Sent: Wed, 18 August, 2010 6:58:23 PM
Subject: MEETING WITH HIS EXCELENCY THE GOVERNOR OF PUNJAB MR SHIVRAJ PATIL-ON ISSUES RELATED TO ESM
Dear All, 1. Brig Hardip Ghuman and self held a meeting with HH Governor of Punjab in his office in his capacity as President of State Sainik Board and Sainik Welfare. 2. The meeting was organised through office of Director Sainik welfare Punjab. 3. Following Points were Discussed. 4. Instructions for facilitating Registration and Casting of Votes by the Serving Soldiers at the place of their Posting. HH was briefed that how serving soldiers were denied their constitutional right to vote for 60 years.Now that they have been permitted to vote at the place of their posting,there are many hurdles being created by vested interests so that they do not vote.Even agencies like MOD,EC and state machinery is involved in not placing a good system in place whereby these soldiers get registered on being posted and they are facilitated to vote.HH was informed that during last assembly elections out of 12 lakhs probable voters only 13000 voters were registered and only those could vote. The documents obtained under RTI from the MoD didn’t convince the President RSB Punjab as he stated he was on the committee that looked into this issue. The DO letter of Rajya Raksha Mantry (as RM) Shri Arun Singh of 20 Jan 1987 addressed to the PM was placed before the President RSB Punjab which stated quote ‘This subject was not discussed in the Group of Ministers (desired by the Union Cabinet), because we were of the view that the Running Pay Band, if accepted, would automatically mean point-to-point fixation. However, Finance Ministry expressed their dissent with point-to-point fixation when we approached them to finalize issuance of orders on the presumption that Group of Ministers’ view on Running Pay Band would find acceptance with the Cabinet. HH asked for the brief and assured us that he will ensure that all systems are created to ensure that all soldiers are registered as voters at the place of their posting.Brig HS Ghuman has crried out great job on this issue and he deserves our praises and we all must educate our firends and children serving in Defence Forces.Only Power of Vote of Serving and retired will bring Govt on to negotiating table one day for OROP. 5. Denial of Payments of dues of Rank Pay pensioner Benefits Given by 4th pay Commission.HH was briefed as how by design MOD denied us benefits of Rank pay which was authorised to us by Min Fin and duly approved by GOM.How MOD told lie about it even to GOM and PM.How one major fought for it and won the case .later large number of officers went to various courts and Supreme court finally ruled in favour of us ,dues to be paid with 6% interest.How against all ethics disgracefully MOD has gone to supreme Court for review of their decision. HH assured us that he will definitely speak to RM on the issue and he was sure that even supreme court is not going to change its decision for such an genuine case.
6. Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The real problem is Political differences promoting Separatism possibly on behalf of External Enemy of our Nation & poor Civil Administration for which amending this Act would be the biggest mistake. The President RSB Punjab assured that the Govt. of India has no intention whatsoever to dilute this Law since it has serious repercussions.7. Complimentary Rail Pass to CHAKRA Series of Awards by the President of India. The President RSB agreed to take up the matter with the Railway Minister to remove the discrimination for travel by Shatabdi Express Trains to Shaurya Chakra Awardees by the President of India We also discussed large number of other issues with the Governor.HH was of the view that Veterans deserve the same respect as our Serving soldiers.We also discussed with him ways and means of tackling J and K problem by registering serving soldiers and PMF men when they are posted there.He was appreciative of all our suggestions and looked forward to more discussions. Please circulate to others also INCLUDING SERVING COLLEGUES. Regards, Brig Nawab Singh