1. Lt Col N Ravi Choudhary, advocate in AFT Chennai is in the process of filing a case for grant of Military Service Pay (MSP) from Jan 2006 to 31 Aug 2008 for the officers from the rank of Lt to Brigadier who were in service in the above period. The reasoning for filing the case given is covered in subsequent paras.
2. Military Service Pay. The meaning of MSP is given at para 3(g) of SAI 2/S/2008. The same is reproduced.
Entry at Ser No 2 in Annexure – 2, Part A of Government of India Resolution No 1(30) / 2008 / D (Pay / Services) dated 30 Aug 2008 published in Gazette of India, Extraordinary Part I, Section III vide SRO. 1(E) dated 30 Aug 2008 (hereinafter called Resolution) MSP will be treated as pay for all purposes except for computation of increment and status.
3. A mere reading of definition of MSP given above clearly indicates that MSP is pay for all purposes. The same definition is adopted in fixing pension of all Pre – 2006 pensioners who were given benefit of MSP from Jan 2006. See the table below showing the pension fixed for all Pre – 2006 Officers of the rank of Lt to Maj Gen to whom MSP is given. For Maj Gens the fixation of pay and pension MSP was taken notionally. If Pre – 2006 Officers are given benefit of MSP in their pension, why cannot the serving Officers in the period of Jan 2006 to 31 Aug 2008 cannot be given MSP? Even MACP for JCOs / OR has been given from Jan 2006. Therefore, there is a strong case to get MSP for such eligible officers. See the benefit of MSP the Pre – 2006 Officers got in the table below:-
4. The Hon’ble Supreme Court ruled that even MACP for Sepoys to Havildars be given from Jan 2006 and not from 01 Sep 2008. Therefore, it is very clear that Govt of India cannot fix their terms and conditions to the detriment of faujis. There are innumerable judgments of the apex court which ruled that benefit of pay shall accrue to employees from the first day of Central Pay Commission. In this case, the MSP for officers of the ranks of Lt to Brigadier who were in service from Jan 2006 to 31 Aug 2008 are to be given benefit of MSP from Jan 2006 itself and not from 01 Sep 2018. Maj Gens were given benefit of notional MSP from Jan 2006 in fixing their pay itself. Therefore, MSP cannot be denied to officers of ranks from Lt to Brigadier.
5. Legal Case. Presently most of the AFTs in the country are not encouraging Class Action suits. Therefore, TSEWA shall only file individual cases henceforth and every petitioner shall get OA no when the case is filed (unlike in the past when all petitioners were given only one OA no being class action suit). Hence, the legal fees cannot be decided in advance. The legal fees depends upon the advocate and for the same case it may vary from AFT to AFT. However, TSEWA will get lowest possible legal fees which will be intimated to you all after the terms and conditions are finalized with our advocate(s) in all regional benches. TSEWA has identified advocates in 7 out of 8 regional AFTs (AFT Guwahati is the only regional AFT where we have not yet identified a suitable advocate).
6. Likely Arrears. If we win the case in AFT Chennai, the likely arrears all officers of the rank of Lt to Brigadier who were in service in the period of Jan 2006 to 31 Aug 2008 will get is shown below: –
7. Eligibility. Only Officers of rank of Lt to Brigadier who were in service in the period Jan 2006 to 31 Aug 2008 and residing in the states of (a) Andhra Pradesh (b) Tamilnadu (c ) Telangana and (d) Puducherry UT are only eligible to join AFT – 31 to be filed in AFT Chennai. All the Pre – 2006 Officers are not eligible to join this legal case.
8. If you are residing in the above states / UT and are keen to join AFT – 31, then you are requested to give your willingness to join case to Col Dr GB Sethi (Retd) General Secretary, TSEWA at his e-mail id: firstname.lastname@example.org. Based on the number of officers desirous of joining the legal case, we shall intimate the legal fees as now it is an individual case (and not Class Action suits filed so far). Fees will be slightly higher as every petitioner has to pay court fees, fees for documentation like photo-stating, filing individual affidavits etc.
9. Activation of Regional Benches. Since our cases filed in AFT Delhi are somehow not progressing in spite of best efforts of our advocates and Brig SKS Rana, VSM (Retd), President, Legal Division, it has been decided henceforth all 8 regional benches shall be activated. Once we see the response, Officers of the rank of Lt to Brigadier residing in other states will also be permitted to join AFT – 31 case.
10. AFT Guwahati. Any member or non – member of TSEWA who is residing in Guwahati is requested to find out a suitable advocate practicing in AFT (preferably from ESM community) and intimate his particulars to Col Dr GB Sethi, Gen Secy and also to me so that we can negotiate terms and conditions. One Officer from TSEWA will go to Guwahati to finalise the terms and conditions and hand over the legal cases of petitioners from states of Sikkim, Assam and other North Eastern States to the selected advocate who offers best terms.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)