Heads must roll in Ministry of Defence and CGDA for extra constitutional action done deliberately
OROP had become effective from 01 Jul 2014. Initially there were lots of glitches and these were expected and understandable. However they were finite and not unsurmountable as pretended by Accountants of CGDA and CDA (Pension). Deliberately the bureaucracy of Ministry of Defence and Department of Defence kept twiddling their thumbs till the then Raksha Mantri himself intervened and cut down the Gordian Knot of OROP.
Things began moving ahead and slowly arrears instalments got paid. Now every bureaucrat and Accountant dealing with the subject in MoD, Department of Defence Finance, CGDA and PCDA (pension) was well aware that the next revision was due in 2019. However they came out with a well planned googly and raised the controversy that next revision was due only in 2021. Naturally the veterans went to Court to defend their honour and claim their dues.
Now coming back to NEXT REVISION, if the Babus and Accountants themselves said that Jul 2021 was the next date then why revision tables were not ready by June 2021? After all they were so sure that their interpretation was totally correct and Supreme Court would give judgement in their favour.
Finally the Honourable SC gave its judgement in December 2022 but a recalcitrant and nearly defiant MoD went to appeal but again got trashed in Jan2023. Final date for disbursement was given as 15 Mar 2023. However in total defiance of Supreme Court the Babus usurping extraconstitutional authority issued a order that arrears will be paid in four installments.
Their reasoning has been that there is lack of funds. Inevitability of paying the arrears was known, though only the date of commencement of revision was in dispute. The rough amount was also fully known, so why each year the required amount was not budgeted as financial liability not paid out on account of OROP arrears. This amount should have been carried forward to succeeding year and accumulated. The argument of lack of funds in spite of not doing the above., is just not tenable by any sort of imagination. It is nothing but lack of intent and total disregarding the retired Veterans who had given the best years of their life to the nation. Some of them even gave up their life leaving behind veer Naris to grieve. Around half a million ESM have gone to grave without receiving their arrears due with effect Jul2019. How can the culprits go Scott free ???
We are sure that Honourable SC will take action on this deliberate defiance and extraconstitutional action. However the Government (Cabinet) must take this seriously too. What if other ministries and Departments start acting in similar manner. Then one day the rot may even spread to the Armed Forces.
Therefore all those Directors / Deputy Secretaries in MoD and their equivalent in Defence Finance and CGDA specifically dealing with the subject should be investigated for omissions and commissions. Culprits should be compulsorily retired. All others in the chain of decision making should be appropriately censured including the Defence Secretary and the CGDA.
All concerned must also get cracking and ensure that things are worked out to last command full stop by 30 Jun 2024 as OROP REVISION is again due with effect 01 Jul 2024.