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MoD’s role in submitting facts questionable

The ex-servicemen were expecting the Prime Minister to announce the acceptance of the report of the Committee of Secretaries set up to discuss ‘one rank, one pension scheme” in his I-Day speech. But it turned out to be wishful thinking. Members of the committee are yet to consult defence experts and study the data and it might take some more time.

The ex-servicemen had been demanding a commission under a Supreme Court Judge which should include members from all the three services beside defence experts. Since no defence personnel has been included in the committee, how will the committee get correct data to consider and take decision on?

In all previous committees and Central Pay Commissions, the Ministry of Defence had been providing the necessary data based on which decisions were taken.  Unluckily, the data supplied was not correct and was distorted to cover up facts to the extent that the MoD erred in issuing orders. The data provided by the MoD was different from what was published in the Gazette notifications of the Govt of India.

Some important facts about court verdicts on Pay and Allowances were not brought to the commission’s notice which resulted in lowering the basic pay, scales and status of persons affected viz a viz their civilian counterparts.

Since the MoD instructions differ from the instructions contained in Gazette notifications it caused a lot of anomalies, which were ignored by the panels.

How will the panel of secretaries be able to solve the issue without correct data. The simplest way out is that the pension should not be less than 50% of the Pay and Allowances being drawn by the serving personnel having the same rank and equal number of years of service. But MoD has been projecting figures much more than what it should be.

Brig KG BEHL (retd), Dehradun

Tab on village heads

A sarpanch involved in faith healing speaks volumes of the backward thinking still prevalent in our villages. Majority of the village teenagers and adults in Punjab are high on drugs. Either they are unemployed or under-employed. Such village heads are only befooling the people as nobody in the village speaks against them or has the capacity or the understanding to check them. Let e-governance be resorted to keep the masses hooked to knowledge and technology in villages, otherwise we will continue to hear about such incidents. The villagers need guidance and the district authorities need to monitor the activities of village heads falling in their jurisdiction.

BRIJ B GOYAL, Ludhiana


‘Quota’ virus

Just for the sake of survival of the government for a few more months, the Congress is yielding to pressure from Mayawati & Co on the promotion quota issue. This is another gimmick of the conglomerate of political parties at the helm of affairs. The successive governments have been contributing to the mess created by extending application of reservation policy which was intended just for ten years by the framers of the Constitution.

When one has joined any government service through quota, he should climb the ladder on turns and not jump the queue. Any attempt by the rulers to inject the deadly ‘quota’ virus should be trampled down.

Dr S C DOHROO, Kangra

Blind faith

Deras of ‘ojhas’ and ‘chelas’ (exorcists) also called ‘siyanas’ have mushroomed in every nook and crany of the state and have been doing roaring business in faith healing. In this context, DM Wolf says, “Superstition blinds us and we retreat from life”.

It is a matter of shame that in the 21st century of IT revolution and medical access, a 12-year old girl was killed during faith healing in a Punjab village by none other than a woman Sarpanch, a people’e representative at the village level supposed to be torch-bearer of rural awakening.

The incident should be treated as cold-blooded murder and all culprits should be taken to task. Let us heed Voltaire’s call for “Crushing the infamous thing” that is superstition.


CAG correct

The apex court of the country has repeatedly emphasised on the need for an equitable and transparent competition in the cases where public property is to be tranferred to private persons. As early as 1987, the Supreme Court in ‘Sachidanand Pandey v. State of West Bengal (1987) 2 SCC 295’ said in this context: “State-owned or public-owned property is not to be dealt with at the absolute discretion of the executive. Certain precepts and principles have to be observed. Public interest is the paramount consideration.

One of the methods of securing public interest, when it is considered necessary to dispose of a property, is to sell the property by public auction or by inviting tenders. Though that is the ordinary rule, it is not an invariable rule. There may be situations where there are compelling reasons necessitating departure from the rule but then the reasons for the departure must be rational and should not be suggestive of discrimination. Appearance of public justice is as important as doing justice. Nothing should be done which gives an appearance of bias or nepotism”.

As such, the CAG is only doing its duty in accordance with the mandate of the Constitution as further interpreted by the apex court. The criticism of CAG by top functionaries of the government is fraught with serious consequences. In a corruption-ridden polity, we are trying to put the last nail on the coffin on the concept of accountable and good governance by this act of trying to shoot down the statutory whistleblower.

S C Chabba, Panchkula


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