DATED: 23 NOV 2010
ARMED FORCES GRIEVANCES REDRESSAL COMMISSION AND ONGOING STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE BY EX SERVICEMEN
Dear Members of the Media
1. The formation of the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission, “Suo Moto” could not have occurred if particular segments of our polity had not bear sensitized on OROP and other veterans issues. The Hon’ble Judge Sh.Markandey Katju even quotes Chankya and NDTV show, apart from medals return and burning of artificial limbs. Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) which has brought about this landmark (almost revolutionary) occurrence, with the judiciary virtually divesting (albeit for a good cause) the executive of its basic function of governance- all these years past, no one else has been able to move the establishment one wee bit.
2. The Supreme Court has taken the historic step to constitute Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission, where besides two retired judges of the Supreme Court and two senior retired Defence Officers (Gen Ved Malik, Former COAS and Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Former VCOAS). However, the commission is only a recommendatory body and not adjudicatory body. Hence, it is open to the Govt to accept or not to accept its recommendations. Though, the court has directed that since such recommendations will be coming from high powered body, the Govt must give due weightage to the same. It is here the doubts arise in the minds of Defence Personnel and the people of India that since the recommendations of the commission will be reviewed by the bureaucrats whose track record for the past six decades has not been to give fair justice to the Defence Forces, it is yet to be seen if any positive outcome would be achieved.
3. It is pertinent to mention that strong recommendations to grant OROP by All Parties Parliamentary Standing Committees on Defence have not been accepted by the Govt; the latest being the recommendations made by 31 MPs of the Parliament headed by Sh. Satpal ji Maharaj a Congress MP on 07th May 2010 and again repeated on 27 Aug 2010 where as Mr. AK Antony the RM recently in the Parliament quoted recommendations of Jul 2009 by a Committee of bureaucrats. The larger question here is the civilian control of Armed Forces which actually means control by the elected representatives of the people and not the bureaucrats. It is a common knowledge that the Ex Servicemen have been forced to launch a Movement to express their anguish is the result of the injustice heaped on them. The bureaucrats all along have been treating the military unfairly. The resentment has been increasing by the day. Downgradation of their status and unfair compensation package of emoluments by the 6th CPC have further intensified the resentment.
4. Under the circumstance, the ESM have decided to continue their struggle till all their demands are accepted. To highlight all these issues to the people of India, a Big Rally by the ESM will be held at Jantar Mantar New Delhi on 28 Nov 2010 from 10 AM to 2 PM. After the Rally, delegation of ESM will go to Rashtrapati Bhawan to deposit medals and memorandum signed in blood by the ESM with the President. They have also decided to enlist the support of other segments of the society, all political parties, MPs, CMs, MLA and have written to them regarding their demands and sought their help to raise these issues in the Parliament to press the Govt for early acceptance of these demands.
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570