement Directorate
CIC asks Defence Ministry to probe
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 23
Some retired armed forces officers re-employed with central or state government agencies, who had drawn welfare facilities from the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR), may have sub-let them to third parties in gross violation of the eligibility criteria. There have also been instances where some officers have taken dual or multiple benefits at the same time from the DGR.
Taking note of allegations of misconduct on the part of some serving and retired officers, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the defence ministry to investigate the matter and take appropriate action.
Disposing off an application filed by a retired officer seeking information about benefits availed by ex-servicemen under schemes sponsored by the Directorate General Resettlement, the CIC order stated that though the RTI Act did not confer vigilance role on the Commission, even so, the commission cannot ignore allegations levelled by a retired officer on affidavit.
Alleging in his affidavits attached alongside the application that the office of the DGR was not functioning in a fair and transparent manner, a retired colonel running a security agency empanelled by the DGR has listed out instances where some officers up to the rank of brigadier holding post-retirement posts were running commercial agencies through the DGR. He has contended that since these officers were employed full-time elsewhere, they would be “sub-letting” these welfare ventures to non-entitled persons.
Some instances have revealed officers working as promoter-directors of more than one firm registered by the DGR. Other instances include management of more than one highway toll plaza by the same officer at the same time. Others running businesses or security firms already empanelled by the DGR were sponsored for various PSUs and public contracts.
Earlier, details obtained under the RTI Act have revealed that intermediary agencies had tried to offer illegal gratification to a major general heading the resettlement directorate a few years ago also.


RDOA wishes all its members & Veterans and their families 'A Very HAPPY DIWALI'

AFSPA has got a new name "Armed Forces Salaries Pensions and Allowances Act'

Read HT Times 19 Oct under the errors / ommissions/ article by Manas Chakravarty, Consulting editor Mint

To quote/unquote AFSPA as percieved by our Raksha Mantri

"A report dated Sep 6 had a quote from the defence minister saying that he was in favor of revising the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in J&K.The minister has denied that he made any such statements.He says he did tell the reporter that the AFSPA should be reviewed,but by AFSPA he meant Armed Forces Salaries, Pensions and Allowances and not the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.We regret the misunderstanding caused by our reporter's lack of knowledge."

 Confuscious theory abound




Views of RDOA


The NDTV telecast on OROP was a big ‘Façade’ missing the main objective of ‘One Rank One Pension’. The debate spiraled to a tangent to issues like honour, izzat, compensation package, disability pension, to downgrading of armed forces to the level of fire fighters and men working in mines. Are the armed forces headed that way ?


Disability pension and compensation package are by themselves major separate issues which need independent debates. Within disability pension there are number of issues which have been given to central govt civilians employees but not extended to the armed forces. The armed forces personnel are defenitely at greater risk of disability than their civilian counter parts.


As of now the compensation package does not cater for early retirement and alternative employment till the age of 60 yrs nor adequate pension to compensate for loss of earning due to early superannuation.


The concept of one rank one pension which in simple terms means “ that two persons retiring in the same rank with same length of service should get the same pension irrespective of the date of retirement”. Nobody raised questions as to why OROP is not administratively feasible as said by the committee of secretaries or why OROP cannot be given?.


In a system which is rank based how can a Brig who retired after 2006 draw more pension than a Maj Gen who retired prior to 1/1/2006. It amounts to undermining the rank of Maj Gen. Will the babus accept a Jt Secy/Dir drawing more pension than a Addl Secy? The answer is a big NO then how come for the armed forces the pensions are forced down. The pensions are not being implemented inspite of the Supreme Court orders. The Ex Defence Secretary should have answered that.


Capt Dawar  should have been asked as to why OROP has not been implemented inspite of it being recommended by the Standing Committeee on Defence since 1983 and forming part of the political manifesto of all political parties with assurance both outside and inside the parliament that OROP would be given. There should have been Power point slides to educate the people of the nation as to what really OROP means what are the pension differences in ranks and not comparing a soldier to a fireman entering a building on fire. For those who have doubts, 26/11 is a stark naked reality. One can see who enters in line of ‘fire’


A valuable 30 min were wasted on irrelevant issues not pertaining to OROP. The show was totally unlike Barkha.  




12 Sept 2010

SUNDAY LETTERS as appeared in Hindustan Times on 12 Sept 2010. Original letter attached




Pramit Pal Chaudhuri in ‘What is China’s problem with India? (The Big Story, Sept 05) has noted that the Chinese Army plays a major role in the shaping of that country’s  foreign policy. But in India, babus continue to call the shots. In 1962, the Chinese caught us unawares and we find ourselves leading up to a similar situation today. Militarily and economically, we are no comparison to China. If India wishes to be super power, it must be a militarily strong regional power first. Our political strategy vis-à-vis our neighbours has not borne fruit. It’s high time our netas and babus woke up to the reality and started involving the Army in decision making like other countries do.


                                                                        Satwant Singh via email


SC wants separate pay panel for forces

New Delhi, September 8

Pointing out that many of the armed forces personnel have returned their medals due to non-redressal of their grievances, the Supreme Court today asked the government to consider setting up a separate Pay Commission for both serving and retired members.“We feel this is necessary as the Armed Forces personnel have many grievances which they feel are not being properly addressed by the Union Government. Many have even returned their medals,” a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and TS Thakur said in an order.The Bench asked Attorney General GE Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to forward the suggestion to the government and get its response by October 18, the next date of hearing.The court passed the order while hearing a petition filed by some serving and retired army officers challenging the government’s refusal to accord them enhanced “rank pay” as recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission.The AG and the SG “were present on behalf of the Central government. We have made certain suggestions to them regarding setting up of an independent commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge for looking into all the grievances of the serving and former members of the Armed Forces,” the Bench noted in the order, marking a copy each to the AG and the SG.Earlier during the arguments, the Bench slammed the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post for getting their salary disputes resolved. “The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country,” it remarked.Noting that the Army people who were a disciplined lot could not go on agitation like others, the Bench said forcing them to fight for their salaries was not good for the country. Citing a senior officer who burnt his artificial limb in frustration, the Bench asked the AG and the SG: “Why do you allow such things?”The present Pay Commission headed by bureaucrats was perhaps unable to understand the problems of the personnel, the apex court observed and felt that setting up a separate commission would provide a channel for them to vent out their feelings.The Bench slammed the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post for getting their salary disputes resolved. “The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country,” it remarked.


SC upholds 105-year law exempting armed forces from toll

Upholding provisions of the 105-year old Indian Tolls Act, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) seeking withdrawal of concessions provided to Armed Forces personnel under the Act.

A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Ashok Bhan and Mr Justice Markandey Kadju declined to interfere in the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had dismissed a petition filed by a Chandigarh resident, Sanjeev, in May. Sanjeev had challenged the provisions of the Act on the ground that it was discriminatory, unconstitutional and against the spirit of Article 14 of the Constitution of India which provided for equality before law. He had also contended that other central government employees and members of the para military forces are not entitled to such concessions.

The HC Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice H S Bedi and Mr Justice Ranjit Singh, however, ruled to the contrary and had dismissed the petitioner’s contentions. Thereafter, he had filed a SLP in the apex court against the HC order.

Section 3(a) of the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901, provides for toll tax exemption on all public or private roads and bridges in India to officers and men of the regular forces whether they are on duty or not. Further civil vehicles and animals moving under military orders, are also exempted from payment of toll tax. The Act also has an overriding clause, which causes it to override all other Acts or directions by any legislature or central or state government in India.

The controversy regarding applicability of the Act began a few years ago, when private toll operators under the Build-Operate- Transfer (BOT) system on various roads and bridges had started refusing toll exemption to defence personnel and in certain cases even to defence vehicles.

The issue had then been settled after Chandigarh-based lawyer, Capt Navdeep Singh, took up the matter with the Central Government in 2004 and instructions were issued by government thereafter that the Act was very much applicable to toll roads and bridges being operated under the BOT schemes or otherwise. The instructions also clarified that the Act was applicable even to private vehicles belonging to personnel of the regular forces.

While the problem of illegal charging of toll tax has more or less been settled with the instructions being circulated all over, sporadic incidents of harassment of defence personnel continue to be reported mainly from the Delhi-Noida- Delhi Flyway and from some areas of Himachal Pradesh.








Archana Sardana is a veteran of the skies. Three years ago, the 38 year old took a leap into the unknown when she became one of India’s select few woman skydivers. Today this homemaker, wife of a Naval Officer, has become India's first and only woman B.A.S.E jumper, officially one of the world's riskiest extreme sports, that involves jumping off Buildings, Antennae, Spans and Bridges, with a single parachute (no reserve parachute) and very little time to react for emergencies. “The freefalls last for a couple of seconds, after that it is a question of how you fly your canopy. It’s definitely far more exciting than skydiving and infinitely riskier. Infact it is real daredevilry”, says Archana. She is now scouting tall structures in India to jump from including the TV Tower, Pitampura, New Delhi.


Archana completed her schooling from Srinagar, is a Bachelor of Science and has a Diploma in Interior Designing. Encouraged and inspired by her husband, she did her Adventure, Basic and Advanced Mountaineering Courses from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling and Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi.


“It’s a myth that women cannot take up extreme adventure sports because of physical reasons”, says Archana.


Skydiving, as an adventure sport is in its nascent stage in India. Very elementary training facilities are available in certain places and that too for static line jumps. However, organised skydiving training facilities are available in the country for Defence Forces skydiving teams only. But for civilians skydivers going in for ‘solo jumps’ no training facilities whatsoever are available in the country. ”While the government puts in all efforts to get the Women’s Bill enacted in the Parliament, it is a pity, that in the field of skydiving, no opportunities are available to women skydivers in the country. I had no option but to pursue my dreams elsewhere in the world” laments Archana.


In 2007, after a brief interaction with the Indian Navy Skydivers she undertook a course in Accelerated Freefall Training (AFF) at the Perris Valley Skydiving School, California, USA.


Her husband, a Submarine Officer of the Indian Navy has been her biggest pillar of support. “I started skydiving long after marriage and in all my endeavours my husband has always stood beside me,” she adds.


Today Archana has completed 238 jumps and has a 'C' license from the 'United States Parachute Association'. She is a 'Demonstration Skydiver' and is the first Indian woman to fly the Indian Tricolour in US skies.


Skydiving is unconventional only in India. In her last trip to USA, she witnessed a large number of American women 'Jump for a Cause' (for awareness of Breast Cancer) jumping to make a world record formation in the air. “My VISION for Indian women is to break the glass ceiling and achieve greater heights, to prove to the world that Indian women are second to none” says Archana.


After completing more than 200  jumps and qualifying for “Flag Jumps”, thrill seeking Archana decided to undertake an even more dangerous and risky sport, B.A.S.E. Jumping. Only last month(13 Jul 2010) Archana completed 25 BASE jumps from a 400 ft high bridge in Utah, USA thus becoming India’s first and only woman BASE jumper.


To achieve her mission of flying the Indian Tricolour in US skies (the proudest moment of her life), Archana had to struggle a lot as it required a minimum of 200 skydives to qualify for the Flag Jump. This involved not only hard work and rigorous training of 16-20 weeks done in 3 phases for proper assimilation but also a whopping expenditure of approximately 15 lakhs for her training visits to USA. Archana alone knows how difficult it was to raise these funds as she had to sell her wedding jewellery, car, digging into husbands saving and taking support from parents, friends and family, adds mother of two school going children Pranav and Ayush aged 10 and 8 years. Having exhausted all her financial resources, she now has a major hurdle to cross viz. to raise funds for her mission of “creating awareness of the social evil of female foeticide”.


 Archana did her first skydive to raise awareness for a ‘Blind Free India’. Today, she has taken on another noble cause to Save the Girl Child. Towards achieving her mission of eradication of Social Evils against women and work for their betterment, she is even prepared to sky dive on the “highest drop zone in the world, near Mt. Everest with the Indian Tricolour”. She also plans to jump in every village of the country to achieve her goals of fighting against Social Evils. However, the constraint of funds is a major hurdle, which has presently slowed down the progress of her mission. To overcome the shortage of financial resources, she plans to reach out to Social Organizations, State & Central Governments and Private  & Public Corporations for their support in this very noble cause.


Contact Details:

Archana Sardana Mobile 09953792631 Email

Major SN Sardana Mobile 09417190577 Email

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1.         Anomaly 6 CPC: Disability Pension Pre and Post 2006.


2.         Non Payment of 40% arrears by SBI to the pensioners.


3.         Non issue of notification for PB4 for Lt Cols retirees consequent to issue of amendment to SAI by MOD placing all Lt Cols in PB4( 37400-67000)


Status of IV Pay Commission Case: Awaiting listing in apex court. In Q




Shri SM Acharya, IAS

Secretary, Deptt of Ex Serviceman Welfare,

MOD, 198-B, South Block,

New Delhi 110011 





The Deptt of Ex-Serviceman Welfare has published the orders for revision of disability / war injury / liberalised / special family pension(s) for the officers of the armed forces and Personnel below officer rank (PBOR). Separate orders have been issued for pre-2006 and post-2006 pensioners vide their letters of 04 May & 05 May 2009 respectively.


On scrutiny of these orders it is observed that the pre-2006 pensioners have not been shifted from the flat ‘slab’ rates to the ‘percentage’ rates as had been recommended by the 6th CPC. Only post 01st January 2006 retirees have been granted the benefit of percentage based system.


It is an anomaly and gross injustice to the armed forces and pre 2006 retirees which needs correction /to be addressed. Extract of orders are as given.


Post-2006 orders in brief

Disability Element (DE) to be granted @ 30% of basic emoluments for 100% disability proportionately decreased for lesser disability. Basic emoluments to include basic pay, grade pay and MSP and NPA if applicable. DE shall be subject to a minimum of Rs 3100 for 100% disability.

In case disability is above 60%, the total disability pension shall not be less than 60% of emoluments last drawn subject to a minimum of Rs 7000.

War Injury element for 100% disability shall be paid equal to total emoluments last drawn proportionately decreased for lesser percentage of disability. This war injury element is to be paid in addition to the service element (service pension).


Constant Attendance Allowance notified @ Rs 3000 per month.

Special Family Pension shall now be subject to a minimum of Rs 7000 per month.

Pre-2006 orders in brief

For 100% disability, the rates of disability element stand increased to the following :

Officers : Rs 5880 (Rs 11670 for War Injury element)

JCOs : Rs 4300 (Rs 8600 for WIE)

Other Ranks : Rs 3510 (Rs 7020 for WIE)

Constant Attendance Allowance increased to Rs 3000 per month.

Special Family and Liberalised Family Pension shall be subject to a minimum of Rs 7000 per month.




It is not understood as to why pre-06 pensioners have not been put on the percentage based system recommended by the 6th CPC as has been accepted for post-06 pensioners. While recommending the new system of calculation (as was in force earlier for civilians), the 6th CPC had nowhere stated that it shall only be applicable to post-06 pensioners.


A General who retires on 31 Dec 2005 with 100% disability is now entitled to a fixed amount of Rs 5880 as disability element while an officer of the same rank with the same disability for the same injury or disease who retires a day later on 01 Jan 2006 is entitled to a disability element of Rs 27000.


In addition to disability element, officers are entitled to service element (service pension). There is already a huge gap in the pension of pre and post 2006 retirees which will further increase  with the addition of disability pension there by creating  a huge space between the total package of disability pensioners while the disability / suffering remains the same.


Some varying examples of disability element rates for pre and post-2006 pensioners :

(Service element / pension is at applicable pre/post-06 rates is admissible in addition to disability element)

Disability element of a pre-01-01-06 freshly commissioned Lieutenant who got disabled : Rs 5880

Disability element of a post-01-01-06 freshly commissioned Lieutenant who gets disabled : Rs 8100

Disability element of a pre-01-01-06 freshly promoted Lt Col who got disabled :

 Rs 5880
Disability element of a post-01-01-06 freshly promoted Lt Col who gets disabled :

Rs 15759

Disability element of a pre-01-01-06 Colonel who was at the end of scale at the time of retirement : Rs 5880

Disability element of a post-01-01-06 Colonel who is at the end of scale at the time of retirement : Rs 24510

Disability element of a pre-01-01-06 General : Rs 5880
Disability element of a post-01-01-06 General : Rs 27000

It is earnestly requested that the Committee set up to look into the aspect of 6 CPC anomalies for Defence pensioners takes note of this glaring anomaly and resolves this issue at the earliest.






2.         Non Payment of 40% arrears by SBI to the pensioners.


Dear Sir,


It is informed that the State Bank of India has not paid 40% pension arrears to the retirees having account with them inspite of repeated requests to the SBI authorities. An action which should have been implemented by the PDA without recourse to letter writing by individuals. The claims made by SBI are totally false. As many witnesses required can be produced with documentary evidence.The Chandni Chowk branch of SBI from where all action takes place have raised their hands.

May I request you to please look into the matter and ensure that the veterans get their legitimate dues. Kindly also investigate as to why so much delay has taken place in disbursement of arrears.If this is the time taken for payment of 40% arrears, release of balance amount of 60% will become ?

If the aim is to harrass the retirees, then the bank should be asked to pay interest on delayed payment.

An early action on your part is highly solicited. This email is also being addressed to the legal cell for record

Thanking you


for RDOA


3.         Non issue of notification for PB4 pension for Lt Cols retirees consequent to issue of amendment to SAI by MOD placing all Lt Cols in PB4( 37400-67000)


Issue of Pension orders for Lt Cols consequent to issue of instructions for Lt Cols in PB4


Vide MOD(Finance) letter no 1/(30)/09-AG/PA dt 20 Apr 09 and F No 1/71/2008/D(Pay Services) instructions have been issued for fixing the pay of Lt Cols in PB4 as an amendment to SAI/2/S/08 dt 11 Oct 2008 (copy attached)


Based on the above; orders for payment of pension to Lt Cols require to be issued to all concerned wef 01 Jan 2006. 90% of the retired officers fall in this category and prompt action needs no emphasizes.


It is requested that necessary instrs may please be issued on priority.

Thanking you


for RDOA






Payment of Pension by Pension Disbursing Agency (PDA)


PCDA Pension Allahabad has issued instructions vide letter of 02 Feb 09 to PDA’s to calculate pension of retirees as per their letter in terms of para 4 and Annex I and compare as per Annex II. Off the two whichever is beneficial should be paid to the retiree and there should be no room for doubts. A ‘danda’ to the PDA’s .


ALL LT COL’S IN PB 4 (37400-67000)


It is intimated that all Lt Col’s (TS/S) are now placed in Pay Band 4 (37400 to 67000) barring a few who are on deputation to NHAI, Pawan Hans, and PSU’s. On return to the parent org they would be entitled to PB4. Issue of amendment to SAI for serving offrs is awaited. Once that is done instrs for pension would also get issued. All pre 2006 retirees in the rank of Lt Col will get Rs 25700 as minimum pension plus DA @ 16% minus Commutation value.


There are two issues connected to this which hopefully will get resolved. One is Grade Pay which should be 8700 and not 8000. The second is that Lt Col had a pre revised scale of 15100-400-18700 (Inclusive of rank pay which was carved out of the pay scale of the officers). As rank pay is no longer applicable it has to be restored back before fitment in 6 CPC pay band. Also Civilians drawing a pre revised V CPC scale of 14300-400-18300 have been fitted in PB4. Therefore it is logical that a Lt Col drawing a higher PAY in VCPC has to be fitted higher in the pay band. Para 2.2.21 of 6 CPC report protects this. If that be so, then Lt Col will have to be given a minimum of 39690 in PB4 with corresponding grade pay of 8700 as has been given to other civilians in the same scale. Early resolution of this anomaly is eagerly awaited as it affects the pay and allowances of all serving officers Lt Col upwards as well as pension of the veterans. Case has already been projected to the higher authorities.






Fixation of Pension for the rank of Lt Col / Col.


Prior to the implementation of the AV Singh Committee Report, officers who were not selected for the rank of Lt Col became so by time scale after completion of 21 years of service but without rank pay.


After implementation of the said report, the rank of Lt Col is attained by all officers on completion of 13 years of service as selection grade Lt Col is abolished. Officers who have retired prior to  implementation of the report have been deprived of the Pensionary benefit of the rank pay of Lt Col which will further get compounded if not corrected before the 6CPC award as ‘rank pay’ has been replaced by ‘Grade pay ‘as they would be taken to have retired as Lt Col (TS).


Further the rank of COL is attainable by time scale now if not selected by the board on completion of 26 years of service. Technically the officer becomes eligible for the Grade pay of Col once he puts on the rank as well as the rank pay prior to 6 CPC award. The officers who have retired prior to AV Singh report have lost on this count too though being from the same course because of age factor. This is another anomaly which needs correction.


The issue has been resolved as now Lt Col (S/TS) are at par and fitted accordingly

Also Col (TS) eligible for Grade pay as applicable to Col (S) on attainment of rank





We are very grateful to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr Shri Manmohan Singh and to you for resolving some of the anomalies of the 6CPC and for announcing a ‘Separate Pay Commission’ for the Armed Forces. The fact that it has been felt justifies the demand and the intricacies involved.






The Govt should avoid creating a ‘Class’ within a ‘Class’ for the Defence Forces officers. From the rank of Lieutenant to General the officer is known by his rank till he fades away and to say that a Lt Col ‘A’ will get grade pay of PB4 if he is in ‘combat’ and not on deputation is sowing the seeds of ‘Divide and Rule’ which does not augur well for the armed forces. All Arms & Services of the military take part in combat and are trained for that, so there is no scope for different Grade Pay within the same rank.


It would be in the interest of the Defence Services that such anomalies are not allowed to take root and resolved at the first instance to prevent dissatisfaction creeping in which has a direct bearing on the morale of officers and in turn of the men they command.


In conclusion once again we are thankful to you for putting the rank of Lt Col in PB-4 which will also boost the pension of the ‘Veterans’ and request for early resolution of the Grade Pay and demand of One Rank One Pension.


The issue of combat / non combat has been resolved as all Lt Col’s are in PB4.









It is recommended for your consideration that the Pay Commission is constituted at the earliest with representation from the serving as well as the retired Defence Personnel so that the anomalies outstanding from the IV, V CPC as well as from the 6CPC are resolved to the satisfaction of the stake holders in the shortest possible time (six months) and not kept on waiting for another 10 years before the next pay revision is announced and the benefit can be extended to all concerned.


It would be incorrect to allow the Defence Secretary to look into the aspect of Grade pay and relativity when he himself is the affected party. This must be assigned to the Separate Pay Commission with time bound submission. In the meantime the announced Pay Bands including PB4 for Lt Col with the modified Grade Pay plus MSP should be paid. Once the anomaly is resolved the arrears can be paid. The ‘Rank Pay’ must be added at the time of fitment as it was not supposed to have been deducted but paid in addition; something similar to what others are getting now in the form of ‘Grade pay’


Nothing known on the formation of the Pay Commission to resolve anomalies







It is rather unfortunate that you have given a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that OROP was not feasible much against the policies of your own CONGRESS announced none other than UPA Chairperson Mrs Sonia Gandhi. It is pertinent for you to know the background which formed the basis of OROP although I presume you must have been briefed adequately / inadequately on the subject.




In good old days a Major retired at the age of 48 years, Lt Col (Select) at 50 years while other officers who reached higher ranks served till 58 years-a gap of 10 years; subsequently the rank of Lt Col (TS) was created with retirement age at 51 years. Also the retirement age of Major was raised to 50 yrs and that of Lt Col (Select) to 52 yrs. An officer put in 13 yrs service to become a Major.


After the first cadre review in 1985 the qualifying service to Major was reduced to 11 yrs

Today an officer becomes a Lt Col on completion of 13 years service equivalent to a Major of yester years. No complains; as promotional incentives have to be provided in view of the pyramid structure of the military. However there are huge disparities in the pension of earlier retirees and those retiring now. These need to be rationalized and the nuances understood.


A Major / Lt Col (TS)/ Lt Col (S) of yesterday is equivalent to Col (TS) / Col (S) of today less officers who have taken premature retirement or belong to SL/RCO Commission. Therefore as a one time measure all pre 2006 officers must be treated as Col (TS) and paid pension as admissible to Col (S) / Col (TS) as per the pension tables applicable to post 2006 retirees. This affects 80% of the officer community.


  • On account of early retirement the military officers suffer financial losses and get less pension as compared to their civilian counterparts for no fault of theirs as the forces have to be kept young with limited opportunities for promotion. The disparity is to the tune of 20 lacs for each rank.


 I am sure other Services will not object to payment of OROP to the Defence Forces and if they do; then such Services should be asked to compulsory serve in the military for five years and it will also meet the shortage of officers to some extent and improve the much needed discipline.

A copy of the extracts of the judgment given by a Full Constitutional Bench Comprising of five Hon’ble Judges, headed by Chief Justice Hon’ble YV Chandrachud in the case of DS Nakra & others V/s GOI on the issue of ‘Pension’ is of significance as it spelt out the ‘Magna Carta’ for pensioners.

“By this judgment, the Court has held that the GOI cannot pick a date from a hat and implement its orders. It follows from this judgment, that for equal service in the same post and for same length of total service, there should be no unequal treatment in the matter of pension, merely because their dates of retirement are different. It also brings out that any classification of pensions, based on retirement date, is invalid and any liberalization granted to subsequent pensioners (who retired later) is automatically admissible to the earlier retired pensioners as well” 

It is earnestly requested that the issue of OROP be resolved and give the ‘Veterans’ the much needed relief.



Still a burning issue. Efforts to continue till attainment



To                                                                                09 Feb 2009

Admiral Sureesh Mehta,





I, on behalf of all officers of RDOA, am grateful to you for resolving the issue of placement of Lt Col in PB4 which will help the serving and retired officers for better pay and pension benefits.


However there is a lacuna which needs to be addressed before the orders get issued. As per para 2.3.10 (iv), of the 6 CPC report, the element of rank pay was carved out of the pay scales so revised of officers, both in the IV & V CPC. Now that the transition is taking place from rank based individual scales to the pay band it is logical that the carving of rank pay must be restored as the concept of ‘rank pay’ ceases to exist once implementation of 6 CPC takes place by which the Lt Col would be in the scale of 15100-400-18700, erstwhile 13500-400-17100 plus rank pay of 1600.


Para 2.2.21(Fixation of pay in the revised pay bands) of the 6CPC report   states” a person drawing higher basic pay in any Fifth CPC pay scale is not fitted lower vis-à-vis a person drawing a lower basic pay irrespective of the pay scale”


As per above, the fitment of Lt Col in PB4 should be done at 39690 as applicable to other Class A officers of other services drawing a pre revised scale of 15100-400-18300 and not at start of the PB4 scale at 37400 because a person drawing a pre revised scale of 14300-400-18300 has also been fitted at 37400.


It is therefore requested that in the interest of all officers this aspect is looked into before issue of instructions to payment auth.







Retired Defence Officers Association,
Sep 13, 2010, 7:42 AM
Retired Defence Officers Association,
Sep 9, 2010, 10:21 PM
Retired Defence Officers Association,
Sep 9, 2010, 5:10 AM