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Saturday, 15 June 2013

From Today's Papers - 15 Jun 2013
WW II explosives found in Mumbai Harbour, defused

Mumbai, June 14
The Indian Navy has safely disposed of 90 unexploded ordnances, believed to be of World War II vintage, discovered during dredging operations in the Mumbai Harbour over the past few days, a defence official said here on Friday.

The recoveries were made during operations by two dredgers to widen and deepen the main shipping channel which can improve capability and facilitate movement of higher tonnage and deeper draught vessels for the Mumbai Harbour.

The Mumbai Harbour's 34-km navigation channel serves the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), the Bombay Port Trust and also the Indian Navy. The capital project, taken up since April this year, has been severely hampered by the recovery of the UXOs (unexploded ordnance) from the channel. As a result, nearly 80 per cent of the channel deepening-widening work has been left pending. According to port officials, so far, recoveries include 83 bomb shells, several missiles, grenades and bullets. — IANS
Army officer held for sexual misconduct

Sasaram (Bihar), June 14
An Army officer was arrested after a woman charged him with sexual misbehaviour in a train, Government Railway Police (GRP) sources said today.

The woman lodged a complaint against Capt Basant Chaudhary of Rajputana Rifles travelling in AC-I coach of Ganga-Satluj Express train accusing him of sexually harassing her between Mughalsarai and Durgawati station last night, GRP Inspector BK Singh said. — PTI
Antony seeks AG’s opinion on issue of rank pay fixation
Wants clarification on interpretation of apex court order
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 14
Faced with differing interpretations of a Supreme Court order on correct fixation of “rank pay” of armed forces officers, Defence Minister AK Antony today decided to seek opinion of the Attorney General (AG).

The “rank pay” issue is popularly known as the Major AK Dhanapalan case. The Supreme Court, in a verdict last September, ordered fixation of “rank pay” since January 1, 1986, for the Fourth Pay Commission.

Antony, at a high-level meeting today, made it clear that the apex court verdict had to be implemented. The forces and the MoD are in disagreement over interpretation of the SC order. The MoD interpretation is that the order may be implemented for personnel impacted by the Fourth Pay Commission “as on January 1, 1986”. The interpretation of the forces is that it means “with effect from January 1, 1986”.

This would mean that the anomaly in the subsequent pay commissions (the fifth and the sixth) should also be corrected. Rank pay, when calculated with the basic, will enhance pension of thousands of retired officers.

Going by the MoD interpretation, officers affected by the Fourth Pay Commission would benefit, while there would be no hike for those covered under the later pay commissions.

Antony said the Services would give their interpretation and submit to the Attorney General directly while the MoD would take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance that fixed the pays and salaries of all government employees.

According to official sources, Antony wants the matter to be sorted out soon. The MoD will also give its interpretation to the AG.

The Supreme Court had directed the government to re-fix the pay scale of Army officers affected by the Fourth Pay Commission and this would entail an additional burden of Rs 1,600 crore on the exchequer.

The orders benefited officers in the rank of Captain to Brigadier in the Army and equivalent ranks in the Air Force and the Navy, between January 1, 1986, and January 1, 2006.

The apex court also directed the Centre to pay 6 per cent interest from January 1, 2006, to all officers, whether or not they have filed any petition before any of the high courts or the Benches of Armed Forces Tribunal, within 12 weeks from today.

Major AK Dhanapalan was the first officer to challenge the fixation before the Kerala High Court which, in October 1998, directed the government to re-fix the pay without deducting the rank pay.

the lacuna

    The Supreme Court, in a verdict last September, ordered the fixation of "rank pay" since January 1, 1986, for the Fourth Pay Commission
    The forces and the MoD are in disagreement over the interpretation of the SC order
    The MoD interpretation is that the order may be implemented for personnel impacted by the Fourth Pay Commission "as on January 1, 1986"
    The interpretation of the forces is that it means "with effect from January 1, 1986"
Women Maoist cadre among Bihar train attackers

Patna/Jamui, June 14
Over a dozen armed women cadre were among the over 150 Maoists who carried out a daring attack on a Patna-bound train that left three persons dead in Jamui district of Bihar.

“There were some women cadre also in the Maoist contingent that attacked the train yesterday,” said Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Law and Order S K Bhardwaj.

Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) of East Central Railway Amitabh Prabhakar said as per information provided by the police, women Maoists were part of the attackers.

Jamui police said a group of women, comprising around 15-20 cadre, were part of the attackers on the Dhanbad-Patna Inter-City Express that was raided by the Maoists between Jamui and Bhalui station.

Meanwhile, a report from Lakhisarai district said five injured admitted to Sadar Hospital were out of danger.

Prabhakar said train services were normal in the section that falls under Danapur Division of the ECR. Police said extra security arrangements have been made in the area. — PTI
Naval officers approach HC to quash proceedings

Kochi, June 14
At least three Naval officers today approached the Kerala High Court seeking to quash proceedings against them in the complaint filed by the estranged wife of a naval officer who levelled charges of sexual harassment against her husband and his superior officers.

In the petition, the officers also sought records leading up to the police FIR and to quash it and further proceedings against them.

The complainant has refused to come before the Board of Inquiry despite Magistrate's notice, it was pointed out. The petitioners also pointed that there were inconsistencies in the locations and time of incidents mentioned by her.

Filing of complaint by the woman against senior officers who are innocent is utterly malafide and intended to bring a bad name to the entire navy, it was submitted.

The HC had criticised police last week for 'protecting' the higher officials in the Navy in the case while dismissing the anticipatory bail application filed by Lt Ravi Kiran, whose wife had filed the complaint. — PTI
Indian Army helps in rescue of 12 students from Congo rebels
An Indian Army unit deployed in peacekeeping missions in Congo has helped in rescuing 12 local students from a rebel group there.

“Efforts of peacekeepers of INDBATT 2 (Indian Battery) of North Kivu brigade resulted in rescue of 12 innocent students from M23 rebels at Kiwanja in Rutshuru territory of North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo,” An Army statement on Facebook said.

The students were apprehended by the M23 rebels on June 5 on the suspicion of having links with banditry activities in the area, it said.

After the students of the Butrande Secondary School, Kiwanja were apprehended, a delegation of local community leaders and ChildrenParliament– an NGO, approached Indian Army Company Operating Base (COB), Kiwanja, for the safe release of these innocent people, the statement said.

After receiving the information, “the Indian Army’s contingent swung into action and a team was formed to ensure their safe release. The Company Commander incorporated the locality chiefs and other influential people of the area and through them passed a strong message to the armed group for the release of innocent civilians especially the students. ”

“This resulted in immediate release of two students within five hours and after sustained efforts, negotiations and robust posture of MONUSCO (UN Peacekeeping mission in Congo) remaining ten students were also released on the second day,” the Army said.

The Children’s Parliament and locals of Kiwanja appreciated the assistance by MONUSCO peacekeepers for rescue of local civilians, the Army said.

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