AFT | Applicant not entitled to disability element of pension if, he denied to undergo curative surgery without any justification

Armed Forces Tribunal

Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT): The Coram of Justice Sunita Gupta (Judicial member) and Lt. Gen. Philip Campose (Administrative Member) pronounced an order in respect to an application by the applicant with regard to refusal to grant disability pension by Air Headquarters (Directorate of Air Veterans).

The applicant was enrolled in Indian Air Force and retired in the rank of Sergeant. While going on duty the applicant’s motorcycle skidded and felt down due to which he sustained the injury and was diagnosed as ‘Shoulder Dislocation’. The applicant made the application to Air Headquarters (Directorate of Air Veterans) which was denied on the ground that the injury was less than 20 per cent. Hence, the present application.

 Learned counsel for petitioner, V.S. Kaidan submitted that applicant’s degree of disability was at the rate 20 per cent and thus the applicant meets the twin condition i.e. where any disability that has arisen subsequently during the course of the service of the applicant any disability that has arisen subsequently during the course of his service must be presumed to have been attributed by military service for grant of disability element and thus he is entitled to 50 per cent disability element. 

Learned counsel for the respondent, Shyam Narayan submitted that the disability which was assessed at the rate 20 per cent could have been cured had he not refused to undergo the surgery.  

Tribunal held that the applicant was not justified in his step of not undergoing the curative surgery as per the Para 85 (b) and (c) of the Pension Regulations, 2008. Consequently, the step taken by the respondent in reducing the degree of disablement was justified. Thus on the said ground, the application was rejected. [Sharad Piyush v. Union of India, O.A No. 833 of 2017, Order dated 16-04-2019]

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