Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT): The Division Bench of Justice Umesh Chandra Srivastava (Chairperson) and Vice Admiral Abhay Raghunath Karve (Member) A, granted benefits of Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme (MACP) to the applicant along with subsequent increments and pensionary benefits.
The applicant was enrolled in Army as Havildar on 17-12-1994 and was discharged from service after rendering 15 years, 08 months and 15 days of service before fulfilling the conditions of enrolment/service at his own request on extreme compassionate grounds. Applicant had been receiving service pension of the rank of Havildar and 20% disability pension for life from the date of discharge. The grievance of the applicant was that he had been denied benefit of MACP Scheme in contravention to the recommendation of the 6th Central Pay Commission. The ground mentioned for denial by the respondent was that,
“MACP is applicable w.e.f. 01-09-2008 and since you (applicant) have rendered permanent unwillingness to undergo criteria course/promotion cadre w.e.f. 09-11-2001, which tantamount to refusal for further promotion”.
The Tribunal relied on the judgment of Supreme Court in Union of India v. Balbir Singh Turn, (2018) 11 SCC 99 to determine actual enforcement date of the scheme. In the said case the Supreme Court had held, “…the interpretation of the Resolution of Government clearly states that the recommendations of 6th CPC as modified and accepted by the Central Government is so far as they relate to pay structure, pay scales, grade pay etc. will apply from 01-01-2006. There may be some gainers and some losers but the intention of the Government was clear that this scheme which is part of the pay structure would apply from 01-01-2006. We may also point out that the Resolution dated 30.08.2008 whereby the recommendation of the Pay Commission has been accepted with modification and recommendations with regard to pay structure, pay scale, grade pay etc. have been made applicable from 01-01-2006.
In the light of above the Tribunal held that,
“The applicant’s unwillingness Certificate for undergoing Chinese Course cannot debar him for grant of benefit of MACP Scheme.”
Hence, directions were issued to the respondent to consider the claim of the applicant for implementation of the MACP from 01-01-2006 and grant all consequential benefits (Nb Sub grade w.e.f. 01-01-2006, subsequent increments and pensionary benefits). Further, interest at 8% per annum was granted in case of delay.[Vikram Singh Bhandari v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine AFT 343, decided on 11-02-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.