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Different canteen norms for officers, other ranks colonial’

August 11, 2018 06:39 AM

COURSTEY TOI AUG 11

Different canteen norms for officers, other ranks colonial’
Ajay.Sura@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

Taking cognizance of a plea against the “colonial” practice of “differentiating” between officers and junior ranks of the armed forces in availing Canteen Stores Department (CSD) canteen facilities, the Delhi high court has issued notice to the ministry of defence (MoD), seeking its response on the issue.


Raising the issue of cap on purchase of CSD items based on rank, the petition states that junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks are entitled to four bottles of liquor and denied high-quality whisky, whereas an officer is entitled to 12-18 bottles.

“How can an officer consume 18 bottles (more than half a bottle daily) in a month. Besides, officers being members of various clubs, are also authorised to consume liquor there,” argued the petitioner.


Plea: Separate queues ‘worst form of discrimination

The petitioner also pointed out that a retired noncommissioned officer (NCO) can purchase a vehicle of 1800 CC once in service and once after retirement, with a gap of of 10 years, whereas an officers can purchase a vehicle up to 3000 CC every four years. According to the petitioner, subsidy is given to the economical and socially backward classes whereas in case of Army it is being given to financially and socially-sound class.

Petitioner has also termed separate queues at the sale counter of various CSD canteens for officers and their family members and JCOs, NCOs and other lower ranks and their family members as the “worst form of discrimination” as prices of goods are paid for equally. The petitioner also contended that 97% of beneficiaries of CSD canteens are JCOs and officers 3%.

Hearing these pleas, the division bench headed former acting chief Justice Geeta Mittal of the Delhi HC, has asked the MOD to file a reply on these contentions within six weeks and fixed the hearing of the matter on November 15.

The matter reached before the HC in the wake of a petition filed by Voice of Ex-Servicemen Society, an all India organization working for the welfare of JCOs/NCOs and other lower ranks. It has also been submitted that the accounts of the CSD are not subjected to audit by the CAG.

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