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Some 30,000-40,000 armed forces officers who were commissioned or retired between 1986 and 1996 are in for a pay arrears and pension bonanza with the Supreme Court upholding a high court ruling that the amounts had been erroneously calculated.

Upholding the Kerala High Court ruling that ‘rank pay’ should be included while calculating an officer’s pay and pension, the Supreme Court has directed this be re-recalculated and paid with retrospective effect from Jan 1, 1986. 

‘We also direct interest to be paid thereon at 6 percent per annum,’ a bench of Justice Markendey Katju and Justice R.M. Lodha ruled. The judgment was delivered last week but a copy was made available only Tuesday. The judgment will not apply to officers who were commissioned or retired post-1996 as they are covered under the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions.

‘With this judgment, the pay of all affected officers will have to be re-fixed from Jan 1, 1986, with consequential benefits on pay, pension, commutation and leave encashment,’ the Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA) that pursued the case in the Supreme Court said in a statement. 

‘The anticipated arrears would range from a couple of thousand rupees to a few lakh per officer depending upon the rank held and reckonable service of the officer. About 30,000 to 40,000 officers, both serving and retired, including widows, would be directly benefited,’ the statement said. 

According to the RDOA, the defence ministry committed a ‘faux paus’ by not including ‘rank pay’ in the total emoluments and then doing the pay fixation, as had been recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission, which presented its final report in 1987. 

‘This resulted in huge financial loss to the officers with cumulative effect on pay, DA, pension, gratuity and commutation,’ the association said.

Acting on the plea of Major A.K. Dhanapalan, a single judge bench of the Kerala High Court Oct 5, 1998, directed that the calculations be done afresh. A division bench of the high court upheld this July 4, 2003. 

The government appealed against this in the Supreme Court and the RDOA also filed its own plea. 

Many similar petitions were filed in various high courts all over the country by other officers as well.

‘These were clubbed together and transferred to the Supreme Court to be heard along with an transfer petition of similar nature that had arisen out of a case that was allowed on the basis of the judgment in Major Dhanapalan’s case,’ RDOA said.

16 Responses to “Pension bonanza for ex-servicemen after Supreme Court ruling”

  1. Colonel Ashok K Singh

    well calling it Bonanza is not justified. In fact Military Veterans were cheated by the Govt. In fact SC should had given them thier dues with Interest.. In all other cases it is done.. why then excpetion in case of Military Veterans.. ?

  2. Lt Col S S Jamwal

    These are the rightful dues which has been earned by shedding lot of sweat and in certain cases blood which Hon”ble supreme Court Has ordered the Govt to pay to the Defence Services officers’. Howeveer, grateful to Maj Dhanapalan.

  3. t r rajesh

    Dear Sir/madam,
    I am an Ex serviceman (airmen)and presently working in a nationalized bank.I would like to know whether i have to forgo defence pension DA for refixation of salary in bank or not ?Please let me know .
    Thanking you,
    rajesh tr

  4. major nazar singh gill

    DOE 09 Dec 1963 DOC 25 JUL 1983 DOR 31 JAN 3003 PC(SL)(RO).Getting pension Rs.16560 pm instead of Rs. 20020 pm as per modified parity method for pre/post 2006 majors.Last pay drawn Rs.14750 (Incl 1200 rank pay).Pension originally fixed Rs.7327 pm wef 01 Feb 2003.

  5. major v.k.kaushal

    I am retired signal officer having taken premature pension in 1992after 20 yrs. of service.Thanks for the initiative you took on behalf of everyone.Is it possible to track the progress of this case and the benefit that I may get out of it ?

  6. Col(Retd) VKMISRA

    I quote the second half of para 3 of the judgment above”The judgment will not apply to officers who were commissioned or retired post-1996 as they are covered under the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions.”This part is not understood. If it means that no monetary benefit as result of this judgment will accrue to offrs who were in service in jan 1986 and retd after 1996 or Jan 2006.If it so,it is unfair and the offrs in this cat are going to be big losers as their pay was also incorrectly fixed by 4th CPC, in fact this wrong fixation in 1986 has a cumulative negative effect as their revision of pay has been done by V & VI CPC taking the previously wrongly fixed pay as the basis for pay revision by both CPC consequently. Their pension is also affected accordingly. Will someone throw some light on it.

  7. Lt Col BS Chauhan (Retd)

    The Appex Court has upheld the right of officers ,denied the basi dues not considered by the Vth CPC.
    THankk you Maj Dhanpalan for the legitimate fight and heartiest congratulations for the success.

  8. Lt Col V.SELVARAJ

    This ruling by the hon SC will have a cascading effect in regaining the lost status of army officers ,a plot cunningly played by the babus while the ministers were cluless about the governance.The initial loss of basic pay due to the coversion into rank pay pushed all service officers below their corresponding levels in civil services.The V CPC took the erronously fixed basic pay in IV CPC as basis for fixing new scales of basic pay which had fallen further in comparision with the erstwhile corresponding levels in civil services.The sixth pay commision had initially gone to the level of fixing Lt Cols in PB3 and subsequent restoration left the Lt Cols lower in grade pay than a SG indian forest service officer who was much lower in II CPC.Thus these cumulative damages in susequent CPCs must be addresed and the status and salary/pension with other benefits must restored.It is not a bonaza like waiver 70,000 crores loan to the formers but rightful dues paid lately with fixing the officials/minister responsible for this scam.

  9. Brig SK Anand

    What about officers who retired in Jan 1985 and who were getting rank pay before their retirement?

  10. Major.Sivadasan.K

    This is an excellent news. I retired in Sept 2000. I am grateful to Major Dhanapalan for his initiative and happy for getting this entitlement approved.
    Let us see how long our Govt may take to respond ?

  11. Lt Col R K Saini

    This is a very exciting news. I retired in Oct 1995, and would be grateful for entitleent on this issue


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