Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Supreme Court extends disability pension claim of Army veteran for 10 years

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The Supreme Court has extended the
disability pension claim of a veteran who served in the Indian Army for 15 years and was discharged in 1987 after experiencing cardiac discomfort.

The Bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Aravind Kumar recently observed that the Medical Board which assessed the appellant clearly was of the opinion that there was no negligence on part of the individual and the record was shown to be exemplary.

It said the only prejudicial factor which weighed with the Board in forming the opinion that the disability was not attributable to service was the unwillingness of the appellant to undergo surgery.

The record further mentioned that the appellant’s permanent disablement was the cause of his discharge, noted the Apex Court, adding that the Armed Forces Appellate Tribunal’s decision to confine the disability benefit to one year did not appear logical.

The top court of the country ruled that the disability pension be disbursed to the appellant in terms of Rule 185 for the period of 10 years after which re-assessment may be appropriately conducted in accordance with the rules.

It specified that the calculation of disability pension and payments based on this verdict would be limited to three years before the time the appellant approached the Tribunal till the present date and for the relevant future period.

An Army veteran had moved the Apex Court the Armed Forces Appellate Tribunal (AFT) verdict, which had held that the appellant was entitled to a disability pension but confined it to one year only.

(Case title: Ex L/NK Rajput Ajit Singh vs Union of India)

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