From: Lokesh K Batra email@example.com
Subject: AsianAge : Ex-Armymen plan to sue govt
Date: Sunday, 16 August, 2009, 11:05 PM
Commodore LK Batra
THE ASIAN AGE
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, London
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Ex-Armymen plan to sue govt
Aug. 15: A group of former major-generals is planning to file a lawsuit against the government for not granting "One Rank One Pension" for ex-servicemen. A corpus fund could also be created to fund the proposed legal battle against the government.
One of the former major-generals, speaking on condition of anonymity to this newspaper, said that the group of former major-generals are also planning to send a legal notice to the defence secretary, ministry of defence (MoD). The group of former major-generals who retired before 2006 is considering a legal battle on the grounds that they are getting less pension than Brigadiers who retired after June, 2006.
"This issue was deliberated at length and it was decided that government is not likely to approve OROP. Veterans would have to knock at the door of courts to get a favourable decision and force the Govt to agree to give OROP ... It was decided that preparation for filing the lawsuit should be completed at the earliest and lawsuit should be filed without delay," stated a former officer.
OROP refers to the grant of pensions (according to rank) irrespective of the date of retirement. For instance, this means that an officer retiring as major-general ought to get the same pension as another officer who retired as major-general irrespective of date of retirement.
In his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "We are proud of our brave soldiers.
It is our duty to ensure that ex-servicemen are able to lead a life of comfort. We have accepted the recommendations of the committee constituted to examine the issue of pension of ex-servicemen. This will lead to increased pension for about 12 lakh retired jawans and Junior Commissioned Officers."
However, ex-servicemen point out that there was no mention of "One Rank One Pension" for former (full-commission) officers in the speech and add that the government has not accepted OROP even for jawans and JCOs (who are personnel below officer rank-PBOR). The government had recently announced measures for reducing the disparities in pensions among PBORs. Thousands of medals had earlier been returned by aggrieved ex-servicemen.