Armed Forces Tribunal rules in favour of applicant aggrieved by refusal to grant disability pension

Armed Forces Tribunal, Regional Bench, Lucknow: Hon’ble Justice DP Singh and Hon’ble Air Marshal BBP Sinha, pronounced an order in respect to an application being filed in regard to refusal to grant disability pension under Section 14 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.

The applicant was commissioned in the Indian Army in Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME). He was posted at Jabalpur when the annual medical examination took place in which he was subjected to Medical Board proceedings and was put under the category of “primary hypertension i-10”, when further the re-categorisation was held applicant was placed in Medical category P2 (Permanent). Release Medial Board opined that the disability was neither attributable nor aggravated by military service and assessed the disability to be 30% for life.

The question of attributability of disability was considered to be no longer “res integra”, by citing the case of Dharmvir Singh v. Union of  India, (2013) 7 SCC 316, and further the proposition of law stated in the cited case declared that the applicant’s disability is considered as “attributable to military service”.

Next, the question of rounding off of disability pension was settled by citing the case of Union of India v. Ram Avtar (CA No. 418 of 2012 ), which explained the ratio and helped in concluding the judgment by entitling the applicant to the benefit of “rounding off” of his disability element of pension from 30% to 50%.

The Tribunal concluded its order by stating that the applicant was enrolled in the Indian Army in a medically fit condition and was discharged from service in low medical category. Since the applicant entered in Military service in a medically fit condition, disability will be considered as attributable to military service. Therefore, respondents are directed to grant disability pension to the applicant @ 30% for life which shall be rounded off to 50% for life from three years prior to filing of the original application. [Bimal Kishore Charan v. Union of India, OA No. 277 of 2016, decided on 04-1-2018]

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