Army told to pay disability pension

DC | P. ARUL
Published Sep 22, 2014, 7:59 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 2:55 am IST
Representational image (Photo: PTI)
 Representational image (Photo: PTI)

Chennai: Setting aside an order of the Army in rejecting an application for disability pension from an Army officer, the regional bench of the armed forces tribunal, Chennai, directed the Army to provide the disability pension to him. The petitioner, after serving in the Army for 28 years, took voluntary retirement in 2005.

Col V. Mukesh Kumar from T. Nagar submitted that he joined the Army in June 1977 as a commissioned officer in the rank of Second Lieutenant, Third Battalion, Madras Regiment. During his career, he served in three high-altitude areas, Siachen glacier, Arunachal Pradesh and Jamedar Khan Gali, Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. He suffered hypertension during his stint in Arunachal Pradesh from 1992 to 1995. This was aggravated during his service at Jamedar Khan Gali in August 1997. He was relieved from the Army on his request on May 12, 2005.

After assessing the condition of his health, the release medical board stated that he was suffering 30 per cent disability. However, his request for a disability pension from January 2006 was rejected by the Army on December 19, 2005. Kumar contended that several people who retired before and after January 1, 2006 were granted the disability pension.

The counsel for the Army replied that as per rules, an officer who retired voluntarily was not eligible for an award for disability. The disability sustained by the applicant, even though aggravated by military service, could not entitle him to the pension since he retired prematurely on his own in May 2005 itself. Concurring with an order of the principal bench, New Delhi, the bench comprising its judicial member, Justice V. Periya Karuppiah and administrative member Lt General K. Surendra Nath, said, "There is no difference between post January 1, 2006 retirees and pre-January 1, 2006 retirees in the case of officers also. The applicant, being an officer, should be awarded disability pension for 30 per cent disability sustained by him. The pension must be given to him within three months," the bench added.

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Location: Tamil Nadu




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