Justice Markandey Katju
The announcement of OROP by the Union Defence Minister is like the Biblical ” Peace of God which passeth all understanding ” ( see Philippians 4:7 )
Firstly, where did the issue of VRS or premature retirement come into the picture, like a jack in the box, or like Banquo’s ghost in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or Caesar’s ghost in Julius Caesar ? There was no inkling about it earlier from the side of the Govt.
Everyone knows that an army officer can take premature retirement with pension on putting in a minimum of 20 years service ( for jawans the qualifying period is 15 years ). How can such persons, who comprise about half the officers be deprived of OROP ? This had not even be discussed earlier. Suddenly, OROP has disappeared for the premature retirees, like the Cheshire Cat disappearing in Alice in Wonderland, or some devata becoming ‘ antardhan’, and instead a ‘ thenga ‘ has been shown to the premature retirees.
Once the principle of OROP was accepted, where was the difficulty in revising pensions every 2 years as demanded ? This is the age of computers, and with an appropriate software in fact pensions can be revised almost instantaneously, with a touch of a button. Why does it require 5 years ? In fact the ex servicemen were too liberal in modifying their genuine demand for annual revision to a 2 year revision. Perhaps they thought they should give some latitude to the government to ‘ save face ‘.
Thirdly, what will a one man judicial commission do ? It will be a joke.
It is said, and I may be pardoned for the crude analogy, a Commission is like a commode. First you sit on it, then there is a report, and then the matter settles down.
The Govt. of India’s announcement today, instead of solving the problem, has made things murkier than ever.
Vinashkale Vipreet Buddhi
This blog first appeared on Justice Katju’s official page SATYAM BRUYAT.