New Delhi, January 15
The Supreme Court has set aside an order of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) making the Dynamic Assured Career Progression (DACP) scheme applicable to commissioned officers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC).
A Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud noted that the AFT had passed the order on July 18, 2011 without considering relevant documents which the Centre had failed to place before the tribunal.
The apex court delivered the verdict on the government’s appeal. AMC’s two doctors with more than 20 years of commissioned/ Group A gazette service had gone to the AFT seeking DACP.
The doctors, including KP Singh, objected to the Centre relying on fresh documents which were not submitted to the AFT. Rejecting the objection, the apex court said it was essential to examine the core issue about the applicability of DACP to the commissioned officers of the armed forces in view of the far-reaching financial and structural ramifications for the defence forces and in larger public interest.
The Centre pleaded that the Sixth Pay Commission had clarified that DACP was limited to civilian doctors and not meant for commissioned officers in the three services. The August 29, 2008 resolution of the Finance Ministry had confirmed this. The Defence Ministry’s August 30, 2008 resolution had extended the benefits of other allowances (other than DACP) to the commissioned officers in the three services as recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission.
“If DACP scheme is extended to doctors working in AMC cadre, it would result in an anomalous situation,” affecting commissioned officers in the Navy and Air Force, the Bench acknowledged.
The apex court, however, sent the case back to AFT on January 12, asking the tribunal to reconsider it in the light of fresh material and deliver its verdict in six months.
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