Moved by the plight of a war widow who was receiving R80 as monthly pension, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered the government to set up a panel for redressal of grievances related to salary, pension and other service-related issues of the armed forces personnel.
Former SC judge Justice Kuldip Singh will be the first chairman of the five-member Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission, a bench led by Justice Markandey Katju said.
Other members will be vice chairman Justice SS Sodhi, retired chief justice of Allahabad HC, ex-army chief General VP Malik and Lt Gen (retd) Vijay Oberoi. The Centre will appoint the fifth member, the court said.
The SC, however, clarified that the panel will be different from the Armed Forces Tribunal as it will only have a recommendatory power in suggesting remedial measures.
The order came on a plea by Pushpa Vanti, whose husband was an army major. “However, she is getting only R80 per month as pension in these days when a kg of arhar dal costs that amount,” the bench noted.