People suffering from varicose veins unfit to join the Army

Delhi High Court:  A Division Bench comprising of Hima Kohli and Pratibha Rani, JJ. has held that a person who suffers from varicose veins, and was operated on at an advanced stage of the ailment, may be medically fit for civilian jobs; however, he cannot be considered for military or paramilitary posts as it entails working in extreme conditions.

The order came on a petition by a man who took a combined recruitment written examination in 2015 for the post of constable in CAPF, NIA and Special Security Force. He had cleared the exam and was asked to appear for a physical test and medical examination for selection in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). On May 23, 2016, he was declared medically unfit on three counts — varicose veins, tremors and tachycardia. The plea claimed that he had been operated upon for varicose veins at a hospital in Rohtak in May 2016 and was declared to be fit for recruitment to the post of Constable (GD) in CAPFs by the chief medical officer of Jhajjar’s general hospital. After undergoing correctional surgery and on being declared fit, he applied for a review medical examination, which was conducted on August 27, 2016. He claimed that the review medical board declared him unfit without even examining him. Later, the review medical board had cleared him of tremor and tachycardia, but he was declared unfit due to varicose veins and was operated upon on his left leg.

The Court observed that the decision by the medical board and the review medical board declaring the man to be unfit “cannot be faulted” with and it did not require its intervention. The Bench said that the ramifications of the operated cases of varicose veins are that it leads to impairment of blood circulation and individuals who have been operated upon for the condition, have a predisposition of developing such a problem in other vessels. The Court noted that a study has revealed that patients with varicose veins have pain or heaviness of legs, inability to walk or stand for long hours, itching and leg cramps at night. They can also have dermatitis in the region, which may lead to the development of ulcers and the Court observed all these ramifications make such people unfit to join military or paramilitary posts as it requires great stamina and a resilient body. [Naveen Kumar v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 9164, order dated 15-05-2018]

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