In a good news for defence officers, the Supreme Court Tuesday directed the government to re-fix their pay scales in tune with the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission which were never implemented.
The total impact of the payment of dues on the exchequer would be around Rs.1,600 crore.
The beneficiaries of the order would be the army personnel from the rank of captain to brigadier and their counterparts in the air force and navy between Jan 1, 1986 and Jan 1, 2006.
A bench of Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Anil R. Dave also directed the government to pay these personnel 6 percent per annum interest from Jan 1, 2006. The court order would become effective within 12 weeks.
The benefit would also be extended even to those defence personnel who had not approached the court to fight the case.
The court passed the order after it dismissed an application by the central government seeking the recall of its earlier order of March 8, 2010.
Counsel Aishwaraya Bhatti, who appeared for the aggrieved officers, said that the court order would be applicable to all the cases currently pending before any high court or before the Armed Forces Tribunal on the issue decided by them.
By its March 8, 2010 order, the apex court had agreed with the Kerala High Court and directed proper fixation of rank pay from Jan 1, 1986 and interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum. The high court order was passed on the plea of Major Dhanapalan.
The officers contended that there was a wrong fixation of rank pay awarded by the Fourth Pay Commission in which the element of rank pay was introduced for all ranks from captain to brigadier in the army and their equivalent ranks in the air force and the navy, in addition to pay in the integrated scale.
The pay commission recommended a hike in salary ranging between Rs.200-1,200 from the ranks of captain to brigadier.