Thursday, January 30, 2014

MoD babus fined for denying dues to retired IAF officer

MoD babus fined for denying dues to retired IAF officer
By Jugal R. Purohit in New Delhi
IN a rare move, the Armed Forces Tribunal ( AFT) in New Delhi has moved against top bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defence ( MoD) and imposed costs on them up to Rs 10,000 each for delaying and denying the dues of a retired Air Force officer.
The bureaucrats against whom action has been ordered include Sangita Goirala, secretary, Department of Ex- Servicemen Welfare ( DESW), and Dr.
B. K. Singh, Joint Controller of Defence Accounts ( Air Force).
The order was issued on January 21 by the AFT principal bench, comprising Chairperson Justice Prakash Tatia and member Lt.
Gen. S. K. Singh in ‘ Wing Commander ( retd.) V. S. Tomar versus Union of India and others’. In this case, the officer was fighting for his correct pension which was being denied to him. Despite the tribunal deciding in the officer’s favour on December 7, 2011, the MoD did not implement the order claiming that it was challenging the same in the Supreme Court ( SC).
On the officer’s insistence, the tribunal tasked the MoD to implement the order subject to the order of the SC. “ The bench of the tribunal was under bona fide impression that the order of the tribunal will be executed with the above stipulation and therefore, the petitioner’s petition of MA no.
19/ 2012 was disposed of. Neither any order was obtained from the SC nor was the order implemented,” the AFT order mentioned.
A detailed questionnaire was sent to the MoD spokesperson but no reply was received.
“ Personally speaking, the MoD continues to dish out step- motherly treatment to us, and we end up paying the price,” said Wing Commander ( Retd) Tomar.
Commenting on the issue, defence analyst Bharat Verma said, “ Look at the AFT’s frustration that it had to do this.
Orders of the AFT are being ignored and this ministry takes great pride in opposing its soldiers in courts.”
In spite of the tribunal’s order dated 21.01.2013 nothing has been done… It appears there is a deliberate avoidance of the order.
Such an attitude indicates that the filing of SLP may be a pretext for avoiding the implementation of the order.
It is difficult to know the reason as to what is the hitch for the government in punishing the guilty officers in contempt proceeding upon non- implementation of the judicial order of the tribunal.
The ministry is, therefore, directed to submit its stand whether they want to shield the officers in the defence ministry deliberately, continously, consciously.
Secretary, Ministry of Defence, is directed to submit what steps have been taken against the guilty person and what action was taken by the secretary, ministry of defence, consciously
Payment of ` 10,000 by Dr. B. K. Singh, JCDA ( AF)… cost of ` 10,000 is imposed upon the Secretary, Ex- Servicemen Welfare ( Sangita Goirala)…( both officers) shall remain present before us on the next date of hearing

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