Set up Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission: Supreme Court

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by RAM, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2009
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    The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to constitute the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission to look into the grievances of serving or former members of the armed forces (the Army, the Navy and the Air Force) or their widows or family members for pension or other issues and make suitable recommendations expeditiously to the Central government in this regard.Giving this direction on a petition filed by a widow, Pushpa Vanti, who alleged that she was getting only Rs. 80 a month, a Bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra said: “The Commission to be headed by the former Supreme Court, Judge Kuldip Singh, will also frame and recommend to the Central government a scheme for proper rehabilitation of discharged soldiers.”

    The Bench appointed the retired Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, S.S. Sodhi, as vice-chairman, and General V.P. Malik, retired Chief of Army Staff, and Lt. Gen Vijay Oberoi, retired Vice-Chief of Army Staff, as members. The Centre could, at its discretion, appoint a retired civil servant as another member.
    Widespread discontent

    The Bench in its order said, “Indian armed forces are bravely defending the borders of the country, often standing on guard at a height of 20,000 feet and in minus 30{+o}C temperature, day and night, so that the people of India can live, work and sleep in peace. However, there is widespread discontent among the serving and former members of the armed forces (by which we mean the Army, Navy and Air Force) and their widows and family members regarding their service conditions e.g. pay scales, allowances, anomalies regarding pensions, inadequate pension (particularly to those disabled while in service), widows benefits, promotion matters (including promotion policy and process) etc.. They have a feeling that the bureaucrats do not care for them and do not properly address their grievances. As a result, thousands of ex- armed forces personnel have returned their medals, and some have even burnt their artificial limbs.
    “These grievances include the grievances relating to pay; allowances; one rank, one pension; other pension matters; suitable benefits to be granted to war veterans, war widows; promotion matters; rehabilitation of soldiers who are discharged at a young age, etc. Our courts of law are flooded with cases relating to members, both serving and retired, of the armed forces; e.g. cases relating to pension, promotion, etc; and the obvious reason is that the armed forces personnel have a feeling that their grievances are not being properly addressed.

    Today our ex-soldiers have not only been demanding but are agitating to get their legitimate dues. They were compelled to resort to public protests and even return their War-medals and burn their artificial limbs, as was done by Captain C.S. Sidhu whose right arm was amputated while serving at the front but was getting a pittance as pension. This, in our opinion, is not good for the nation. The armed forces personnel should have a feeling that their grievances are heard by an independent body. Even if some of their demands are not accepted, they will have a feeling that they were given a proper hearing.”

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