O.A. No. 84 of 2012. Case: Benny P.O. Ex. MCPO R. (Tel) Vs Union of India and Ors.. Armed Forces Tribunal

Case NumberO.A. No. 84 of 2012
CounselFor Appellant: Sri. V.K. Sathyanathan, Adv. and For Respondents: Sri. K.M. Jamaludheen, Senior Panel Counsel
JudgesShrikant Tripathi, Member (J) and Thomas Mathew, PVSM, AVSM, Member (A)
IssueConstitution of India - Articles 14, 16
Judgement DateJuly 18, 2013
CourtArmed Forces Tribunal


Shrikant Tripathi, Member (J)

  1. Heard Mr. V.K. Sathyanathan., for the applicant and Mr.K.M. Jamaludheen for the respondents and perused the record. The applicant, Benny P.O., Ex Master Chief Petty Officer (Tel) No. 111927F, filed the instant O.A. for a direction to the respondents to confer on him the Honorary rank of Sub Lieutenant by way of Honorary Commission with retrospective effect i.e. on the eve of Republic Day 2011.

  2. The applicant was enrolled in the Indian Navy as Seaman in Communication Branch on 8th January 1983 and rose up to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and retired from the service on 31st January 2011 on completion of the tenure without opting for further extension. It is relevant to state that the applicant was shifted from Communication Branch to Aviation Non-Technical Branch on 30th June, 1997 and continued in that branch till the date of his retirement and even then he was not granted due promotions in Aviation Non-Technical branch.

  3. The applicant's name for grant of Honorary Commission to the rank of Sub Lieutenant was considered by the respondents in accordance with the rules, but he was not found within the range of merit list due to the limited number of vacancies and as such was denied the Honorary Commission on the eve of Republic Day 2011.

  4. The main contention raised on behalf of the applicant was that his name was considered in the vacancies of the Communication Branch, though he had been serving since 1997 in Aviation Branch, therefore, the vacancies available to the applicant in Aviation Branch was not given due consideration. It was next submitted that the applicant's total Sea Service was also not given due consideration. According to the applicant, he was in INAS 312 (Sea Service from 31st March 1998 to 18th April 2004), but the respondents considered that service with effect from 24th August 2000 to 18th April 2004 only. Therefore, according to the applicant, his Sea Service from 31st March 1998 to 23rd August, 2000 was ignored by the respondents. The other Sea Services of the applicant were, however, taken into consideration and there is no dispute to that extent.

  5. It is almost admitted position that grant of Honorary Commission matter was required to be dealt with according to Navy Instructions No. 18-22 dated 1st October, 1983. Paragraphs 22 and 24 being relevant, may be reproduced as follows:-

    Remustering: On successful completion of prescribed training Sailors will be mustered to the...

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