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.