The Centre’s decision to stop free rations to military officers in peace postings has sparked off a legal battle with a senior Army officer sending a notice to the government through defence secretary Sanjay Mitra, seeking a reversal of the order within 60 days.
Deputy Judge Advocate-General of Headquarters 12 Corps Col Mukul Dev has threatened to move court after this period if the order is not reversed. A copy of the letter is with TOI.
In his notice, under Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code, Col Dev states that he joined the Army in 1988 after going through an UPSC advertisement/notification in a leading newspaper regarding the Combined Defence Services examination.
“Besides other terms and conditions of service clearly spelt out in the notification, there was the provision of free rations. There was no mention of the provision of cash in lieu of free rations. It was only after weighing all the conditions of service that I applied for a commission in the Army. It has now been intimated that officers of the Indian Armed Forces posted in peace areas won’t receive any free rations with effect from July 1. They shall be paid a paltry sum of Rs 96.03 as ration money instead.”
“This decision has violated the basic terms and conditions of my service on the basis of which I was employed and commissioned and that, too, without obtaining any written consent from me,” Col Dev states.
He has also pointed out that the notification he mentions is still in force for officers who are due for commissioning in the near future or who are aspiring to join the armed forces in the near future.
“I seek your intervention to immediately withdraw such illegal orders of nonprovisioning of free rations to me while serving in peace areas. The illegal order violates the basic terms and conditions of my service which cannot be altered without my express and written complaint,” the officer stated in the notice dated July 1.