Armed Forces Tribunal (Chandigarh Bench): The Bench of Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary (Member J) and Vice Admiral HCS Bisht (Member A), granted war injury pension to the ex-serviceman who had sustained injuries resulting in disability during Operation Hifazat.
Brief facts of the case were that the applicant was enrolled in the Indian Army on 29-01-1981 in a fit medical category. During service, the applicant was deployed in Triupra under Operation Hifazat and suffered grievous injuries while moving for search operation against insurgents. The said accident resulted in a disability namely Compression Fracture which was duly declared a “Battle casualty” and was held to be “attributable” to service.
Owing to his permanent low medical category, the applicant opted for voluntary discharge from service and he was accordingly released from service on 31-10-2000. The grievance of the applicant was that the respondents had wrongly rejected him claim for War Injury pension on the ground that he was discharged at his own request; therefore, he was not entitled to any disability benefits.
Noticeably, the Government of India, Ministry of Defence had issued a Policy dated 19-05-2017 declaring to grant the benefit of disability and war injury pension to those who have sought voluntarily retirement.
Hence, considering the government policy along with the written statement filed by the respondents that the applicant was proceeding to participate in specific search operation against insurgents during (CI) Counter Insurgency Operation and that it was a battle casualty in operation HIFAZAT-II which was corroborated by the Release Medical Board proceedings, the Bench held that the applicant was entitled to war injury pension.
Resultantly, the respondents were directed to process the claim of war injury pension of the applicant in terms of the Policy of the Government and subject to verification the arrears were directed to be released within a period of three months. [Ram Pal v. Union of India, O.A. No. 634 of 2021, decided on 01-11-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For the Applicant: Navdeep Singh, Advocate
For Union of India: Sutikshan Sharma, CGC