The Struggle and Agony of ex Indian Naval Veterans for a due benefit
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We are trying to bring to your notice about our struggle and sufferings under gone by us over the years on a rightful issue. We do understand that the heads of higher offices like that of Defense Minister, Prime minister and the President ,are not n a position to attend the grievances ,how so ever genuine it may be. But when all the organizations like DESA (Navy), VSF Navy etc which are supposed to protect the interest of ex sailors are only for accommodating some high ranking officials,we are forced to approach all of you once again through this public forum. Please correct us, if we are wrong after reading this:-
1. We are a group of Ex sailors of Indian Navy, retired from the services of Navy on various dates between 1976 and 1986.As per the rules of Indian Navy, all of us were entitled to get a special pension, as per section 95 of Naval Pension Regulations. The issue was so simple as to be settled amicable within the existing rules and regulations of the Indian Navy itself at the time of discharge, like payment of normal pension, as both comes under same pension regulations 1964.
2. However, due to the ignorance or stubborn attitude of the some of the officials of the Indian Navy, it was not paid All our efforts to get it ended in deaf ears, even after numerous grievance redressal applications , over the years. Finally like any other citizen deprived of justice w e approached the honorable Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, was pleased to admit our plea and delivered a judgment dated 27 Oct 16.
3. However, taking undue advantage of an inadvertent wording in Para 25 of the judgment, special pension was denied to us, saying given “unwillingness for further service on expiry of engagement.” Anyone remotely connected with the service rules of the Navy knows that, without a written submission of unwillingness, no sailor could honorably leave the service, irrespective of the period after which such discharge occurs.
4. Again we approached all the authorities including the Prime Minister (8 times) and the president of India, being the supreme commander of the armed forces for an early justice in the matter. Since the issue was “routinely”referred to the same authorities who refused it earlier, it became a wasteful exercise. It was proven beyond doubt that, all these grievance redressal channels are an eye wash to fool us.
5. Due to hundreds of letters and RTI applications, the truths were revealed one by one. The Naval authorities were forced to admit the truth that, submission of willingness or unwillingness is no way related to the payment of special pension. There is no rule of the Navy, which prohibits the payment of special pension based on willingness or unwillingness for further service. The only rules governing payment of special pension is section 95 of naval pension regulations.
6. Finally, when both the authorities and we are in agreement on the main area of dispute.ie in the irrelevance of submission of willingness or unwillingness with regards to the payment of special pension, the next course action should have been pay the special pension immediately , with a due apology for the delay. However, it was not done so far.
7. Again, we wrote letters to all of them(as usual with no response), requesting to pay the pension without further delay as majority are at the last phase of our lives and many are leaving this world forever one by one. During the last 4 years of our agitation alone, there is an addition of 50 to the strength of widows among us. We are fully confident of getting justice from the honorable Supreme Court. But the process may take more time. Time is the most luxurious factor in our lives, because, all affected are above 60.
8. If anyone is really interested in the welfare of these poor veteran sailors,we request to advise the authorities concerned not to keep silence on our issues any more .At least give a reply stating reasons if any of further denial of special pension, based on any existing rules of the Indian Navy?
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