The PCDA (P) has been sanctioning disability element as per the rates prescribed for the rank when the injury was sustained or when the disease occurred and not as per the rank last held. To take an example, if a person was a Havaldar when he got injured but he retired (or was invalided) as a Subedar, then in such a case, the PCDA (P) sanctions the service element of the rank of a Subedar but the disability element as per the rank of Havaldar.
There is of course a major incongruity in this. The Hon’ble Courts have now decided while interpreting Regulation 180 of the Pension Regulations of the Army-1961, that an individual would be entitled the complete disability pension, that is service as well as disability element, in accordance with the rank last held irrespective of the rank at the time of injury / disease. The said decision rendered in a case allowed by the Punjab & Haryana High Court has already been upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and even the Delhi High Court has held the same.
Regulation 180 is reproduced hereunder :
Rank for assessment of disability pension
180. The rank for the purpose of assessment of service element and disability element of disability pension, shall be the substantive rank or higher paid acting rank if any, held by the individual, on any of the following dates, whichever is most favourable :–
(a) the date of discharge/ invalidment from service, or
(b) the date on which he/she sustained the would or injury or was first removed from duty on account of a disease causing his disablement, or
(c) if he/ she rendered further service, and during and as a result of such service suffered aggravation of disability, the date of the later removal from duty on account of the disability.