Rank pay case exclusive: Babus make veterans wait on older case
Jugal Purohit New Delhi, February 17, 2014 | UPDATED 21:13 IST
Top bureaucrats, including former defence secretary and present Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Shashikant Sharma, Secretary RS Gujral, Arunava Dutt and Priti Mohanty were ordered to appear in the apex court to face contempt petition moved by the Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA). Not only did they not appear in the court, they in fact sought from court time to file their side, causing much heartburn to the veterans fighting this long battle.
| What did the SC say?|
Accusing the bureaucrats of 'deliberate and intentional non-compliance' with the apex court's earlier order of September 2012, the RDOA had filed a 49-page contempt petition before the SC. Acting on that, the deputy registrar of the SC had issued an order on November 27, last year mandating these bureaucrats to remain present in court. In fact, the SC order went further and mentioned, "You shall attend the court in person on the above mentioned date and shall continue to attend the court on all days thereafter to which the case against you stands adjourned and until final orders are passed on the charge against you. HEREIN FAIL NOT."
"None of them appeared," said Lt. Col (retd) BK Sharma of the RDOA. "The Solicitor General appeared on their behalf and said they will file a reply today. Court said okay and gave another two weeks, if we would like to file anything as response. The court should have taken suo moto cognisance of this asking why, despite the court asking them to appear in person they did not remain present," he added.
"This is a much older case in which even the Supreme Court has closed the issue. There is no accountability for those in charge of implementing it. This is money due to us for al most 30 years ago and yet there is no resolution in sight," added Brigadier (retd) Dharam Prakash, active member of the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM).
The RDOA had filed a 49-page contempt petition in this case on account of what they believed was deliberate and intentional non-compliance with SC's order of September 2012.
What is the Rank Pay case all about?
The case, famously known as the Rank Pay case was initiated by Major AK Dhanapalan when he aprached the Kerala High Court in 1998 praying that as per Govt of India resolution, 'rank pay' was admissible to army officers in addition to their integrated scales. Since this was to take 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 date without deducting his pay based on rank pay - a practice which was taking place then. Subsequently, the RDOA took up this case on behalf of retired officers against whom the MoD lost all appeals and petitions before all courts, including the SC.