New Delhi : The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) principal Bench of Justice VK Shali and retired Lt Gen SK Singh has directed the government to raise the retirement age of the colonels by two years from 54 to 56 to bring them at par with similar ranks in the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
The court wants this anomaly in the retirement age rectified at the earliest by passing a comprehensive order. The order was passed on an application by Colonel Karunesh Kumar for parity, pointing out that the officers in the rank of Group Captain and Captain, both of whom are equivalent to colonel, serve till 56 years of age and not 54 as is the case with the Army.
In fact, it was the IAF that had raised the retirement age to 56 first. The Navy followed by issuing an order on October 14, 2015 to correct the anomaly.
In its order, the Tribunal has underlined the Army colonels perennially dissatisfied due to this difference.
“Neither such dissatisfied officers would give their best, nor would respondents be able to extract optimum. Such a situation in the force that protects the nation and its sovereignty and integrity can be ill-afforded,” the Tribunal noted.