Chandigarh 26th February, Three decades old struggle of PGI Ex-servicemen finally has to come at end on 24th February, 2011 when the PGI Administration has passed orders granting pay fixation to ex-servicemen for the past service rendered in Armed Forces after the orders and directions by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench made on 10.1.2011 in the Contempt Petition filed by Ex-Servicemen.
There have been 3 major agitations and intense legal battle by filing couple of writ petitions in the Hon’ble High Court during the last 2 decades. On 19.12.2005, the Hon’ble High Court issued the directions to PGI management in CWP No. 13161 of 2001 ‘We are of the considered opinion that the respondents need to re-consider the entire matter again’. The above directions of the Hon’ble High Court proved decisive.
In pursuance of the significant directions of the Hon’ble High Court, the PGI management constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. S. K. Prabhakar, Head, Department of Neurology. On 21.2.2006, it met to consider the issue but did not take favourable decision. The decision was opposed by the then Union on the basis of rules and instructions on the subject since 1958 and judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Director General of Posts & ors v B. Ravindaran and Anr. (JT 1996 (10) S.C. 228).
Sh. Ashwani Munjal, former Chairman, Negotiation Committee of Union and General Secretary of PGI MTA independently handled the entire case since 1996 for and behalf of Union and aggrieved employees.
Finally, the PGI management conceded the claim of ex-servicemen for counting of their past military service for the purpose of pay fixation benefit. The eligible ex-servicemen, who were given the minimum of basic pay on joining PGI, have been allowed one increment for each year of service rendered in Army from the date of their joining at PGI. Some of the ex-servicemen have got 15-20 increments from the date of joining and the arrears of difference of pay and allowances on account of pay fixation benefit range from 1.5 lacs to more than 2 lacs were paid to each eligible ex-serviceman in the year 2008.
Earlier, their past military service had been got counted for the purpose of priority in House Allotment.
However, the PGI management did not consider the cases of ex-servicemen recruited on or after 31.7.1986. Aggreived by the orders of PGI management, the Ex-servicemen recruited on or after 31.7.1986 were forced to resort to 4th inning of litigation by filing a writ petition in the Hon’ble High Court, which has been transferred to CAT, Chandigarh.
On 22.4.2010, the Hon’ble CAT, Chandigarh directed the PGI Administration to pass appropriate orders within 4 months. The PGI management sought extension in August, 2010. However, no action was taken by it during the extension period of two months also. On 1.11.2010, the Ex-servicemen filed a Contempt Petition against Dr. K.K.Talwar, Director, PGI and Mrs. Kanuru Sujatha Rao, the then Union Health Secretary. On 10.1.2011, the Counsel of PGI conceded the claim of ex-servicemen and sought one month time to make payments. The Honble CAT, Chandigarh disposed off the Contempt Petition by ordering that the arrears of payments be pay fixation be disbursed within 1 and ½ months otherwise the ex-servicemen will be entitled to revoke the contempt petition.
Though, the payments were to be disbursed by 25th February but Dr. K.K. Talwar, DPOGI has only issued orders just one day before the deadline fixed by the Hon’ble CAT, Chandigarh. The ex-servicemen will get arrears to the tune of Rs. 2 to 4-5 lacs and an increase of Rs. 1500-3000 in their monthly salary, which will further increase their pension, gratuity and other retirement benefits.