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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

'Neurosis' attributable to military service, release disability pension : HC

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has held that psychiatric diseases such as 'Neurosis' cannot be declared as 'not-attributable to military service'. While dealing with the case of ex-Sepoy Thakur Singh, the Hon'ble High Court has held that diseases which find mention in the rules as ones affected by stress and strain of service, have to be regarded as such even if the medical board holds otherwise. The decision is in line with a decision by the Delhi High Court that a medical board shall only hold primacy if it has been held within the four corners of rules and regulations. It may be recalled that the Hon'ble Supreme Court had held recently that Medical Board recommendations shall hold primacy while determining disability pension claims.

Release / Invaliding Medical Boards are expected to conform to 'Entitlement Rules' promulgated by the Ministry of Defence while dealing with disability pension claims. But unfortunately, most of such diseases are declared as 'constitutional in nature and not connected to service' by medical boards, a practice which in fact contravenes entitlement rules which provide detailed guidelines as to how such claims should be handled.

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