Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Armed Forces Tribunal: A Coram of Justice SVS Rathore (Judicial Member) and Air Marshal BBP Sinha (Administrative Member) allowed an ex-hawaldar’s application for disability pension holding that stress and strain of military service can also happen in peace areas.

Applicant herein was enrolled in the Indian Army in 1971 and after serving the Army for 22 years, he was discharged from service in 1973. Thereafter, the applicant was inducted in the Defence Security Corps (DSC) as Sepoy in medically fit condition and after serving for 15 years in the DSC, he was discharged therefrom in 2010. Before applicant’s discharge, the Release Medical Board (RMB) considered his disability as ‘primary hypertension’ and opined the disease as “neither attributable nor aggravated” (NANA) by military service and assessed it as 30% for life. The Medical Board further assessed the disability qualifying for a disability pension as NIL for life. Aggrieved with non-payment of disability pension, the applicant preferred representation which was rejected by the appropriate authority. Hence, the present petition.

The Tribunal noted that the only reason given by the RMB for declaring the disease as NANA was that it had not started in peace area and not in a field, high altitude area or counter-insurgency operation area. This reason was outrightly dismissed by the Tribunal opining that it amounted to saying that there is no stress and strain of military service in peace areas. Therefore, in terms of the judgment of Dharamvir Singh v. Union of India, (2013) 7 SCC 316 it was held that the applicant’s disability of ‘primary hypertension’ be considered as aggravated by military service.

The impugned order was set aside and the applicant was held to be entitled to benefit of rounding-off of disability pension. Relying on Shiv Dass v. Union of India, (2007) 9 SCC 274 he was directed to be granted disability pension at 30 percent for life which would be rounded off to 50 percent from three years prior to the filing of this application.[Ex Havildar Anand Singh v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine AFT 1408, decided on 26-03-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: The Bench of Arun Bhansali, J. allowed a petition filed to claim seniority on the basis of the merit of the petitioners in the merit list based on common selection.

The facts of the case were that the petitioners had participated in the recruitment process in response to an advertisement issued by Zila Parishad in the year 2012, inviting the applications from the eligible candidates for appointment on the post of Teacher Grade III. The petitioners had earlier instituted writ applications and as a consequence of directions issued by the Court, the result was revised in the month of November 2016; resulting into the appointment of the petitioners on the post of Teacher Grade III (Level I/Level-II). Thus the petitioners had already been accorded appointment. However, State-respondent had declined seniority and other benefits to the petitioners from the date the petitioners became entitled on account of revision of the result while candidates lower in merit to the petitioners have been accorded those benefits. Thus, the petitioners claimed benefit of pay fixation and seniority on a notional basis from the date juniors to the petitioners had been accorded in the same recruitment process of the year 2012.

The Court, while placing reliance on the case of Surja Ram v. State of Rajasthan, SBCW No. 3082/2018, directed the State-respondent to extend the benefit of pay fixation and seniority on notional basis to the petitioners from the date juniors to the petitioners had been accorded with reference to the same recruitment process of the year of 2012. It held that seniority to be assigned as per the inter-se merit of the candidates in the merit list based on common selection. [Prakash Chandra Ahari Bhil v. State Of Rajasthan, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 254, Order dated 15-03-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A writ petition was filed before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Ritu Bahri, J., where selection process for the post of Junior Coach (Athletics) was in question.

Facts of the case were that the petitioner had applied in the selection process for the post of Junior Coach (Athletics) in response to an advertisement. When the final results for the post were out, petitioner’s name was found in the waiting list where he had applied for the post under the EBPG category. The EBPG category had 3 posts vacant where the selection of respondent had been challenged by the petitioner. The ground on which respondent’s selection was challenged was that he belonged to SBC (Special Backward Class) category thus could not have taken benefit under the category of EBPG by virtue of Clause 5 of the relevant notification which states that person claiming reservation under other categories are not entitled to reservation in the EBPG category. According to a certificate issued to respondent, it was found that he had taken benefit of EBPG category. 

The High Court agreeing with the petitioner on the question of law, however, observed that respondent had taken benefit of only one category i.e. EBPG. Therefore, no reason to interfere in the result was found and the writ petition was dismissed. [Sandeep v. State of Haryana,2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1673, decided on 01-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: While deciding the case where a law student filed a petition for obtaining passing marks in one subject by entitling himself to a remedial provision of benefit of moderation, which covered students who have attained 30% marks in relevant paper for the finalisation of the result, the Division Bench of Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, CJ. and Sathish Ninan, J. held that the students who have repeatedly failed are not entitled to get the benefit of this provision and and this provision will only be applicable in case of external examinations.

The appellant is a student of five year LLB course. Having failed in several subjects, he passed the same in subsequent supplementary examinations. The appellant has completed the course except for one subject. The Board of Studies in Law had unanimously decided to recommend granting of special moderation to candidates who have completed the LL.B course (old Scheme without internal assessment), but stands failed only in a single paper in all the semesters and only for the finalization of the result. The Board suggested that moderation may be awarded to candidates who have secured 30% marks in the relevant paper subject to a maximum of 20 marks and moderation may be made applicable only in the case of external examinations. Thereafter the appellant approached the court to seek remedy under the said provision .

The Court observed that the intention of the University was to help the students who have passed all the papers in an attempt, but had failed only in one subject by getting 30% marks. Such students alone should be given the benefit of Ext. P2 order. Dismissing the plea  under the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court held that the appellant was not entitled to the said benefit because the appellant had failed previously in many subjects. [Vishnu Prakash. A v. University of Calicut, 2016 SCC OnLine Ker 27793, decided on. 14.12.2016]