India, Sept. 5 -- Around 20,000 army officers will finally get much-awaited and much-delayed pay arrears on account of the Fourth Pay Commission report, thanks to the Supreme Court's Tuesday ruling.
The Supreme Court ordered the union government to fix rank pay, reimburse the arrears of revised pay scales since January 1, 1986, along with six per cent annual interest within three months.
The arrears are from Fourth Pay Commission report that had introduced to pay army officers a little more than their civilian counterparts in order to magnetize youth to make a career in the Army. But many accused the pay commission of making erroneous fixation of rank pays. Major A. K. Dhanapalan was the first army officer to challenge the flawed fixation of rank pays before the Kerala High Court.
The union government had opposed the Kerala high court ruling that had directed proper fixation of rank pay and to reimburse the arrears with six per cent interest. The top court of the country upheld the pay fixation as ruled by the Kerala High Court.
The union government then requested the top court to reconsider its earlier order. But, a three-judge bench of Justices R M Lodha, Anil R Dave and TS Thakur dismissed the government's application.
As per some estimates, the ministry of finance may have to cough up as much as Rs 1,620 crore in the payment of arrears to twenty thousand army officers up to Brigadier level.
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