Double DA for 3 ex-defence officers, lokayukta alerted

Double DA for 3 ex-defence officers, lokayukta alerted
By Chetan R, Bangalore Mirror Bureau

Three top ranking retired armed forces commissioned officers – a wing commander, a lieutenant colonel, and a major – currently occupying the posts of joint director and deputy directors with state’s sainik welfare and resettlement department, are accused of drawing dearness allowance or relief from two sources, the state government as well as the defence forces, since several years.

A complaint was filed by Raju N R, a military veteran, on October 20 with the Lokayukta on the irregularity, which is said to have caused the state exchequer a loss of several lakhs. The officials concerned are Wg Cdr (rtd) Eshwar Kodolli, Maj (rtd) Shivaji M Tukkar and Lt Col (rtd) Geetha M Shetty.

Kodolli is currently serving as joint director (i/c), Tukkar is deputy director (Bagalkot and Koppal), and Shetty, deputy director (Shimoga and Davangere). The allegations levelled against them include giving false declaration to the pension disbursing authorities of armed forces to get dearness relief on their defence pension. Once employed by state government (where they draw salary with DA), they are not entitled to DA on defence pension.

“Defence services officers are selected for re-employment in the Karnataka state department of sainik welfare & resettlement (DSWR), and so, state government employees,” Raju told Bangalore Mirror. “Every retired defence services officer is required to render an annual certificate to the Defence Pension Disbursing Authority (PDA) for drawing defence pension. In this certificate, they declare that they are, or are not, re-employed in a government job. Based upon their declaration, the PDA pays DA on their defence pension. The PDA has no means to check the veracity of this declaration, and the defence services officer is honour-bound to make a truthful declaration. A false declaration for personal gain is an act of moral turpitude, which attracts disciplinary action.”

Tukkar has been re-employed with the department of sainik welfare and resettlement since Nov 9, 2009, Shetty since June 13, 2011 and Kodolli since October 20, 2011, as per records available with Raju. But they have continued to draw DR – which is currently 100% on the pension – and DA, Raju said. This despite an armed forces tribunal order in June 2013 in a similar case pertaining to two other officers – Maj (rtd) R S Vishwanath and Col (rtd) CM Uthaiah – to refund the Dearness Relief drawn for the period of their re-employment.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

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