iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, September 10, 2013
Information sought from the union defence ministry under the Right to Information Act has revealed that 12 out of the 57 missing defence personnel in 1965 and 1971, believed to be in Pakistan's custody, belong to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The information sought by advocate HC Arora revealed that six defence personnel are from Punjab, five from Haryana and one from Chandigarh.

According to information, complying with the Gujarat high court's directions, the defence ministry had issued a letter on June 29 last year for payment of retirement benefits to the next of kin of the missing defence personnel who were believed to be in Pakistan's custody.

The letter says that these defence personnel were to be granted retirement benefits by treating them to be in service by notionally reinstating them into service. These personnel were also to be granted notional promotions by removing mandatory requirements of rules pertaining to annual confidential reports, medical criteria and qualifying service.

Under this decision, 53 defence personnel were deemed to have retired from service on attaining the age of superannuation and were to be disbursed retirement benefits, including full leave encashment.

The information also revealed that it was also directed by the ministry to issue pension payment orders for sanctioning liberalised family pension or dependent pension as a special case to the next of kin of such defence personnel.

The RTI applicant has now forwarded the details to the departments concerned of Punjab and Haryana for taking further action.