All ser­vices are com­bat­ants: Army

The Hindu - - NEWS - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

In the face of sev­eral dozen mid-rung of­fi­cers mov­ing the Supreme Court over dis­crim­i­na­tion in pro­mo­tions and op­er­a­tional du­ties, the on­go­ing Army Com­man­ders Con­fer­ence on Thurs­day clar­i­fied that all arms and ser­vices are com­bat­ants and are on a par.

“It was never in dis­pute that all arms and ser­vices are com­bat­ants. Hence, at no stage has the Army re­ferred to Ser­vices units be­ing non-com­bat­ant Units…. In ad­di­tion, Chief of Army Staff on as­sum­ing the ap­point­ment had men­tioned that he would con­sider all arms and ser­vices at par and they would get their dues that they de­serve,” Army said in a state­ment on Thurs­day.

Re­cently sev­eral of­fi­cers from the ASC had ap­proached the Supreme Court al­leg­ing that they were de­ployed in op­er­a­tions in for­ward ar­eas, but were de­nied ben­e­fits as they were termed non-com­bat­ants. Army Head­quar­ters, in its sub­mis­sion be­fore the high­est court last year, had called the ser­vice cadre ‘non-op­er­a­tional’.

The of­fi­cers in their pe­ti­tion had stated: “The Army or the gov­ern­ment has no power to de­clare any part of reg­u­lar army ‘non-op­er­a­tional,’ since the of­fi­cers of the reg­u­lar army are op­er­a­tional by statute.”

In the state­ment, the Army quot­ing its Af­fi­davit in SC stated that to boost strength, es­sen­tial in Line of Con­trol, Low In­ten­sity Con­flict, Counter In­sur­gency and Counter Ter­ror­ist en­vi­ron­ment, a num­ber of Of­fi­cers, JCOs and Other Ranks from Com­bat Sup­port Arms and lo­gis­tic units are posted on ten­ure ba­sis in in­fantry (Counter In­sur­gency/ Counter Ter­ror­ist units).

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