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Landmark CIC order: Defence Secretary will re-examine issues relating to Liberalized Family Pension for the next of kin of deceased Defence Personnel

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It has been observed that there is a perceptible lack of clarity in the various circulars/orders issued by the Defence Ministry from time to time in respect of pensionery benefits on death/disability in aggravated cases and determining such entitlements in different categories.

The amendments/modifications carried out by the Government from time to time
have also led to the confusion that needs to be addressed forthwith.

The areas of Special Family Pension, Liberalized Family Pension and the procedures adopted by the CGDA in settling the entitlements in each of these cases need to be comprehensively captured in a consolidated form for the benefit, ease and convenience of the affected defence services personnel.

 – Central Information Commission order of 23 February 2018

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission today passed an order advising the Defence Secretary to re-examine all issues relating to the policy and procedures adopted by the Ministry of Defence in granting Liberalized Family Pension to the next of kin (NoK) of the deceased Army Personnel and to appropriately put in place a robust mechanism for the benefit of all concerned.

Bimal Julka

Central Information Commissioner Bimal Julka today passed a landmark order pertaining to granting Liberalized Family Pension to the next of kin (NoK) of the deceased Army Personnel. It says, while examining and adjudicating each of these issues raised in the different applications, it has been observed that there is a perceptible lack of clarity in the various circulars/orders issued by the Defence Ministry from time to time in respect of pensionery benefits on death/disability in aggravated cases and determining such entitlements in different categories.

The CIC order further says that the amendments and modifications carried out by the Government from time to time have also led to the confusion that needs to be addressed forthwith.

The Respondents during several hearings admitted that there was a dire need to revisit the policies and procedures with regard to the matters related to settlement of pensionary benefits of the NoKs of the deceased Defence Personnel.

The CIC order especially places on record that Complainant had filed approximately 79 Appeals and Complaints relating to the policy and procedures adopted by the Ministry of Defence in granting Liberalized Family Pension to the next of kin (NoK) of the deceased Army Personnel.

Today’s order, in response to complaint filed by Nityanand Das of PAR Division IGFRI, Jhansi, goes on to underscore the point that the areas of Special Family Pension, Liberalized Family Pension and the procedures adopted by the CGDA in settling the entitlements in each of these cases need to be comprehensively captured in a consolidated form for the benefit, ease and convenience of the affected defence services personnel.

The guidelines for implementation also need to be more specific for easy understanding of the NoK of the Armed Forces Personnel so as to obviate the necessity of such applicants to file RTI applications to seek clarifications and information on their entitlements.

In it decision, the CIC has emphasised that keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by both the parties (the petitioners and respondents) and in the light of the decision of the Commission and its compliance reported by the Respondent, no further intervention is required in the matter.

Click here for CIC order

 

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