AFT | Disease which surfaced within four months of enrolment cannot be attributable to or aggravated by Army service; Tribunal rejects disability pension

Armed Forces Tribunal: The Division Bench of Justice Virender Singh (Chairperson) and Air Marshal BBP Sinha, Member (A) rejected the instant application for the grant of disability pension and rounding off benefits.

The applicant was enrolled in the Grenadiers Regiment on 19-07-2000 and was invalided out of service on 10-02-2001 in low medical category “EEE” during the basic military training itself. The disability of the applicant was assessed at 20% for two years, opining it as neither attributable to nor aggravated by Military service (NANA). The claim of the applicant for disability pension was rejected by the authorities, the applicant instead filing an appeal against the aforesaid decision preferred a writ petition before the High Court of M.P.

The High Court, while relying on the decision of Supreme Court in Union of India v. No. 2695668 Ex Rect Chhittarmal Gurjar, dated 11-07-2002 in LPA No.111 of 2002, directed the respondents to conduct fresh medical examination of the applicant by Army Doctors other than those who had done earlier medical examination. In the subsequent medical examination the applicant was again found medically unfit for further service. Thus, the claim of applicant for disability pension being rejected once again, the applicant reached this Tribunal with original application, which was disposed of vide order dated 01-09-2017 directing the respondent to consider the case of the applicant in the light of the judgment in Chhittarmal’s case. However, once again the claim of applicant was rejected by the respondent vide letter dated 19-04-2018

Counsel for the applicant, Adv. Pankaj Kumar Shukla argued that the applicant was enrolled in Army in a medically fit condition and thereafter he had been invalided out in Low Medical Category, therefore, his disability should be considered as attributable to and aggravated by military service and he should be granted disability pension.

The Tribunal observed that the (Invalidment Medical Board) IMB had clearly opined that the disease existed prior to enrolment of the applicant in the Army service. The disease of the applicant was related to chronic inflammation of the middle ear leading to hearing loss. Hence, it was held that by no stretch of imagination it could be said that the disease which surfaced within four months of enrolment was attributable to or aggravated by stress and strain of Army service. The application was dismissed.[Shailendrabeer Singh v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine AFT 10386, decided on 30-09-2019]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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