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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Battle Casualty declaration and need of magnanimity thereon

Most of the uniformed community is under a wrong impression that only injuries and deaths occurring in war, war-like or operational situations can be termed as ‘battle casualties’. This is far from true.

The Govt has consciously laid down liberal guidelines for declaration of injuries and deaths as battle casualties for financial purposes, but a narrow interpretation by some leads to denial of benefits to affected parties. Many-a-times, ‘battle’ casualties are incorrectly labelled as ‘physical’ which leads to non-extension of higher rates of pensionary awards, ex-gratia and other concessions to entitled people, benefits which are otherwise meant to be granted in accordance with govt guidelines.

Army Order 01 of 2003 deals with situations which are to be covered under the purview of the term ‘battle casualty’ for casualties occurring after the year 2003 while Special Army Order 8/S/85 deals with battle casualties which occurred prior to the year 2003.

Some injuries and deaths which are actually battle casualties but are commonly (and incorrectly) labelled as physical casualties are : casualties in aid to civil power, accidental injuries and deaths in operational areas, accidental deaths in floods, avalanches, land slides and cyclones, casualties due to natural illnesses near international border and LC, casualties during battle inoculation and training, casualties while performing relief operations in natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes, unintentional deaths by own troops, vehicle accidents / electrocution / snake bites / drowning in CI Ops.

Though the above list is not exhaustive, all officers must ideally go through AO 01 of 2003 and SAO 08/S/85 for the benefit of troops under command and their next of kin. The official machinery has been quite magnanimous in creating broad and generous guidelines for declaration of battle casualties and it is upto the concerned officers to use them in the intended liberal manner. It is not a favour but our duty.


BC said...

Dear All,
Maj Navdeep is absolutely correct. I can vouch for it as I am one of them who had met with a RTA in an operational area.

chander kant sood said...

Dear Navdeep,
Thank you for this info. However, if the case is let us say ten years old, can it not be granted ex post facto sanction? Who is th ecompetent auth? The formation cdr for an OP VIJAY cas? Or will it need the sanction of AG or MoD? In case you have similar case history knowledge, for the benefit of the serving and retd community could you please throw some more light on the same?

Anonymous said...

This is an apt and very appropriate topic. The term is grossely misunderstood and the Army goons at every level reject genuine cases because of share lack of knowlwdge. I have myself fought with a staff oofficer at nothing less than ORG-2, now MP-2 where they were most negetive.

Any accident or injury /wound in the any operational are ( except self inflicted) and during range firing is battle casulties (though counted as physical casulty for statistics. However, many staff officers and commanding officers simply put their heads in the sand, cover their good part and work against orders assuming themselves to be the good order.

I fail to understand when orders are so explicit why people refuse their implementation??

It is simply ignorance and arrogance. It is something like not knowing the difference between "wounded" and "injured".

Thanks by the way..

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

Good subject and "must know for all".

This also requires magnenimity of the AMC guys. By the way the largest number of LMCs and disbility takers in the Services are AMC personnel. The record is worth checking..

One should not be surprised.. truth sometimes is very bitter !

SANTOKH said...

Dear Navdeep,
I pray to Almighty God to keep you HEALTHY & FIT for hundreds of years to Help and guide the Armed Forces to get them their legitimate dues.
You have very rightly said that it is our DUTY to spread the awareness.
Thanks for the valuable information.
God bless you and your family.
Warm Regards

Anonymous said...

My Dear Navdeep,

There is one more absudity in the AO relating to the "Battle Casulty" and that is requirement of the wounded to be evacuated to the Field Ambulance or other Medical Establishment.

It may appear normal but it hinders the fighting spirits of the soldiers. Suppose a soldier gets wounded and continues to fight and his wound is managiable by the RMO, why should one necessarily get evacuated??

A soldier has not suffered a major injury does not mean that he is not been wounded. The wound may be such that by the time he retires, its effects are badly aggrevated which may be bad for the soldier. He may be given disability but not under "battle casulty" which has a different conotation.

Higher medical authorities are required for fixing percentage of disability and not for ascertaining if one is a battle casulty or not. Due to this many deserving cases get left out.

If you leave the battle field, one may be termed a coward. If one does not, he forgoes his most essential dues. It is a big dilema many a times and considering this the requirement of "evacuation" should be substituted with RMO's slip. A commanding officer is responsible enough to see the accuracy of the casualty (to be signed by him).

Why have we rendered our COs so weak and teethless tigers??

Anonymous said...

Maj Navdeep,
Thanx a lot for such a post on your Blog. If a person is Battle Casuality with NO disability qualifies for some benefits?


Maj Sharma

Paddy said...

Can any body throw some light on the equivalent orders in navy?similar probelms do exist in navy. which Navy oredrs are relavent for the subject?

GREF Officer said...

Thanks Major Navdeep Sir for clarifying on BCs and their scope. Since GREF personnel too face these same battle hazards every years - landslides, avalanches etc. in support of army / CI operations, in your opinion, should they be also entitled to the BC declaration and enhanced benefits? It would be great if they too could be given the BC benefits. Incidentally, scores of GREF personnel were war casualties in all wars - 1962, 1965, 1971 and Kargil besides CI operations. Landslides, accidents, avalanches etc. claim 300 - 400 GREF personnel lives every year with several injured. Thank you in advance for your views and guidance Sir.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@GREF Officer

For civilians too, similar orders exist. An OM issued by the Govt of India (Dated 03 Feb 2000) deals with such cases. You may send me an email and I can forward it to you.

GREF Officer said...

Major Navdeep Sir,

I did send you an e-mail just now. Looking forward to receiving the relevant info. Thank you Sir.

Lt Col NS Sandhu (Retd) said...

My Dear Major Navdeep,

This type of information should be transmitted to all Record Offices of the Indian Army. I am sure they are doing their best and are well versed with latest orders on all subjects concerning to serving and retired Army personnel yet the information on the topics such like the present one would definitely benefit just to clarify certain points and refresh their working knowledge.

Navas Jan A said...

I was attacked by BODO militants in OP RHINO in 1992 and eventually placed in Low Med Cat and discharged from service on 31 Aug 2002. I was awarded Wound Medal also. But the casualty was published as a Physical Casualty instead of Battle Casualty. Any hope at this belated stage Sir?

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep
Someone should commission you into the army! Atleast you take the pains to know what are the existing rules while many responsible commanders are unaware and refuse to findout. (Forget about formulating new ones. We are at the mercy of the bureaucrats)

We serve as ordered , love the army every moment we are in it but the day you become a caualty we are in the hands of the AMC and some archaic rule formulated by the brits. Both connive (without any bad intention- its more of the " cover your arse syndrome") to deprive an officer or PBOR as to what he deserves.

As regards casualties and pension the medical authority is supreme in its decision to grant you the right to a disability pension. Men who have served honourably but feel that once they are downgraded are a burden to the army and apply for a voluntary retirement are not granted disability pension
( inspite of being permanent medical categories)because the casualty or disease is not attributable to Mil service.( who knows why!) ( What an apt acronym- NA NA).

What a rule. You save the government your salary and perks and your pension but what do you get in return. NOTHING. Not even the right to call yourself a Ex serviceman because you have not earned PENSION. You may serve for 19 years and 364 days as an officer but you are a NOBODY. But on the 365th day, Bingo, you are a veteran, earn a pension, enjoy the medical facilities and other benefits because you have reached the magic figure of 20 YEARS. Its almost like you are catapulted from obscurity to fame.Would love the comments of my fellow readers

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @2.45

"Dear Navdeep
Someone should commission you into the army! Atleast you take the pains to know what are the existing rules while many responsible commanders are unaware and refuse to findout"

Anonymous, my dear, what are you saying ? Navdeep should be commissioned into the Army ? My brother, he is a Territorial Army voluntary officer, already commissioned many many moons ago ! I think you are new here.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mj Navdeep

I am a widow who is already a victim of this battle casualty being not accepted by MOD although Air force has categorised it so,( casualty being amended later as battle casualty by Air force) what do i do?

sushant said...

hi maj navdeep, i am maj uk singh of 20 sikh regt. i am battle casualty. as i am not aware of any of the benefits given i will request you to guide me on the benefits concerned.
thanking you in anticipation, maj uk singh.

rohan said...

Dear Navdeep,
1. I am serving army officer, Col Rohan Anand, decoration - Sena Medal ,Battle Casualty with 50% disability.
2. My awareness of benefits entitled, being decorated and physically disabled,is generally poor. Could you assist in listing them, especially in terms of loans, plots and housing scheme preferences etc , now that I am keen to go in for the same


Kulwant said...

Dear Navdeep Sir,

(a) I was on Expedition detailed/sponsored by Army Adventure wing in 2007. This Expedition was in Siachin, where all the casualties are treated as Battle casualties.
(b) My AFBC-1 and AFBC-II was initiated, by my unit.
(c) Though my Medical Board has shown me as Battle Casualty, but MP-5 is refusing to publish my Casualty as Battle Casualty. They are giving the reference of AO16/2005/MP (Amendment to AO No 16/2003/MP Amendment no 3,) which says Para 1(t) added vide Amendment no 1 to AO be deleted/cancelled.
(d) Can you please help me in this regard.

Amit Kumar said...

Jai hind sir,
Sir we are in siachin.
One of my unit person was brought down from forward post due to high BP. Thereafter he had ben sent on annual leave. From home he gave a phone call to unit saying that hee was suffering from frost bite at post which he didn't report anyone. But now he is feeling pain on his nails so he shown it to the civol doctor who imputed his finger. Later when he rejoined at chandigarh transit camp, from there he got admitted in Military Hospita. Now Military doctors are firhter cutting his full finger and saying unit to declare him as battle casualty.

So sir my confusion is can we declare him battle casualty or not because before sending him on on annual leave he did not report about the cold injury. Moreover unit has not shown it in sitrep.

Please guide. Thank you very much sir

Anonymous said...

Sir I was detailed to lay an ambush at LC in J&K in highly active fd area CI Ops and was injured there and admitted in hosp and granted 30 % disability. am come under battle casualty or not. post abut this in 2or 3 days.please sir post about this.

savyasachi said...

Dear Navdeep,

Is there any difference between "battle cas war wounded" and "battle cas"

Akshay Khanna said...

Dear Sir,

My father was boarded out from service when on DI List. I want to know if this is legal.


Akshay Khanna

Anita kharka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita kharka said...

Respected sir my husband died in udhampur command hospital after head surgery on 13 th September 2015. Before that on 10the he was admitted to base hospital from kupwara evacuated by helicopter and same day was listed in DI List.12 th september he refer to Command Hospital Udhampur and next day he declared dead. It is about to be six months no declaration of battle casualty have been declared. As according to unit my husband is declared as battle casualty.What is the maximum time period taken by competent authority to declare battle casualty and if not done do they inform the deceased family or not. As my husband have died during his services in kupwara does he will get battle casualty. Regards. Jai hind Mrs. Anita Kharka