A PIL was today moved in the Delhi High Court alleging discrimination against personnel below officer rank (PBOR), like jawans, in the three defence forces and challenging grant of lesser military service pay to them under the Seventh Pay Commission.
The petition came up for hearing before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar which referred the matter to the appropriate bench to be heard on December 7.
The plea by NGO Voice of Ex-Serviceman alleged that there was a trend in the defence forces of "sidelining" the PBORs who according to the petition comprise 97 per cent of the three armed forces.
It claimed that all service-related benefits, including monetary, "are hijacked by the officer lobby".
The petition, filed by advocate Narender Kaushik, has opposed the grant of military service pay (MSP) in Seventh Pay Commission to military nursing service (MNS) contending that they are non-combatants and officers.
It contended that MSP should be paid only to combatants and equally without considering the rank.
As per the petition, under the Seventh Pay Commission while PBORs will get a MSP of Rs 5200, those in the nursing service and officers would get MSP of Rs 10,800 and Rs 15,500, respectively.
It has contended that despite the jawans facing more hardships, they are given the lowest MSP.
The NGO, in its plea, has also raised the grievance of PBORs being compulsorily retired before attaining the age of 60 years in the name of keeping the force young, saying their retirement after just 15 years of service leads to them drawing 80 per cent less pay than their civilian counterparts.
The petition has also contended that the rate of pension of PBORs was "too low" and pushes many jawans into penury after retirement.
It has sought that the views of PBORs be also invited on any policy which was meant for the armed forces.
The NGO has also sought equal disability pension for all armed forces personnel irrespective of their rank.
Apart from that the plea also seeks time bound promotions, including three Assured Career Progressions, for PBORs like jawans and junior commissioned officers before expiry of their service tenure.
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