Supreme Court grants Special Pension to ex-Naval Sailors
“Veteran Sailors Welfare Association” Regd.No.Society/West/2014/8901551 of 31st December, 2014 is association of ex-servicemen of Indian Navy who look after the welfare of naval personnel. The association has helped a category of those ex-naval personnel who were recruited for 10 years for active service in addition to 10 years for reserve service. They were to get Reservist Pension after completion of their engagement with the Navy. The young boys joined in the prime of their youth to serve the nation for attraction of secured career. It was also made clear to them that in case such recruits chose to serve for at least another 5 years in active service, they shall draw normal pension as the normal pension starts after the service of 15 years for other ranks in the Indian Navy.
But prior to 3rd July, 1976, a lot of personnel who were recruited to serve in the above category were leaving the naval service. The Indian Navy issued a letter dated 3rd July, 1976 in which the terms and conditions of this category of personnel was changed to not to keep them as Reservist. This resulted in deprivation of pension to this category of personnel serving the Indian Navy.
A lot of representations, including appointment of high level committees and legal battles went on after 3rd July, 1976 for injustice meted out to this category of ex-naval personnel. Armed Forces Tribunal, at Delhi denied the pension and Armed Forces Tribunal, Chennai had ordered to give Reservist Pension to 3 such category of personnel vide their separate judgment. The ex-naval personnel affected by Delhi judgment appealed before Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and on the other hand the Indian Navy affected by Chennai judgment also appealed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
We are happy to inform all concerned that the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its judgment dated 27th Oct 2016, in CA 2147/2011 against AFT, Delhi judgment and CA 8566/2014 against Chennai judgment, along with impleadment petitions filed by members of “Veteran Sailors Welfare Association” have allowed the plea of affected ex sailors, for grant of special pensions, to all ex sailors who had joined Navy prior to 03 Jul 1976 and left on or after 03 July 76, on completing a minimum 10 years or more and less than 15 years service in Para 25 of the judgment as follows:
” Thus understood, all Sailors appointed prior to 3rd July, 1976 and whose tenure of initial active service/ empanelment period expired on or after 3rd July, 1976 may be eligible for a Special Pension under Regulation 95, subject, however, to fulfilling other requirements. In that, they had not exercised the option to take discharge on expiry of engagement (as per Section 16 of the Act of 1957) and yet were not and could not be drafted by the competent Authority to the Fleet Reserve because of the policy of discontinuing the Fleet Reserve Service w.e.f. 3rd July, 1976. The cases of such Sailors (not limited to the original applicants before the Tribunal) must be considered by the Competent Authority within three months for grant of a “Special Pension” from three years prior to the date of application made by the respective Sailor and release payment after giving adjustment of Gratuity and Death-cum-Retirement-Gratuity (DCRG) already paid to them from arrears. They shall be entitled for interest @9% p.a. on the arrears, till the date of payment.”
Most of these veterans have taken part in wars in 1961, 1965 and 1971. When they requested for pension as per naval pension regulations, they were told that, the Govt. has stopped the system of transferring sailors to reserve by an instruction dated 03 Jul 1976. Moreover, the instructions of 03 July, 1976 seems to have been made only with the sole purpose of denying “Reservist Pension” benefit to this category of sailors as a deterrent effect for en-mass leaving the Navy at that time.
It is pertinent to note that, no one was told about it, while in service or later in a time where there was no modern communication like internet or social media. By the latest decision of the Honorable, Supreme Court of India, the struggles of these war veterans for around four decades for their right of either of “Reserve Pension” or “Special Pension” has come to an end.
As per this judgment, all such sailors who joined the Indian Navy before 03 Jul 1976 and left after 10 years or more service but less than 15 years are entitled to a “Special Pension”. They have become eligible to get such pension three years from back date from the date of their demand to the Navy. The widows and other legal heirs of such sailors too are eligible for this special pension.
The “Veteran Sailors Welfare Association” requests all veteran falling in this category to apply for Special Pension to:
“The Logistics Officer-in-Charge,
Naval Pension Office,
C/O INS Tanaji,
In case of any doubt or clarification they can contact:
Mr. Dinesh Kaushik, President
Veteran Sailors Welfare Association (Regd)
Flat No.224 Naval technical officers society
Plot No.3A, Sector-22, Dwarka,