Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Grant of NFU To Armed Forces? Will It Make Defense Commissioned Officers Equal in Status with Group A Services?


Recently Armed Forces Tribunal granted NFU to defense officers as granted to civilian officers of group A services to bring some parity in financial compensation as given to  IAS officers. There appears to be signs of happiness among military families with a hope to get increased financial compensations and pensions at par with IAS.

How does the case unfolds itself is yet to be seen as if Central Govt appeals to SC then the case still remains open? However the case opens up some more questions?

Is the judgment putting commissioned officers at parity with Group A Services and not with All India Civil Services (IAS/ IPS/ IFS)?   In eyes of article 308-313 of the constitution, the Constitutional status of commissioned officer is superior then  all India Civil Services then why the parity with Group A services is being drawn?

Constitutional status of defense services has been explained the the blog http://mycriticalreviews.blogspot.in/2016/10/faqs-why-are-soldiers-agitating-are.html .

In govt functioning it is well know fact that pay compensation are taken as a thumb rule to draw parity and govt argument that it does not apply to officer of defense forces is actually not practiced.  With this judgment  surely officers of the defense forces will draw parity with group A services.

Then how shall it be done to compensate officers of the defense officers when it is known fact that with present pay structure even life time compensation of military chiefs is far lesser than any IAS even if he retires as Joint Secy.

It is more question of parity in compensation than NFU? NFU is a tool used by group A officers to get some pay and pension parity with IAS. Why shall defense officers use this tool of NFU for parity and compromise with their constitutional status? There are other methods of doing it which may be called Financial Parity Compensation for Military Officers (FPCMO)?

When India gained independence, parity with IAS in pay and pension to defense officers was ensured by a policy in which length of service was taken as sole criteria for fixing the pay parity between IAS and defense officers. The policy ensured that average pay and pension of a batch of Military officers is same as the same batch of IAS. As the officers of defense retired early they were compensated with enhanced pensions.

In 1973 this  policy was violated by 3rd Pay Commission. legally defense officers shall only challenge the violation of this policy and not bid for NFU? However the NFU can be cited as example to build the argument for restoration of parity as per the established principles which were violated. Defense officers shall therefore bid for Financial Parity Compensation for Military Officers (FPCMO) and not call it NFU deriving parity with group A services which actually violates constitutional provisions of superior status of officers of defense forces.

The end status shall be restoring parity as under


1. Average Pay of a Batch of Officers of Defense forces shall be = to average pay of same batch of IAS + additional compensation for military service

2. Average pension of a Batch of officers of Defense Forces shall be = to average pension of same batch of IAS (irrespective  of length of service as def officers retire early)

similar formula shall be used to compensate PBORs where in JCO shall be equated with class II Gazetted officers and NCO with Sub Inspectors which legally they are.

Hope good sense prevails. My compliments to Col Mukul Deo and his team. I am sure above inputs will be taken into consideration by him, his team and service HQs.












Are Foreign Arms Dealers Calling the Shots? Arrest of Ex Air Chief Tyagi & His Bail by Court.

Amazing it can only happen in India. 

CBI Court grants bail to arrested Ex Air Chief SP Tyagi observing that in spite of four years of investigation CBI has not produced any evidence to show bribe money trail reaching to him? That means Ex Air Chief was arrested on single evidence of diary note of a foreign arms dealer. 

In eyes of Indian Evidence Act such evidence doesn't provide enough ground for police or CBI to arrest a suspect even then CBI arrested Ex Air Chief? Does it mean police officers posted in CBI are not aware of provisions of Indian Evidence Act or other criminal laws? That is not the case. Police officers posted in CBI have good knowledge of law? Then why did they arrest Ex Air Chief S P Tyagi? It throws more questions?

1. Did blunt counter questioning of Ex Air Chief Tyagi while he was being questioned by CBI about suspected roles of babus and politicians of NDA and UPA Govt annoy Foreign Arms- Babu- Politician Mafia and they decided to tech him a lesson?

2. Did IPS officers leading CBI want to flaunt their powers over military chiefs and arrest him to scare others?

3. Was Ex Air Chief used us a pawn in political wrestling between BJP and Cong ?

4. Was it a warning shot by political party in power to all serving and retired chiefs and Generals to toe political lines of party in power or face such humiliating arrests? (this will start a new cycle when other political party comes in power)

5. Was it a warning shots by defence industrial complex and arms dealers owning many govts globally to Indian Military Chiefs and Generals to toe their lines? In internal game of arms sale rivalry many dirty games may be played? (Latest update from Italy- case is reopened by their courts)

Whatever is the reason but fact is after arrest of Ex Air Chief S P Tyagi on  fishy evidence, a precedence has been set wherein all serving and retired chiefs and generals are now prone to such actions and thus to blackmails by foreign arms dealers, politicians and babus. The institution of armed forces is under attack from corrupt mafia which has strong links with foreign agents. It is surely a dangerous trend which has potential to  kill the entire defense  mechanism of India. 

In above situation it becomes more essential for present Air Force Chief to take over the case under Military laws to protect institutional credentials of armed forces and  save Indian defense mechanism from collapsing. To  restore credential of armed forces this case needs to be investigated impartially to bring the facts on records and book the culprits.  Armed Forces governed by their own laws shall not rely on CBI to give them the certificates of honesty? 

Those who are trying to copy Erdogan shall also be shown the pathetic performance of Turkish Army in Syria and against Kurds. It is a clear indicator of downfall of Turkey. Let us not play with Indian defense specially so when China is knocking at your doorsteps in Nepal and Bangladesh. Time is friend of none and it surely doesn't pardon any one who commit strategic mistakes.  May God bless this country and prevent those flaunting arrogance of power from pushing this country to another era of slavery. 




Thursday, December 15, 2016

Is Military Leadership Under Threat of Political Blackmail? Cant Direct Probe Against PM Without Evidence Supreme Courts But Then Why Ex Air Chief is in Jail on Similar Evidences?

Yesterday Supreme Court ruled that just based on uncorroborated evidence of statement and records of hawala dealers or corporate diaries, PM can not be even investigated (forget prosecution)  cant-direct-probe-against-pm-without-evidence-supreme-court . This judgement has not only provided immunity to PM in this case where a strong lead exist for investigation but to many other corrupt politicians.
But here is a contrast? Based on similar kind of evidence, Ex Air Force Chief Air Chief Martial SP Tyagi has been jailed by CBI? Worst on same evidence, no action has been taken against any named Babus or other politicians? What is this game on? 

There is no doubt that, political desperation and impatience has increased so much, that no respect to apolitical institutions like armed forces are being shown? Case of Air Chief Martial; Veteran indicates to more sinister political game of politicians trying to open a new front of political blackmail of top military leadership? Let us see the facts:

1.   Air Chief Martial Tyagi; Veteran has been send to jail by CBI on instructions of PM, on evidences of those who are accused in the case and no further corroboration in form of cash flows directly reaching Air Chief Martial Tyagi; Veteran or he using it any manner exist. In eyes of Indian Evidence Act, it is a very weak evidence unless corroborated by recovery or usage of cash directly in the possession of him. 

2. If CBI has proceeded against ACM Tyagi based on a weak evidence than why SC has absolved PM when a similar evidence exists? 

3. No Babu or Politicians has been arrested in Agusta Westland case, though the same evidence as used against ACM Tyagi also exists against them too. No doubt the case is being used as a tool of political blackmail against Sonia & Rahul? Rahul now says he having strong evidence of corruption against PM to thwart any action by govt against them. So game of political blackmail and counter blackmail is on. SC ruling in fact protects PM against based on any here say evidence and corruption lead. 

4. But why has Air Chief Martial Tyagi been arrested? Even without his arrest present Govt was in position to politically blackmail Rahul? Where was the need to arrest Air Chief Martial Tyagi? Is there is something more to it? One arrow on two targets? 

5. It is not a hidden fact that since from day one, going much beyond political control, present govt has tried to take unconstitutional  command of armed forces? Let us see some facts?

a. In return of so called fake OROP, BJP expected total loyalty of soldiers to them and not to the constitution? 

b. Present defense minister raised the question on prerogative of services chief to have their own team of staff officers in services HQs. 

c. Present defense minister made a failed attempt to tweak the promotion system of officers within armed forces.  

d. Present defense minister has been insulting armed forces by appearing in shabby dresses in official ceremonies whereas he attends ceremonies of certain foreign armies in formal dresses. 

e. Body language of defense minister in presence of Indian top military leadership is very arrogant where as he behaves in a submissive manner in front of certain foreign defense and military heads. 

f. RSS a group having radical ideology, is trying to infiltrate under a special plan among retired soldiers specially so among PBOR.

g. Govt tried to further downgrade military officers in terms of parity with civil officers. 

h After 73, present govt has given yet another shock to military in 7th Pay Commission.

i. To the much disliking of present govt, services chiefs have not fully endorsed govt recommendations of 7th CPC for armed forces. The matter is still under consideration?  

k. On surgical strikes, Army did not fully towed the lines of BJP. 

l. In certain cases of proxy wars called terror strikes by govt, like Uri and Pathankot, Govt has tried to bypass legal authority of armed forces and use NIA to put them under pressure. Army revoking suspension of a Brigadier is not liked by the govt. 

All above has happens in just 2 years of BJP taking over governance. It shows clear signs of desperations? But why?

In all above cases, armed forces rightly have resisted govt attempts to unconstitutionally command them. BJP in power is showing signs of desperation and trying to control of all independent state organs.

In above situation arrest of Air Chief Martial Tyagi certainly is an attempt to send a warning to serving services chiefs and top military leadership to tow political lines of a party in total submission. The above expectations are not only unconstitutional but sets a wrong precedence of political blackmail of apolitical military leadership. If not stopped, it will lead to division and usage of armed forces actively  on political lines and create a very dangerous violent fault line detrimental to national defense. 

In national interest, it is the constitutional duty of armed forces to stop political parties in power from taking over of unconstitutional command of forces. As per our constitution govts are only responsible for giving geo-political directions and macro administration of armed forces. If the geo-political directions come from cabinet committee on security duly advised by services chiefs, foreign office,  NSA and others, then the macro administration of armed forces is supported by defense ministry. Constitution does not give legal authority of command of armed forces to PM or Defense Minister except President who can directly use such authority under article 34 in certain situations. 

But if the political party in govt is desperate and driven by ideology of Turkish leader Erdogan to destroy apolitical character of armed forces then what shall top military leadership do? 

Well constitution gives them legal powers to draw a line. In case of Air Chief Martial Tyagi; Veteran, present Air Chief based on investigation of CBI can take over the case under Air Force Laws and directly order recording of summary evidence. In such situation all evidences will be admissible to recording of summary of evidence where even civilian witnesses like babus and politicians will be called to dispose off. Air Force Chief then shall take a call after having duly considered produced evidence by CBI and other witnesses and also the current judgment of Supreme Court to further dispose off the case. For such actions Air Force Chief needs no govt sanction. 

Top military leadership shall realize that military laws are not punitive in nature but they also provide required protections from such political vendetta or blackmail even after retirement. It is constitutional obligation on all military leaders to protect apolitical character of armed forces or else the political desperation of lobbies controlled political parties will push armed forces to division on political lines resulting into violent clashes or may be a civil war?

Refer following link 














Monday, December 12, 2016

Motivated Arrest of Ex Air Force Chief by CBI. Has Air Force Abandoned Him to be Hunted by Corrupt Wolves?

On Arrest of Ex Air Force Chief; Air Chief Martial SP Tyagi; Veteran by CBI on alleged corruption charges in Agusta Westland case, present  Air Chief, Air Chief Martial Arup Raha said that it is unfortunate, the arrest has dented the image of Air Force and he can not say more as the case is sub-judice? 

Is he right in his statement? What does law say? or Is he just running away from his command responsibilities and abandoning his senior veteran colleague who is aged 70?  As a Military Veteran let me analyse it objectively in eyes of military laws? 

As far as case by CBI is concerned we all know that it has no substantial evidence and arrest of Air Chief Martial Tyagi  with out arresting any decision maker babu and politician is highly motivated and political in nature.

In eyes of Military Law the following violations can not be ignored?

1. The arrest has seriously dented the image and reputation of Air Force, other services HQs and senior military generals, admirals and martial? 

2. The credibility of procedures and decision making processes within military HQ is at stake?

3. The case if true is not only a crime under military laws but also violation of good order and military discipline.

4. Arrest seriously damages the trust of soldiers in their senior leadership which is directly related to the moral of the soldiers.

5. When the alleged crime was committed Air Chief Martial SP Tygai was subject to Air Force Laws and its provisions can surely be not ignored?

6. As per the present legal position in cases of corruption, the provisions of military laws even after retirement can be applied on Air Chief Martial?

7. Even if Govt takes a call to try him under the civil laws, the case puts serious questions on the procurement procedures and conduct of air force officers and the same can not be ignored? It surely demands actions under military laws.

In view of above, what actually present Air Chief Air Chief Martial Arup Raha shall be doing which he has not done? He shall:

1. Ask CBI & Civil Court to handover the case and custody of Air Chief Martial S P Tyagi; Veteran to Air Force.

2. Put Ex Air Chief in open arrest in any officers mess.

3. Order a court of Inquiry or recording of summary of evidence to conduct trials under Air Force Act. 

4. Summon Air Chief Martial SP Tyagi and all other retired officers, civilian babus and politicians to appear before it? Present laws permit calling civilians as witness. 

5. If above actions creates a situation of conflict with govt then at least have an internal court of inquiry? 

6. Findings of court of inquiry then shall be be disposed off as per military laws and shall also be shared with Civil Govt for their further actions against civilian culprits.

The moot question is, why has Air Chief Martial Arup Raha not complied with Military Laws and has resorted to a statement distancing himself and Air Force from the case.

Please understand these court of Inquiries or recording of summary of evidence under military laws are not only conducted to punish soldiers but these are also conducted to find the facts which in many cases actually protect the soldiers. 

It is not case of Air Chief Martial SP Tyagi or Air Chief Martial Arup Raha alone, It is a question which is related to pride of every soldier, reputation of senior leadership, our great institution of military services, we the people and compliance of military laws. 

Every member of military family needs answers to above questions. People surely do not trust CBI which is a highly politicized tool used by political party in power to promote their interests. Air Chief Martial shall not run away from his command responsibilities by not complying with provisions of military laws. These laws are not meant to punish or protect only soldiers but senior leadership too. 

A military court of inquiry shall bring the facts in light for the we the people. It might even protect arrested ex Air Chief, chased & hunted by corrupt wolves to save themselves. 

When people do not trust CBI, a military court of inquiry or recording of summary of evidence can only restore pride  of soldiers and trust of people in their military back. No govt is above law and provisions of military laws can not be ignored.

If Air Chief Martial SP Tyagi is involved in corruption then he must be punished and if he is not then he needs to be protected. It is only ordering a court of inquiry or recording of summary of evidence by present Air Chief which can do so. Let facts be put on record in legal manner.

Veterans shall also demand in one voice the same. We shall not only cry for OROP? It is also a question of our pride? All military veterans must stand behind justice and shall ask for recording of Summary of Evidence or Court of Inquiry? Army and Navy veterans have a big role too. Let us stand for justice and pride? No one has a right to tarnish the reputation of our great institutions and our pride?

Let us not forget setting of a wrong precedence exposes all military chiefs and other senior officers to a political blackmail. Present serving chief may be retiring soon and may be hunted in similar manner by subsequent govts for political motives.  Today it is Air Chief Martial Tyagi, tomorrow it may be Air Chief Martial Arup Raha? What is the assurance that BJP will remain in power for ever? CBI plays the balls of those who so ever is in power.

No Govt or military chief is above constitution and law. In accordance of provisions of military law, Air Chief shall ask  civil court and CBI to handover over the case and custody of Air Chief SP Tyagi; Veteran. In fact CBI should had submitted its findings to Air Chief which they have not so Air Chief shall exercise his legal powers and take over the case. 



















Thursday, October 27, 2016

Do You Know Your Defense Forces? FAQs: On the Constitutional Status of Defense Forces?

Last updated on 6 Nov 2016- Total Hits/ Views = 46000 plus.

Thanks readers for overwhelming response. Two more blogs will come. Second one in continuation of present one dealing with aspects like what does apolitical means in terms of law and Coup Proofing Vs Coup Phobia and third one on "What Rots Indian Military within"?

This blog is an attempt to answer 'Frequently Asked Questions' on issues of military. The questions answers given are not a complete set and shall be kept updated time to time. 


Question No 1. Military veterans seems to be always agitated on issues like pay, pension and allowances. Why is it? Are they depressed or greedy? 

Answer.

Military veterans vocal on electronic, print and social media or agitating on Jantar Mantar airing their concerns on many issues concerning military, are neither depressed nor greedy. Soldiers of Indian army give more preference to service to nation and democracy than money. There are certain pressure points which govts after govts have not only ignored since 1973, but are creating more reasons for agitations.  

As for as public is concerned, in independent India it is happening for the first time, that in last 5-6 years military veterans have taken the course of agitation on key issues in public domain creating ripples in minds of common man creating such false impressions. The issues are pending with govt since 1973 and now the patience of soldiers is at breaking point. 

Question No 2. But why shall Govt show such apathetic attitude towards soldiers? Soldiers defend nation and render great service and politicians, babus and govt are surely aware of it? 

Answer

It puzzles solders too. Why such apathetic attitude towards soldiers? Serving soldiers do not have unions or lobbies like civilians. They always had blind trust in govt but in 1973 they were delivered a serious blow when their status, pay, pensions and allowances were reduced drastically by 3rd pay commission and that of civilians raised.  It created serious imbalance and that too once soldiers had delivered an unprecedented and historic military victory in 1971 war.  Instead of award, soldiers were punished. It never happens like that. It is a sure way of killing the high moral of a victorious army setting a wrong precedence.   

Soldiers have a system of reporting their problems to their commanding officers, who then report the matter to services HQ at Delhi. Military Chiefs then take up matter with the govt. Soldiers followed the same system and had trust in the ability of their chiefs and Govt. Naturally such serious imbalance created by 3rd pay commission were reported to Govt through proper channels. Then PM Indra Gandhi assured Military Chiefs of resolution of their problems but it never happened. 

Since 1973. chiefs after chiefs have kept reporting the matter to Govt. Govts after Govts have kept assuring soldiers about resolution of their problems but without any solution in sight. Rather various political parties have used frustration of soldiers for petty vote bank politics. It has now created a situation wherein soldiers have lost trust in ability of military chiefs to get solution and started doubting the intentions and seriousness of Govts to deliver justice forcing them to came on street and social media bringing matters into the notice of public. After in all in democracy people are supreme. It is surely not a healthy sign for the democracy. It has also created problem within military where abilities of top leaderships to effectively communicate with govt are now being questioned?  

Question 3. Still why is Govt not serious? Soldiers on street in democracy is a frightening scene? 

Answer. 

It is surprising for soldiers too. Why is govt not serious? Why are political parties only interested in using frustration of soldiers for votes? Ignoring the problem without giving any justification is like adding the fuel to fire. Unfortunately, such apathy is creating impressions that corrupt politician- babu nexus has no time for serious issues of the nation and soldiers demand for justice is no exception. Look around, justice system has collapsed, govt administration is totally rusted, corruption rules everywhere, parliament has become defunct, proxy govts rule, no political party has internal democracy, funding channels are kept secret, banking is overburdened with NPAs, gap between poor and rich are widening, farmers are committing suicide. A situation of hopelessness exists. It looks politics has become a profession of employment for failed people who are only interested in loot and plunder. Babus, banks, judiciary, some crony businessmen and temple priests, have joined hands with corrupt politicians to create a mafia. Naturally such mafia has no time and sensitivity for soldiers and justice or what else could be the reason? 

Indian soldiers are sensitive, committed to constitution and responsible people. Soldiers know that in the given situation of hopelessness, if they also come on street, as it happens in other countries, it will deliver a death blow to the nation. Naturally so, military veterans have taken the responsibility to communicate with "we the people" who are supreme in democracy, keeping the threshold of agitation well below acceptable limits so that the situation doesn't explode. 

Questions 4. What are the major demands of soldiers? 

Answer 

The major demands of soldiers are:

1. Status of soldiers as given in the constitution be respected. 

2. Accordingly, serious imbalances and disparities between compensation model of soldiers and other govt civil employees be removed based on best HR practices taking into account the average career earnings including pension  benefits.


Question 5.  What are the constitutional provisions for the executive authority of the military? 

Answer

Constitutional military executive authority of the soldiers comes out of the following articles:

1. Article 18;- respects the "Title of Ranks" of Soldiers even after his death. Soldiers never retire. Title of Ranks never die. 

2. Article 34:- Gives military a political executive authority to intervene by declaring martial law only to restore democracy.  In India parliamentary democracy is supreme. This article makes Indian military as soldiers totally committed to democracy and "we the people". There may be situation where state fails to govern as per constitution or parliament is unable to function due to any reasons or rise of a civilian dictator endangers democracy or external/ internal aggression endangers it . In such situations constitution makes obligatory on military authorities to intervene to protect and restore democracy. Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a very wise man. He could sense that in independent India, probability of rise of civilian dictators are more than rise of a military dictator. He therefore under this article, entrusted military a role of silent and invisible custodian of Indian democracy.  History of independent India is testimony to the fact that Baba Saheb was right. Military has been loyal to constitution and we the people whereas Indra tried to become dictator declaring unconstitutional emergency. Military did play its role to protect democracy, when then Army Chief cautioned Indra to remain within limits of constitution. In fact emergency was lifted as all three chiefs wrote a top secret letter to Indra Gandhi advising her to lift emergency and call for elections. Probably this is right time the content of this letter shall be disclosed to public. 

3. Article 52 read clubbed with Article 74:- The sovereign authority of govt is vested in the President who wears two distinct hats. One of being head of civil political govt and other of supreme commander of defense forces. These two roles of the president are independent. Under this article the hard and soft national powers are identified and constitutionally divided. While the democracy under the pre-dominance of soft power functions under the leadership of Prime Minister and his cabinet, the total command authority over the hard power of military is denied to him/her. Baba Saheb was a visionary and had deep knowledge of Indian history. He wisely so separated national hard power from the national soft power. Baba Saheb knew if PM or defense minister are given total command authority over military it will give rise to many civilian dictators.  Therefore under this article if read clubbed with article 74, the political direction to military comes from cabinet headed by PM, administrative support comes from ministry of defense and military retains the authority and freedom to take military executive decisions and that is the reason precisely military is an attached organisation to the political govt. Constitutionally, military can not be subordinate to PM and his cabinet as President who is senior to PM is its head and also PM is not given command of military. In Indian democracy where PM exercises executive political authority and President is constitutional head of military, services HQ can only be integrated with civil govt and can not be merged as is the case in USA.  

4. Co-relation of Article 34 on Article 52 and 74. Articles 52 and 74 do not take away the authority as vested in supreme commander of defense forces and military commanders as Silent and Invisible Custodians of Indian Democracy. There could be situation where advice of PM (aspiring to become a dictator) and his cabinet to President could be detrimental to democracy. Under article 52 and article 74, president is left with no choice except to accept their advice after one review however under article 34 supreme commander of defense forces or military commanders can exercise military authority as vested in them only to defend constitution and democracy.

Question 6. Constitutionally, what are the roles of the defense forces? 

Answer

If seen in the backdrop of above constitutional provisions, the roles of Indian Defense Forces are:

1. Primary Role. To defend Indian Constitution and democracy against any of the following threats:

a. Any external aggression or threat in any form on the geo-political and economic interests of India, territories under the political control of Indian Govt and Indian constitution. The external threat may not be always in form of military invasions. It may appear in form of externally abetted political assassinations,  cyber or economic wars, threatening geo-poltical alliances or posturing etc.

b. Any internal threat endangering functioning of the constitution and democracy which may be in forms of armed rebellion or political takeover by a civilian dictator.

2. Secondary Role. To assist civil administration in maintenance of law and order and in case of natural calamities, disasters and disturbances only when requisitioned.

Please note that defenses forces can act in their secondary roles only when requisitioned. However for preforming their primary roles, no such orders or requisition are required. However as long as an elected political govt under parliamentary democracy is functioning, defense forces will always seek their political directions before any action. In case such govt seize to exist or nuke attacks have obliterated such govt or a civilian dictator has taken over violating constitution or any state govt has rebelled or any armed rebellion has seized any part of territory/ govt administration, defense forces will act under the military authority as vested in them to protect constitution and shall not wait for any political directions.

Question 7. What are the constitutional provisions for the status and service conditions of the Defense forces?

Answer

Chapter 14 of the constitution deals with "Services of the Union and States". Though defense forces are created under articles 34 and 52, but their service conditions are constitutionally governed under this chapter. Relevant article are as under:

1. Article 309 empowers parliament to make legislation for the service conditions of various public services including defense forces.

 2. Article 310 Makes provisions for the tenure of all commissioned officers of the defense forces personals and civilian gazetted officers to be at pleasure of president. This article mentions various govt services in order of their seniority in terms of constitutional status. Officers of the defense forces are first in the seniority even ahead of civil services of the union (discontinued after independence) and All India Services (IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS etc).

Articles 311- 323 under the chapter deal with various safeguards provided to civil services and forming of Public Service Commissions.

Legal provisions for withdrawal of Pleasure of President in respect to officers of the  defense forces differ from the civil officers which  for defenses forces are further given in respective services acts, rules and also regulations.

Under article 309, various civil services acts for giving various service conditions in details like IAS acts and rules or IPS acts and rules have been framed. However in relation to defense services Govt and Parliament has chosen to remain silent and adhocism has been created. Absence of act and rules for service conditions of defense forces in detail as mandated under article 309, is the root cause of soldiers grievances. Present Defense Acts and Rules deal more with the discipline aspect of forces. The defense regulations are customs of Monarchy. India is a democracy and defense forces shall not be administered under adhoc regulations.

Question 8.  How are officers in defense forces appointed and how does their oath differ from a civil servant?

Answer

Officers of the defense forces in addition to being gazetted, are also commissioned officers. The word "commission" is mentioned in the parchment given to them at the time of their commissioning wherein they take oath of allegiance not only to the constitution as taken by civil officers but also to obey lawful command of their superior officer up in the chain of command after due observations to it being a lawful in accordance with laws of regular army.

Under this observed obedience of lawful command, duty to defend the constitution is inherent. Civilians including PM and Govt Ministers take oath of allegiance to the constitution and not to defend constitution? Few key aspect which shall be noted in appointments of defense officers are :

1. The parchment of commission is given under the printed signatures of the President authenticated by a Military General and not by any civil officer. 

2. In parchment of commission, the President uses the word "ME" and not "MY GOVT" as he uses in Parliament, because the authority of military command is absolute in nature and is vested in him as supreme commander of the defense forces. Such power legally can not be delegated to any other authority. Provisions of article 74, therefore do not apply on military authority and chain of command. Army laws make nature of command legally very clear.  In case of confusion of political directions for military between President and PM, defense forces are obliged to follow orders of supreme commanders of defense forces and not PM. 

3. Officers of defense forces take oath to serve anywhere in world and space, where ever they could be send by land, air and sea beyond the territories of India and where even the Indian laws do not apply? They enforce the sovereign authority of the state not only within national territories but beyond. 

4. Officers are suppose to follow such orders of command which are lawful in nature. Legal validity of orders are decided by officer himself interpreting these under the law. Commissioned officers are therefore expected to use their judgment to decide legality of the orders and all illegal orders he is expected to disobey. In case commissioned officers obey illegal orders, they carry liability of criminal prosecution.  

5. Officers of the defense forces by virtue of being commissioned officers, are vested with following powers

a. Military executive authority not only to impose its will using military force on any entity but also to the extend of forming govts. Military Govt in India were formed in Hyderabad, Goa and Junagarh once these were liberated and also in Bangaldesh and Jaffna Sri Lanka.  

b. Judicial powers to not only give punishments to the extend of death sentence, but in certain situations confirm and execute it without any reference to any court, govt and president. 

c. Powers of Magistrates are exercised by defense forces in aid to civil authority. Officers of the rank of NCOs and above  exercise such powers. Whereas in case of civil these are not below gazetted officers. 

d Military Authority to command troops. Military functions based on unique concept of command. 

e. Administrative powers like any civilian officers. 

It could be seen from above that all functions of state for which a civil govt has different organs, in case of military are vested in commissioned officers.  

Question 9. It seems somewhat confusing? General Impressions are that constitutionally IAS officers are Masters of Indian Destiny and they are even superior than other sister services like IPS, IRS and IFS? 

Answer

If seen in backdrop of article 310, that is not correct. Over a period of time IAS officers have taken advantage of their certain appointments and closeness to politicians. Corrupt, greedy and insecure politicians have obliged them, as in elections IAS officers are appointed returning officers responsible to check validity of their nomination papers, their election canvassing activities and spending of funds. In fact it is this appointment which makes them a kind of masters of Indian Elections. It is the IAS officer as DM, who announces results of vote counting. When in multi corner elections where victory margins are thin, such officers naturally can oblige politicians. It is this relationship between politicians and IAS officers which has given unjustified advantage to IAS. In most of the democracy. No civil servant is given the responsibility of being a returning officer.  In US, civil servants only oversee checks over political spending, in Pakistan, these are judicial officers who are nominated as returning officers. The present practice is harmful to Indian Democracy and parliament must take note of it? 

Nevertheless constitutionally, following shall answer the question about the correct position on the standing of officers of defense forces with officers of IAS and other All India Services :

Comparison of Constitutional Status of Defense Officers and IAS including Officers  of All India Services

1. Sovereign Executive Military Authority is an exclusive domain of military officers exercised through powers and chain of command. Under such authority nations are destroyed or made. Political directions for military actions at macro levels are given by elected govt in a functional democracy. Under article 34 defense forces have been made silent and invisible custodian of Indian democracy with a responsibility to keep it intact. No such powers in civil domain to any civil officer.

2. Authority to form political Govt is an exclusive domain of political civil Govt in a functional democracy on mandate of 'we the people'. However in certain situations with approval of elected civil political authorities and if it doesn't exist then own its own, officers of the defense officers form a political govt in any external captured territory and anywhere within the country. Examples are when military formed Govts in Haydrabad, Goa and Junagarh within the country and in Bangladesh and Jaffna; Sri Lanka abroad. Such govt can be led by any military officer or any other person so authorized by responsible military commander.  Adjutant General of the Army HQ is responsible for the subject. Only officers of the rank of Brigadier and above are authorized to declare formation of such govt. That is the reason rank of Brigadier was and should be equated with the appointment of secretary of Govt of India. Same is the practice world over in most democracies. No such authority is vested in any of the officers of all India services. All civil officers serve under the command of military commanders under the military govts.

3. Judicial Powers Any commissioned officer can be nominated to the military court as a Judge. Military officers of the rank of Captain and above exercise judicial powers of a session judge and can give death sentences.  In case of SGCM, an officer of the rank of Captain and above can nominate himself as judge and can give death sentence in a summary trial. He in this case can also confirm the sentence given by himself on behalf of president and give orders for its execution without reference to any court and civil authority. No right of appeal is given to the accused. Military Laws can be made applicable to civilians either by notification by central govt or under martial laws. Legal validity of the courts formed under martial laws has the sanction of Supreme Court. No such powers or authority is held by any officer of the all India services.

4. Powers of Magistrate.   Powers of magistrate is more of a civilian concept when a civilian officer is given part of executive authority of the state by virtue of he/her holding an appointment or given for a period. Military works on the concept of command where executive powers of state are inherent in powers of command of Military officers by virtue of holding commission or authority to exercise such powers. In case of military, powers of command are given down to NCO levels. In aid to civil authority military Non Commissioned Officers, has the powers to order fire.  Such orders in case of civil can only be given by a Civil magistrate. These powers are not inherent as is the case of military officers. IAS officers exercise powers of magistrate as returning officers for an election. It is this appointment which gives advantage to them to illegally oblige politicians and makes them powerful over others.

5. Administrative Powers   Exercised as authorized by defense officers as well as officers of all India services.

Please note,  IAS officers or other officers of all India services exercise executive powers of state only when they have powers of magistrate or holding a specified appointment where as executive authority of the state are inherent to all commissioned officers by virtue of they holding  commission on behalf of President. Nature of job of officers of all India services is more as administrative whereas in case of defense officers it is pre-dominantly executive. That is the reason article 310, puts officers of defense forces in senior most order than officers of all India services and other civil services. Yes it is also true constitutionally that IAS officer have no legal standing to claim seniority or preference over IPS, IRS or IFS. Their present superior status is illegal and has been created with help of politicians as they are the only one who can become returning officers to conduct elections.

Question 10. The word defending the constitution are neither mentioned in Oath and Nor in commission parchment, then how are officers of the defense forces responsible for the defending the constitution?

Answer 

Oath of President of India has two key words. One "upholding the constitutions" and other defending it?  President takes the oath to defend constitution as supreme commander of the defense forces and the only means to defend constitution, he has are the defense forces. He therefore passes his authority to officers of the defense forces in form of commission. It is through this commission the officers of defense forces become responsible for defending the constitution by military force following lawful command. Article 34 also makes it obligatory on part of the defense forces to defend constitution. 

Question 10. Civil Political Govt has authority and freedom to decide what shall be status of the defense officers and how shall they be paid? Why shall defense officers and soldiers crib?

Answer

Govt of the day is formed and functions under the broad constitutional framework. No govt or babu is above constitution and they are expected to work within the space as provided. Since 1973 govt are taking certain unconstitutional decisions and downgrading status and compensations of the the defense forces. The same is highly objectionable. Defense forces have been so far maintaining the decorum and trying to argue reason with the govt. Unfortunately the same is not yielding the result and no answers are coming from the govt?  That is main reason military veterans have taken to social media and streets. 

Questions 11. Why shall Govt give answers to the military? It is communicating its decisions? Where is the problem in it? 

Answer

India is a democracy and not autocracy. Govts are answerable to the people and parliament. In case of military they need to explain reasons as by law military is not expected to obey unlawful orders. Soldiers have certain of their fundamental rights restricted it doesn't mean they lose all other rights of a being Indian citizens? Govt carry a responsibility to reason out their grievances? It is demand of democracy. 

Question 12. Why is military not going to court? After all it is an attached organisation to the govt and maintains its own identity? 

Answer

Defense forces surly have such options open but not exercising showing respect to democracy and hoping  that some day wisdom will prevail. After all military going against an elected govt in court might cause serious problems to the democracy. Yes some serving officers and military veterans are taking some lead but the same is also not a healthy sign. 

Question 13. What are the main grievances? Can same be elaborated? 

Answer

Same were explained above in answer to question 4. The same is again elaborated here:

1. Considering various articles 18, 34, 52, 309 and 310 of the constitution and their authority, powers of command, roles and functions, officers of defense forces have a constitutional status and the same is superior to the senior most civil services that is IAS. Article 310 makes it very clear. Equating commissioned officers inferior to police and higher than homewards is surely humiliating. Since 1973 defense forces are actually under systematic motivated attacks from political establishment for marginalizing them. The same is likely to create a serious imbalance in power structure of the country in total violation of constitution which is fraught with serious consequences like creating space for rise of civilian dictators. 

2. On the eve of Independence, first Govt under PM Nehru in fact had realized the problem and on recommendations of a committee, respecting constitutional status of the defense officers, certain principle of parity were laid down. The same were:

a. The status of officers of defense forces will be superior to civil services; IAS. 

b. Seniority protocol between commissioned officers and IAS shall be decided based on length of service and not on the basis of rank of defense officers. 

c. Compensation packages in terms of total average career take home including pension of defense forces shall be higher than civil. In case of defense officers more than IAS. 

3. The above thumb rule as made under Nehru govt, respected the constitution. It was in 1973, in lust to be a dictator, Indra Gandhi tweaked above policy and cut their status and compensation drastically. The process which she started is still continuing? Now the situation is that in terms of status, defense forces are being equated to Grade B civil officers and their average career take homes are less than police and above home guard? 

4. The real unrest is not OROP or some allowances here or there. Real issue is question of disparity and serious imbalances in total disregard to constitutional status of the soldiers. If a MP is respected as MP, if president is respected as president, if judges are respected as judges all as per status given in constitution than why are soldiers not being respected their constitutional status? Degrading soldiers in total disregards to constitution is nothing but direct attack on Constitution.  

Question 14. PM Modi seems to be serious in resolving the issues, then why are soldiers still agitating?

Answer

Soldiers had lots of hope in Sh N Modi as he looked sincere but actions of his govt doesn't speak the same story. Following may please be noted:

1. BJP promised a white paper on the problems and also formation of a military commission. In last 2 years nothing has happened on it? 

2. After BJP formed govt, their defense minister clearly said "OROP" can not be given. Soldiers are asking salary for life. That triggered agitation. Then their Home Minister tried to break the agitation using force. A RSS leader in their first ever political darbar in Delhi, in fact as reported passed instructions to present Defense Minister in a very derogatory manner "Give them something and make them quite'?   It further aggravated problem. 

3. Govt has accepted recommendations of the VII pay commission which has given a very humiliating treatment to soldiers, cutting them further in status and compensations. There are issue pending since IV, V and VI pay commissions. Nothing was addressed, rather more cuts have been implemented. It has happened for the second time, while the civilians have been given their dues, soldiers are still struggling. It is the first time in the history of India, where three services chiefs have polity declined implementation of VII pay commission till major anomalies are resolved.  

4. On issue of disability govt has created yet another controversy. 

5. Now fresh controversy over status parity has erupted in MOD, where civil officers of the Grade B are being treated much superior than commissioned officers.   

6. On all these issues, one can notice deliberate leaks and motivated article  to defame soldiers? In VII pay commission report, an attempt has been made to put down soldiers and show them as greedy.

7. A new fund has been created for public to donate money giving and impression that as govt has no money for soldiers as nation is poor, public must pitch in donations. 

Question 15. India is poor country surly she cant not pay soldiers lavishly? 

Answer

Who is asking that? India is a poor country then why to pay civilian govt employees so lavishly? Soldiers are asking to remove imbalances and restore their status maintaining the principle of parity in line  of constitutional status. Nehru Govt did make the rules. 

Question 16. If govt doesn't address the problem as seen by soldiers and tries to resolve its own way then what are the consequences? 

Answer

At first place govt shall not do that. The constitution is supreme. If govt still wishes to go ahead then better amend constitution. Make defense minister as supreme commander of defense forces, abolish article 34 and article 52 II. Amend article 310 to make defense forces junior to police forces. Make NSA as Chief of Defense Staff and stop giving commission to defense officers. Where is the problem? We live in a democracy where constitution and will of people are supreme. 

But if not done, then respect the present constitution. In any case, since independence a situation has been created now where trust of soldiers in govt as the its lowest. It is a dangerous situation. A soldier who is low in his self esteem and doesn't trust govt will have no trust in cause of his mission and moreover he will be more worried about future, safety and security of his family? Such soldiers can only deliver defeat.  Choice is of the govt and we the people. 

Question 17. What is the way out? 

Answer

Well the way out is known to the govt. BJP did promise a white paper and standing military commission. In fact Supreme Court has been suggesting same to govt. Twice it has happened that SC has ordered Govt to form a standing commission and then withdrawn its orders on promise of the govt. Let this commission first publish a white paper and then take a comprehensive approach to restructure the whole model keeping constitution in mind. The real issues are only two. 1. Treating soldiers as per their constitutional status and 2. accordingly structuring a compensation model.

Author is ex army Colonel and corporate leader presently seeding first Chamber of Commerce of Ex Servicemen

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FAQs: Why are Soldiers Agitating? Are they Greedy or There Are Serious Problems Violating Their Constitutional Status ?

Last updated on 2 Nov 2016- Total Hits/ Views = 27000 plus.

Thanks readers for overwhelming response. Two more blogs will come. Second one in continuation of present one dealing with aspects like what does apolitical means in terms of law and Coup Proofing Vs Coup Phobia and third one on "What Rots Indian Military within"? 

This blog is an attempt to answer 'Frequently Asked Questions' on issues of military. The questions answers given are not a complete set and shall be kept updated time to time. 


Question No 1Military veterans seems to be always agitated on issues like pay, pension and allowances. Why is it? Are they depressed or greedy? 

Answer.

Military veterans vocal on electronic, print and social media or agitating on Jantar Mantar airing their concerns on many issues concerning military, are neither depressed nor greedy. Soldiers of Indian army give more preference to service to nation and democracy than money. There are certain pressure points which govts after govts have not only ignored since 1973, but are creating more reasons for agitations.  

As for as public is concerned, in independent India it is happening for the first time, that in last 5-6 years military veterans have taken the course of agitation on key issues in public domain creating ripples in minds of common man creating such false impressions. The issues are pending with govt since 1973 and now the patience of soldiers is at breaking point. 

Question No 2. But why shall Govt show such apathetic attitude towards soldiers? Soldiers defend nation and render great service and politicians, babus and govt are surely aware of it? 

Answer

It puzzles solders too. Why such apathetic attitude towards soldiers? Serving soldiers do not have unions or lobbies like civilians. They always had blind trust in govt but in 1973 they were delivered a serious blow when their status, pay, pensions and allowances were reduced drastically by 3rd pay commission and that of civilians raised.  It created serious imbalance and that too once soldiers had delivered an unprecedented and historic military victory in 1971 war.  Instead of award, soldiers were punished. It never happens like that. It is a sure way of killing the high moral of a victorious army setting a wrong precedence.   

Soldiers have a system of reporting their problems to their commanding officers, who then report the matter to services HQ at Delhi. Military Chiefs then take up matter with the govt. Soldiers followed the same system and had trust in the ability of their chiefs and Govt. Naturally such serious imbalance created by 3rd pay commission were reported to Govt through proper channels. Then PM Indra Gandhi assured Military Chiefs of resolution of their problems but it never happened. 

Since 1973. chiefs after chiefs have kept reporting the matter to Govt. Govts after Govts have kept assuring soldiers about resolution of their problems but without any solution in sight. Rather various political parties have used frustration of soldiers for petty vote bank politics. It has now created a situation wherein soldiers have lost trust in ability of military chiefs to get solution and started doubting the intentions and seriousness of Govts to deliver justice forcing them to came on street and social media bringing matters into the notice of public. After in all in democracy people are supreme. It is surely not a healthy sign for the democracy. It has also created problem within military where abilities of top leaderships to effectively communicate with govt are now being questioned?  

Question 3Still why is Govt not serious? Soldiers on street in democracy is a frightening scene? 

Answer. 

It is surprising for soldiers too. Why is govt not serious? Why are political parties only interested in using frustration of soldiers for votes? Ignoring the problem without giving any justification is like adding the fuel to fire. Unfortunately, such apathy is creating impressions that corrupt politician- babu nexus has no time for serious issues of the nation and soldiers demand for justice is no exception. Look around, justice system has collapsed, govt administration is totally rusted, corruption rules everywhere, parliament has become defunct, proxy govts rule, no political party has internal democracy, funding channels are kept secret, banking is overburdened with NPAs, gap between poor and rich are widening, farmers are committing suicide. A situation of hopelessness exists. It looks politics has become a profession of employment for failed people who are only interested in loot and plunder. Babus, banks, judiciary, some crony businessmen and temple priests, have joined hands with corrupt politicians to create a mafia. Naturally such mafia has no time and sensitivity for soldiers and justice or what else could be the reason? 

Indian soldiers are sensitive, committed to constitution and responsible people. Soldiers know that in the given situation of hopelessness, if they also come on street, as it happens in other countries, it will deliver a death blow to the nation. Naturally so, military veterans have taken the responsibility to communicate with "we the people" who are supreme in democracy, keeping the threshold of agitation well below acceptable limits so that the situation doesn't explode. 

Questions 4. What are the major demands of soldiers? 

Answer 

The major demands of soldiers are:

1. Status of soldiers as given in the constitution be respected. 

2. Accordingly, serious imbalances and disparities between compensation model of soldiers and other govt civil employees be removed based on best HR practices taking into account the average career earnings including pension  benefits.

Question 5.  What are the constitutional provisions for the executive authority of the military? 

Answer

Constitutional military executive authority of the soldiers comes out of the following articles:

1. Article 18;- respects the "Title of Ranks" of Soldiers even after his death. Soldiers never retire. Title of Ranks never die. 

2. Article 34:- Gives military a political executive authority to intervene by declaring martial law only to restore democracy.  In India parliamentary democracy is supreme. This article makes Indian military as soldiers totally committed to democracy and "we the people". There may be situation where state fails to govern as per constitution or parliament is unable to function due to any reasons or rise of a civilian dictator endangers democracy or external/ internal aggression endangers it . In such situations constitution makes obligatory on military authorities to intervene to protect and restore democracy. Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a very wise man. He could sense that in independent India, probability of rise of civilian dictators are more than rise of a military dictator. He therefore under this article, entrusted military a role of silent and invisible custodian of Indian democracy.  History of independent India is testimony to the fact that Baba Saheb was right. Military has been loyal to constitution and we the people whereas Indra tried to become dictator declaring unconstitutional emergency. Military did play its role to protect democracy, when then Army Chief cautioned Indra to remain within limits of constitution. In fact emergency was lifted as all three chiefs wrote a top secret letter to Indra Gandhi advising her to lift emergency and call for elections. Probably this is right time the content of this letter shall be disclosed to public. 

3. Article 52 read clubbed with Article 74:- The sovereign authority of govt is vested in the President who wears two distinct hats. One of being head of civil political govt and other of supreme commander of defense forces. These two roles of the president are independent. Under this article the hard and soft national powers are identified and constitutionally divided. While the democracy under the pre-dominance of soft power functions under the leadership of Prime Minister and his cabinet, the total command authority over the hard power of military is denied to him/her. Baba Saheb was a visionary and had deep knowledge of Indian history. He wisely so separated national hard power from the national soft power. Baba Saheb knew if PM or defense minister are given total command authority over military it will give rise to many civilian dictators.  Therefore under this article if read clubbed with article 74, the political direction to military comes from cabinet headed by PM, administrative support comes from ministry of defense and military retains the authority and freedom to take military executive decisions and that is the reason precisely military is an attached organisation to the political govt. Constitutionally, military can not be subordinate to PM and his cabinet as President who is senior to PM is its head and also PM is not given command of military. In Indian democracy where PM exercises executive political authority and President is constitutional head of military, services HQ can only be integrated with civil govt and can not be merged as is the case in USA.  

4. Co-relation of Article 34 on Article 52 and 74. Articles 52 and 74 do not take away the authority as vested in supreme commander of defense forces and military commanders as Silent and Invisible Custodians of Indian Democracy. There could be situation where advice of PM (aspiring to become a dictator) and his cabinet to President could be detrimental to democracy. Under article 52 and article 74, president is left with no choice except to accept their advice after one review however under article 34 supreme commander of defense forces or military commanders can exercise military authority as vested in them only to defend constitution and democracy.

Question 6. Constitutionally, what are the roles of the defense forces? 

Answer

If seen in the backdrop of above constitutional provisions, the roles of Indian Defense Forces are:

1. Primary Role. To defend Indian Constitution and democracy against any of the following threats:

a. Any external aggression or threat in any form on the geo-political and economic interests of India, territories under the political control of Indian Govt and Indian constitution. The external threat may not be always in form of military invasions. It may appear in form of externally abetted political assassinations,  cyber or economic wars, threatening geo-poltical alliances or posturing etc.

b. Any internal threat endangering functioning of the constitution and democracy which may be in forms of armed rebellion or political takeover by a civilian dictator.

2. Secondary Role. To assist civil administration in maintenance of law and order and in case of natural calamities, disasters and disturbances only when requisitioned.

Please note that defenses forces can act in their secondary roles only when requisitioned. However for preforming their primary roles, no such orders or requisition are required. However as long as an elected political govt under parliamentary democracy is functioning, defense forces will always seek their political directions before any action. In case such govt seize to exist or nuke attacks have obliterated such govt or a civilian dictator has taken over violating constitution or any state govt has rebelled or any armed rebellion has seized any part of territory/ govt administration, defense forces will act under the military authority as vested in them to protect constitution and shall not wait for any political directions.

Question 7. What are the constitutional provisions for the status and service conditions of the Defense forces?

Answer

Chapter 14 of the constitution deals with "Services of the Union and States". Though defense forces are created under articles 34 and 52, but their service conditions are constitutionally governed under this chapter. Relevant article are as under:

1. Article 309 empowers parliament to make legislation for the service conditions of various public services including defense forces.

 2. Article 310 Makes provisions for the tenure of all commissioned officers of the defense forces personals and civilian gazetted officers to be at pleasure of president. This article mentions various govt services in order of their seniority in terms of constitutional status. Officers of the defense forces are first in the seniority even ahead of civil services of the union (discontinued after independence) and All India Services (IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS etc).

Articles 311- 323 under the chapter deal with various safeguards provided to civil services and forming of Public Service Commissions.

Legal provisions for withdrawal of Pleasure of President in respect to officers of the  defense forces differ from the civil officers which  for defenses forces are further given in respective services acts, rules and also regulations.

Under article 309, various civil services acts for giving various service conditions in details like IAS acts and rules or IPS acts and rules have been framed. However in relation to defense services Govt and Parliament has chosen to remain silent and adhocism has been created. Absence of act and rules for service conditions of defense forces in detail as mandated under article 309, is the root cause of soldiers grievances. Present Defense Acts and Rules deal more with the discipline aspect of forces. The defense regulations are customs of Monarchy. India is a democracy and defense forces shall not be administered under adhoc regulations.

Question 8.  How are officers in defense forces appointed and how does their oath differ from a civil servant?

Answer

Officers of the defense forces in addition to being gazetted, are also commissioned officers. The word "commission" is mentioned in the parchment given to them at the time of their commissioning wherein they take oath of allegiance not only to the constitution as taken by civil officers but also to obey lawful command of their superior officer up in the chain of command after due observations to it being a lawful in accordance with laws of regular army.
Under this observed obedience of lawful command, duty to defend the constitution is inherent. Civilians including PM and Govt Ministers take oath of allegiance to the constitution and not to defend constitution? Few key aspect which shall be noted in appointments of defense officers are :
1. The parchment of commission is given under the printed signatures of the President authenticated by a Military General and not by any civil officer. 

2. In parchment of commission, the President uses the word "ME" and not "MY GOVT" as he uses in Parliament, because the authority of military command is absolute in nature and is vested in him as supreme commander of the defense forces. Such power legally can not be delegated to any other authority. Provisions of article 74, therefore do not apply on military authority and chain of command. Army laws make nature of command legally very clear.  In case of confusion of political directions for military between President and PM, defense forces are obliged to follow orders of supreme commanders of defense forces and not PM. 

3. Officers of defense forces take oath to serve anywhere in world and space, where ever they could be send by land, air and sea beyond the territories of India and where even the Indian laws do not apply? They enforce the sovereign authority of the state not only within national territories but beyond. 

4. Officers are suppose to follow such orders of command which are lawful in nature. Legal validity of orders are decided by officer himself interpreting these under the law. Commissioned officers are therefore expected to use their judgment to decide legality of the orders and all illegal orders he is expected to disobey. In case commissioned officers obey illegal orders, they carry liability of criminal prosecution.  

5. Officers of the defense forces by virtue of being commissioned officers, are vested with following powers

a. Military executive authority not only to impose its will using military force on any entity but also to the extend of forming govts. Military Govt in India were formed in Hyderabad, Goa and Junagarh once these were liberated and also in Bangaldesh and Jaffna Sri Lanka.  

b. Judicial powers to not only give punishments to the extend of death sentence, but in certain situations confirm and execute it without any reference to any court, govt and president. 

c. Powers of Magistrates are exercised by defense forces in aid to civil authority. Officers of the rank of NCOs and above  exercise such powers. Whereas in case of civil these are not below gazetted officers. 

d Military Authority to command troops. Military functions based on unique concept of command. 

e. Administrative powers like any civilian officers. 

It could be seen from above that all functions of state for which a civil govt has different organs, in case of military are vested in commissioned officers.  

Question 9It seems somewhat confusing? General Impressions are that constitutionally IAS officers are Masters of Indian Destiny and they are even superior than other sister services like IPS, IRS and IFS? 

Answer

If seen in backdrop of article 310, that is not correct. Over a period of time IAS officers have taken advantage of their certain appointments and closeness to politicians. Corrupt, greedy and insecure politicians have obliged them, as in elections IAS officers are appointed returning officers responsible to check validity of their nomination papers, their election canvassing activities and spending of funds. In fact it is this appointment which makes them a kind of masters of Indian Elections. It is the IAS officer as DM, who announces results of vote counting. When in multi corner elections where victory margins are thin, such officers naturally can oblige politicians. It is this relationship between politicians and IAS officers which has given unjustified advantage to IAS. In most of the democracy. No civil servant is given the responsibility of being a returning officer. In US, civil servants only oversee checks over political spending, in Pakistan, these are judicial officers who are nominated as returning officers. The present practice is harmful to Indian Democracy and parliament must take note of it? 

Nevertheless constitutionally, following shall answer the question about the correct position on the standing of officers of defense forces with officers of IAS and other All India Services :

Comparison of Constitutional Status of Defense Officers and IAS including Officers  of All India Services

1. Sovereign Executive Military Authority is an exclusive domain of military officers exercised through powers and chain of command. Under such authority nations are destroyed or made. Political directions for military actions at macro levels are given by elected govt in a functional democracy. Under article 34 defense forces have been made silent and invisible custodian of Indian democracy with a responsibility to keep it intact. No such powers in civil domain to any civil officer.

2. Authority to form political Govt is an exclusive domain of political civil Govt in a functional democracy on mandate of 'we the people'. However in certain situations with approval of elected civil political authorities and if it doesn't exist then own its own, officers of the defense officers form a political govt in any external captured territory and anywhere within the country. Examples are when military formed Govts in Haydrabad, Goa and Junagarh within the country and in Bangladesh and Jaffna; Sri Lanka abroad. Such govt can be led by any military officer or any other person so authorized by responsible military commander.  Adjutant General of the Army HQ is responsible for the subject. Only officers of the rank of Brigadier and above are authorized to declare formation of such govt. That is the reason rank of Brigadier was and should be equated with the appointment of secretary of Govt of India. Same is the practice world over in most democracies. No such authority is vested in any of the officers of all India services. All civil officers serve under the command of military commanders under the military govts.

3. Judicial Powers  Any commissioned officer can be nominated to the military court as a Judge. Military officers of the rank of Captain and above exercise judicial powers of a session judge and can give death sentences.  In case of SGCM, an officer of the rank of Captain and above can nominate himself as judge and can give death sentence in a summary trial. He in this case can also confirm the sentence given by himself on behalf of president and give orders for its execution without reference to any court and civil authority. No right of appeal is given to the accused. Military Laws can be made applicable to civilians either by notification by central govt or under martial laws. Legal validity of the courts formed under martial laws has the sanction of Supreme Court. No such powers or authority is held by any officer of the all India services.

4. Powers of Magistrate.   Powers of magistrate is more of a civilian concept when a civilian officer is given part of executive authority of the state by virtue of he/her holding an appointment or given for a period. Military works on the concept of command where executive powers of state are inherent in powers of command of Military officers by virtue of holding commission or authority to exercise such powers. In case of military, powers of command are given down to NCO levels. In aid to civil authority military Non Commissioned Officers, has the powers to order fire.  Such orders in case of civil can only be given by a Civil magistrate. These powers are not inherent as is the case of military officers. IAS officers exercise powers of magistrate as returning officers for an election. It is this appointment which gives advantage to them to illegally oblige politicians and makes them powerful over others.

5. Administrative Powers   Exercised as authorized by defense officers as well as officers of all India services.

Please note,  IAS officers or other officers of all India services exercise executive powers of state only when they have powers of magistrate or holding a specified appointment where as executive authority of the state are inherent to all commissioned officers by virtue of they holding  commission on behalf of President. Nature of job of officers of all India services is more as administrative whereas in case of defense officers it is pre-dominantly executive. That is the reason article 310, puts officers of defense forces in senior most order than officers of all India services and other civil services. Yes it is also true constitutionally that IAS officer have no legal standing to claim seniority or preference over IPS, IRS or IFS. They present superior status is illegal and has been created with help of politicians as they are the only one who can become returning officers to conduct elections.

Question 10. The word defending the constitution are neither mentioned in Oath and Nor in commission parchment, then how are officers of the defense forces responsible for the defending the constitution?

Answer 

Oath of President of India has two key words. One "upholding the constitutions" and other defending it?  President takes the oath to defend constitution as supreme commander of the defense forces and the only means to defend constitution, he has are the defense forces. He therefore passes his authority to officers of the defense forces in form of commission. It is through this commission the officers of defense forces become responsible for defending the constitution by military force following lawful command. Article 34 also makes it obligatory on part of the defense forces to defend constitution. 

Question 10. Civil Political Govt has authority and freedom to decide what shall be status of the defense officers and how shall they be paid? Why shall defense officers and soldiers crib?

Answer

Govt of the day is formed and functions under the broad constitutional framework. No govt or babu is above constitution and they are expected to work within the space as provided. Since 1973 govt are taking certain unconstitutional decisions and downgrading status and compensations of the the defense forces. The same is highly objectionable. Defense forces have been so far maintaining the decorum and trying to argue reason with the govt. Unfortunately the same is not yielding the result and no answers are coming from the govt?  That is main reason military veterans have taken to social media and streets. 

Questions 11Why shall Govt give answers to the military? It is communicating its decisions? Where is the problem in it? 

Answer

India is a democracy and not autocracy. Govts are answerable to the people and parliament. In case of military they need to explain reasons as by law military is not expected to obey unlawful orders. Soldiers have certain of their fundamental rights restricted it doesn't mean they lose all other rights of a being Indian citizens? Govt carry a responsibility to reason out their grievances? It is demand of democracy. 

Question 12. Why is military not going to court? After all it is an attached organisation to the govt and maintains its own identity? 

Answer

Defense forces surly have such options open but not exercising showing respect to democracy and hoping  that some day wisdom will prevail. After all military going against an elected govt in court might cause serious problems to the democracy. Yes some serving officers and military veterans are taking some lead but the same is also not a healthy sign. 

Question 13. What are the main grievances? Can same be elaborated? 

Answer

Same were explained above in answer to question 4. The same is again elaborated here:

1. Considering various articles 18, 34, 52, 309 and 310 of the constitution and their authority, powers of command, roles and functions, officers of defense forces have a constitutional status and the same is superior to the senior most civil services that is IAS. Article 310 makes it very clear. Equating commissioned officers inferior to police and higher than homewards is surely humiliating. Since 1973 defense forces are actually under systematic attack from political establishment for marginalizing them. The same is likely to create a serious imbalance in power structure of the country in total violation of constitution which is fraught with serious consequences. 

2. On the eve of Independence, first Govt under PM Nehru in fact had realized the problem and on recommendations of a committee, respecting constitutional status of the defense officers, certain principle of parity were laid down. The same were:

a. The status of officers of defense forces will be superior to civil services; IAS. 

b. Seniority protocol between commissioned officers and IAS shall be decided based on length of service and not on the basis of rank of defense officers. 

c. Compensation packages in terms of total average career take home including pension of defense forces shall be higher than civil. In case of defense officers more than IAS. 

3. The above thumb rule as made under Nehru govt, respected the constitution. It was in 1973, in lust to be a dictator, Indra Gandhi tweaked above policy and cut their status and compensation drastically. The process which she started is still continuing? Now the situation is that in terms of status, defense forces are being equated to Grade B civil officers and their average career take homes are less than police and above home guard? 

4. The real unrest is not OROP or some allowances here or there. Real issue is question of disparity and serious imbalances in total disregard to constitutional status of the soldiers. If a MP is respected as MP, if president is respected as president, if judges are respected as judges all as per status given in constitution than why are soldiers not being respected their constitutional status? Degrading soldiers in total disregards to constitution is nothing but direct attack on Constitution.  

Question 14. PM Modi seems to be serious in resolving the issues, then why are soldiers still agitating?

Answer

Soldiers had lots of hope in Sh N Modi as he looked sincere but actions of his govt doesn't speak the same story. Following may please be noted:

1. BJP promised a white paper on the problems and also formation of a military commission. In last 2 years nothing has happened on it? 

2. After BJP formed govt, their defense minister clearly said "OROP" can not be given. Soldiers are asking salary for life. That triggered agitation. Then their Home Minister tried to break the agitation using force. A RSS leader in their first ever political darbar in Delhi, in fact as reported passed instructions to present Defense Minister in a very derogatory manner "Give them something and make them quite'?   It further aggravated problem. 

3. Govt has accepted recommendations of the VII pay commission which has given a very humiliating treatment to soldiers, cutting them further in status and compensations. There are issue pending since IV, V and VI pay commissions. Nothing was addressed, rather more cuts have been implemented. It has happened for the second time, while the civilians have been given their dues, soldiers are still struggling. It is the first time in the history of India, where three services chiefs have polity declined implementation of VII pay commission till major anomalies are resolved.  

4. On issue of disability govt has created yet another controversy. 

5. Now fresh controversy over status parity has erupted in MOD, where civil officers of the Grade B are being treated much superior than commissioned officers.   

6. On all these issues, one can notice deliberate leaks and motivated article  to defame soldiers? In VII pay commission report, an attempt has been made to put down soldiers and show them as greedy.

7. A new fund has been created for public to donate money giving and impression that as govt has no money for soldiers as nation is poor, public must pitch in donations. 

Question 15. India is poor country surly she cant not pay soldiers lavishly? 

Answer

Who is asking that? India is a poor country then why to pay civilian govt employees so lavishly? Soldiers are asking to remove imbalances and restore their status maintaining the principle of parity in line  of constitutional status. Nehru Govt did make the rules. 

Question 16. If govt doesn't address the problem as seen by soldiers and tries to resolve its own way then what are the consequences? 

Answer

At first place govt shall not do that. The constitution is supreme. If govt still wishes to go ahead then better amend constitution. Make defense minister as supreme commander of defense forces, abolish article 34 and article 52 II. Amend article 310 to make defense forces junior to police forces. Make NSA as Chief of Defense Staff and stop giving commission to defense officers. Where is the problem? We live in a democracy where constitution and will of people are supreme. 

But if not done, then respect the present constitution. In any case, since independence a situation has been created now where trust of soldiers in govt as the its lowest. It is a dangerous situation. A soldier who is low in his self esteem and doesn't trust govt will have no trust in cause of his mission and moreover he will be more worried about future, safety and security of his family? Such soldiers can only deliver defeat.  Choice is of the govt and we the people. 

Question 17. What is the way out? 

Answer

Well the way out is known to the govt. BJP did promise a white paper and standing military commission. In fact Supreme Court has been suggesting same to govt. Twice it has happened that SC has ordered Govt to form a standing commission and then withdrawn its orders on promise of the govt. Let this commission first publish a white paper and then take a comprehensive approach to restructure the whole model keeping constitution in mind. The real issues are only two. 1. Treating soldiers as per their constitutional status and 2. accordingly structuring a compensation model.