Dear Mr Minister,
I send herewith an email received from Retired Defence Officers Association, who are affected by the recent decision of the Govt of India to go in appeal against a ruling dated 8 Mar 10 by The Supreme Court .This matter was taken up by officers, in service on 1 Jan 86, of the rank Capt to Brig (bulk of the Army officer strength) regarding an injustice done to them during the Vth Pay Commission by the bureaucracy, in setting the basis for fixing their future salaries.
Maj V Dhananpalan had taken up a case against this discrepancy in the Kerala High Court and won the case more than a decade ago. The Govt gave him his arrears and forgot about all other officers who were similarly denied their dues, and affected by the same order.
Some time later other officers quoting Maj Dhananpalan's ruling, took up the case in various High Courts in the country for a remedy. When faced with mutiple the Govt requested the Supreme Court to club all the cases and hear them as one case.After a tortuous number of years the Honourable Supreme Court ruled in favour of the complainants on 8 Mar 10 and ordered that all the arrears be paid with 6% interest.
Now the Govt has gone in appeal against the SC ruling. Obviously the concerned department has lost face and may also be penalised for having to pay interest on a deliberate act of commission. So the easiest way is to launch the case into orbit so that the perpetraters of this fraud can retire before the CAG raises hell. Mr Minister, you had said on taking over your current portfolio that the Govt is the single biggest litigant who keeps the courts from doing justice to more needy persons. Here the Govt is deliberately trying to deny justice to a large number of officers. I know gallantry awards are given posthumously,but, why should financial dues be given posthumously? Imagine the loss to the affected persons as the value of the rupee has gone down so much in the intervening years.
I fail to understand the logic of the Govt contesting every order the Supreme Court has passed in favour of Armed Forces personnel. You may be aware that in the case of fixation of Maj Gens' pension the Govt appealed multiple times and intentionally delayed filing its replies. Eventually the Govt had to pay as per the orders with 12 % interest. Doesnt it show the malicious intent of the persons concerned. Only recently your Solicitor General had to request the Supreme Court to soften it remarks in the case of Capt CS Sidhu , when it had said that the Govt treats its soldiers worse than beggars!
Govt says it is doing everything for the Aam Admi. I presume soldiers do not form part of this exalted community. May I request you on behalf of the silent services that this injustice be stopped immediately, the Solicitor General be directed to withdraw the appeal ( I am sure he has more fruitful work to do than pull the chestnuts out of the fire for the bureaucracy) and the persons who authorised the filing of this appeal be penalised for clogging the SC with frivolous work.
May I request that a word of acknowledgement of this mail would give us confidence that our pleas reach the powers that matter. Otherwise they normally go unanswered.
With warm regards
Lt Gen SK Bahri PVSM (Retd)
(Personally not affected by the SC order)
A3/502 World Spa East
Tele 0124 4143180/181