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Delhi HC orders CAPF to set up medical board with pulmonary expert for fitness test of rejected applicant

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New Delhi: When a man appearing for Assistant Commandant in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) was held back in his medical because of suspected pleurisy, and was again thwarted when he presented a ‘fit’ certificate from a government hospital, he moved the Delhi High Court. Today a division bench of the court directed the CAPF to constitute a medical board, including pulmonary experts, at the Army Hospital (R&R) in New Delhi to examine the petitioner within two weeks. The court said that if the petitioner was found fit, he may be permitted to participate in the further selection process.

Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon observed: “There was a clear need in the present case for thorough investigations and the inclusion of a pulmonary/chest specialist, as the certificate (Annexure P-7) recorded that there was an error in judgment in reaching the conclusion of the existence of ‘pleural effusion’ by the Medical Board. This certificate was available to the respondents and they were required to follow the Guidelines which prescribed that when a specialist medical officer of the concerned field had certified that the candidate was not suffering from the disease for which he had been rejected, the decision of the earlier Medical Board was rendered controversial, and it was incumbent upon the respondents to have included a ‘pulmonary specialist’ to assess the fitness of the petitioner, including whether the ‘pleural thickening’ noticed interfered in the normal functioning of the lungs.”

The contention of the petitioner in his writ petition was that he appeared for the post of Assistant Commandant in the Central Armed Police Forces held by UPSC and he was declared successful. Thereafter, he was called for Physical Standard Test/Physical Efficiency Test (PST/PET) and the Medical Standard Test (MST).  After clearing the PST/PET, he was asked to appear in Medical Examination wherein he was declared ‘unfit’ for the reason of “Right Sided Pleural Effusion.”

The petitioner underwent a medical examination on December 20, 2019 at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, wherein he was examined by a Chest Physician, who declared him ‘fit’ with the specific remark that “there was no evidence of pleural fluid”. Thereafter, along with Medical Fitness Certificate issued by a Government Hospital, the petitioner appeared before Review Medical Board, which was conducted on March 4, 2020 and again, the petitioner was declared ‘unfit’ for the reasons (a) “pleural thickening” and (b) “post tuberculosis.”

Read the order here;

HC-DB-Order

-India Legal Bureau

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