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Resolve issue of pension of disabled soldiers: Smriti to govt

Member of Parliament Smriti Irani raised the issue of pension for disabled military veterans and accused the Defence Ministry of injustice towards disabled soldiers in the Rajya Sabha

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
August 17, 2013 2:17:29 am

Member of Parliament Smriti Irani raised the issue of pension for disabled military veterans and accused the Defence Ministry of injustice towards disabled soldiers in the Rajya Sabha. She urged the government to intervene in the matter and ensure that soldiers get their due.

Supported by other MPs cutting across party lines,Irani said that rules for granting disability pension to disabled soldiers were inherently liberal. But it is being technically and restrictively interpreted by Ministry of Defence leading to denial of disability pension.

She cited the recent SC judgment of Dharamveer Singh Vs the Union of India.

Irani added that while employment of civilian employees was protected in case of disability,the same was not applicable to defence personnel who could be released without any kind of pension on account of non-service connected disabilities if their service was less than ten years. In most cases,the verdicts of HCs and Armed Forces Tribunals in disability pension related matters are challenged by MoD in the SC.

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She said that majority of Civil Appeals and SLPs filed by MoD in the SC were against their own disabled soldiers further adding that MoD’s Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) stonewalled the benefits of military veterans till they were either dead or broke. Military veterans have long protested the DESW policies which they feel harbours an anti-military sentiment and heaps multiple litigation on veterans,disabled soldiers and their families in pensionary matters.

A senior advocate from Armed Forces Tribunal,Chandigarh Bench said,“Even decisions of courts and tribunals are openly defied by DESW on the ground that the decisions are against government policy. It is probably for the first time that the issue has been strongly raised in the Parliament and supported by MPs of other parties too. Forced litigation and negatively interpreted policies are a cause of major dissatisfaction among ex-servicemen.”

‘Admin will tackle stray dog menace’

CHANDIGARH: Owing to criticism the Municipal Corporation faces for its failure to control the stray dog menace,Mayor Subhash Chawla,at a meeting of the Animal Welfare Board on Friday,asked for the responsibility to be shifted back to the administration. The Mayor alleged the process of sterilization was not being undertaken properly.

Over 15 cases of dog bite are reported everyday in the city. The councillors have raised the issue several times in the meeting of the General House. With over 7,000 stray dogs in the city and the issue being prevalent in all wards,it is a cause for much debate.

The representatives of the NGOs present assured steps to tackle the situation would be taken with a new technique of microscopy sterilization being introduced.

Another issue raised was that of the monkey menace. The function presently lies with the UT Forest Department. It was demanded the Forest Department publicise the helpline numbers to address the issue.

SDM-DC dispute persists,admin yet to take action

The dispute between the UT Deputy Commissioner and Sub-divisional Magistrate continues as the Administration is yet to initiate action to resolve the issue. The dispute is not getting solved as one of the bureaucrat is from Punjab and the other is from Haryana and officers of the respective states do not want to be seen taking sides. The DC Mohd Shayin is a Haryana cadre IAS officer,while SDM Amandeep Kaur is a PCS officer.

The SDM complained to UT Adviser K K Sharma who forwarded it to Home Secretary Anil Kumar. With the Home Secretary also being from the Haryana cadre,it is being contemplated that intervention of some other officer be sought to settle the dispute.

Amandeep Kaur had complained of ‘mental harassment’. She alleged that she was not being consulted for decisions about her department. Another bone of contention was the appointment of the DC’s PA as the joint secretary of Red Cross Society of which Amandeep is secretary. She alleged that terms of some of her staff members were terminated without her consent.

A senior official of the Administration said that there is a need to ensure that no one complains of favouritism or partiality. This could only happen if one of the state cadre official intervenes.

Court refuses to interfere in recovery of rent from Bhattal

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday disposed of a petition seeking eviction of VVIPs from government houses. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal,former Chief Minister of Punjab had vacated the government house number 46 in Sector 2,Chandigarh,after a local lawyer moved a case against her.

The Court refused to interfere into the recovery of penal rent from Bhattal and other VVIPs.

The administration,on the last date of the hearing informed the court that it had issued eviction notices/warrants to around 50 government employees,who were occupying houses illegally or had overstayed their possession.

Bhattal illegally occupied government accommodation from March 22,2012.

The court was also informed that Bhattal had been allotted another government house in Chandigarh as per entitlement.

Local lawyer Surinder Pal Singh Tinna moved the court alleging retired bureaucrats from Punjab,former ministers and other VIPs have occupied government accommodations in UT,despite losing their rights to occupy the same.

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