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Rules bent for ex-navy chief DK Joshi's retirement benefits

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 6:45am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Admiral DK Joshi's resignation as navy chief after taking "moral responsibility" for the February 26 INS Sindhuratna mishap which claimed the lives of two officers was a farce. A day after he quit, Joshi realised he would not be eligible for post-service benefits like pension and gratuity and so, he moved a fresh application, stating his resignation be considered as voluntary retirement (VRS).

A top defence ministry source said the government has accepted Joshi's application for VRS. Defence minister AK Antony recommended that the application be considered a 'special case'.

As per service rules, if any officer or jawan quits the force without required sanctions and approvals, the person is considered a 'deserter' and is not entitled to any service benefits. The officer is entitled to pension after 20 years of service. Approvals, however, can take months. "In any service (navy, army, IAF), if a personnel resigns or quits, he/she does not get any post- service benefits. For that, a request for premature retirement has to be made by the person and it has to be approved by a proper channel," said a senior navy officer.

Considering the gravity of the situation, key defence ministry officials advised Joshi to re-think his decision. "His resignation was considered as premature retirement and rules were bent in his case. The three months' notice period was waived off and the prime minister's office was asked to treat it as a special case," a defence ministry official told dna.

The prime minister's office cleared the filed on Monday after which the department of personnel and training was informed. Joshi remained unavailable for comment.

The defence ministry has also accepted Joshi's request to allow him to continue to stay in the Navy House – the official residence of the navy chief – till his successor takes over.

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