Providing relief to personnel below officer rank (PBOR) granted honorary commission in the services, the Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) today ruled that those who had retired before January 2006 are entitled to the same post Sixth Pay Commission pension scales as applicable to similarly ranked Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers (VCOs) of the erstwhile British Indian Army.
The petitioners contended that there was parity in the pensions of the VCOs and their post-Independence successors - the JCOs - till December 2005. However, they were placed at a financial disadvantage following recommendations of a committee set up to redress the Sixth Pay Commission (SPC) grievances.
The pension of VCOs, according to the petitioners, was correctly fixed by the government prior to June 1953 and they were granted honorary ranks of Lieutenant and Captain that continued thereon. On implementation of the SPC, the government, however, introduced a “specific non-applicability clause” vide its letter dated March 8, 2010, thereby fixing their pension lower scales. In its order, the Bench comprising Justice Ghanshyam Prashad and Lt Gen NS Brar observed that the VCOs and the JCOs form one class and were treated as such with parity till 2005. “Fixing pension of the VCOs correctly and denying the same to the JCOs is discriminatory and arbitrary and they cannot be placed in different categories.”
Tribune News, Chandigarh