Court dismisses IAF officers’ plea

March 14th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed petitions of three Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots seeking premature retirement, even as the defence ministry said that officers were increasingly doing so on flimsy grounds. The petitions were filed in 2005 after the Ministry of Defence rejected their applications on the ground that they were interested in leaving the job only to join the private sector for monetary gains.

However, the court allowed the petitioners to move fresh applications to the Chief of Air Staff and Union of India.

The three - Squadron Leaders Himanshu Goswami, V. Shukla and P. Bakshi who were working as IAF pilots - had applied for premature retirement.

Goswami in his application cited his mother’s ailment and father’s old age as reason for retirement and the need for him to look after them.

Shukla in his petition, filed in August 2005, mentioned numerous family problems as his reason for seeking retirement.

His application was rejected by the IAF. The Ministry of Defence in its contention said the actual purpose of the petitioners seeking early retirement was actually to get jobs in the private sector.

“Had the intention of the petitioners been to look after their parents, they were offered with an opportunity to seek posting near their hometown while continuing the service but that was not availed”, said the ministry counsel.

The ministry also informed the court that a number of officers were applying for release from service giving vague reasons. According to them, the officers are now citing reasons such as failing business of father, looking after property of grandfather, better prospects in civil, feeling of discontentment and various other flimsy reasons.

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