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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Law on disabilities in service- Supreme Court holds the hand of the disabled soldier yet again in a landmark judgement

In a landmark decision rendered yesterday which once again reiterates and restores the confidence of the soldier in our higher judiciary, the Supreme Court, in a much detailed judgement, has thrashed out law related to disability pension and attributability/aggravation of disabilities to service.

In what had been discussed umpteen number of times on this blog (See this, this and this), it is the pro-disabled Entitlement Rules promulgated by the govt which have to prevail while determining whether a disability is attributable to or aggravated by service or not, and not merely the opinion of the medical board. As would be discernible from this earlier blogpost, the same has also been reiterated in the past primarily by the Delhi and Punjab & Haryana High Courts and various Benches of the Armed Forces Tribunal, especially the Benches at Chandigarh, Delhi and Kochi.

While discussing the length and breadth of the Entitlement Rules and the law relating to disability pension, including judgements rendered in the past to the contrary, the Supreme Court in effect has come to the following conclusions:

That any disability occurring while in service shall be presumed to be in service unless reasons are recorded to the contrary.

The onus of proving attributability/aggravation of disability is not upon the soldier.

It is immaterial if the disability arises in field or in peace area.

There would be a presumption of a causal connection with service for disabilities which occur while in service.

I reiterate once again, if the men and women in uniform in India have to thank one entity for holding their hand, it is the higher judiciary.

The entire judgement of the SC can be downloaded by clicking here

Another (old) 116 page judgement of the Kochi Bench of the AFT on the same subject can be downloaded by clicking here

Jai Hind. 


Anonymous said...

Dear sir,Thanks for your selfless yeomen service to the armed force services.Its remarkable judgement boosting morale of our disabled soldiers who are getting raw deals.Its really surprising to see that babu's in Mod fails to understand the agony and harrasment a disabled soldier go through to get their dues.Atleast one should be sympathetic towards such occurence and must help such soldiers who, for country had endangered their lives.Atleast they should be helped to lead their life in full dignity and honour and in normal way.

PBIR said...

Jab apne ho jayee bewafa toh :-(

Anonymous said...


pag said...

kudos to judiciary.hope it will b implemented in letter &spirit and not like rk pay cases.

DS Ramakrishna said...

Dear Maj Navdeepji. Kudos and VMT on behalf of entire Serving/ Retired Defence Community and their families.
God Bless You and family for such an noble cause,i.e. handling the most sensitive issues particularly affecting the PBORs.

Anonymous said...

Sir, what about the broad banding of disability percentage? Does any SC judgement also given in this regards?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, now for an appropriate decision on the rank pay case and NFFU for the armed forces

M P NAIR said...

I feel all Armed Forces personnel who were invalided out of service with disability of 20 pct or more which was neither attributable or aggravated by service should be given disability pension.I do not know if the present judgement would allow it

M P Nair said...

Is this judgement applicable to all cases of invalidment which has happened Could you kindly clarify pleas.in the past.

exweltrust said...

Dear Major Sir,

We thank you for bringing out the latest judgements which is a great service to the ESM community.

I whole heartedly thank you Sir.?

ASgt.S.Kanthiah-Exwel Trust.

Raxas said...

The dilution and confusion has already started. Utkarsh Anand (Indian Express) has written:- http://www.indianexpress.com/news/armymen-sc-eases-disability-pension-norms/1136881/

What if a disability is detected when an Army Man is retiring. Say a Heart Problem? Is the guy not entitled to disability pension? Or is it only in case someone is boarded out. What if somebody is detected with a problem and continues in LMC. Does it mean he will not get any Pension Componenet for his disability unless he continues to stay? Embedded Journalism seems to have become a norm.

Sathye said...

The bench clerks of CGDA,Defence Finance etc will now 'adjudicate' on the Hon Supreme Court judgment and implement in whatever manner suit to their prejudice like they did for landmark Rank Pay judgment.

Anonymous said...

Do we really require Army Medical Corps. Many of the armies does not have them. Considering the level of treatment a Jawan or his NOK get there is need to serious thinking of abandoning AMC

Anonymous said...

HOPE rules will be changed for grant of SPECIAL Family Pension
to spouse/NOK of Disability Pensioners.
As of now causal connection between the death and disability has to be
established by the claimant and probably a condition for death within 7 years of retirement is also
Wonder if persons in authority have ever applied their minds towards the difficulties faced by the spouses/NOKs of such disability pensioners .
I retired on 31 july 2003 and am a disability pensioner.Tried to know rules on SFP applicable in my case.Written to Veterans cell (AHQ),PCDA(P),DESW (MOD).Found no
answer.One can only imagine,what happens after the death;while alive
if one does not get response.
My idea is that SFP be granted in
all cases of death of disability pensioners automatically by the PDAs itself,without any need for claiming for it.
Any disability is bound to have adverse effect on
body and mind and therefore the span of life.
Rates of SFP may be laid down between OFP and present rate of SFP for varying percentage of disability.
HOPE some one having knowledge about the rules applicable in my case will educate me and rules will be framed for helping the families of disability pensioners soon.
Lt Col A K Jain (Retd)

Unknown said...

Dear Sir, We salute you for your brotherhood and respect for nation being constantly shown through your gestutes in terms of service towards soldiers. This will take care of anomolies like BP in fd or peace and so on ..Well Done and Keep it up

Yudhvir singh

Anonymous said...

Yeoman service to the fraternity Navdeep Sir.

Your blog has an impact not only on perceptions but also policy.

Please keep going.

Anonymous said...

this indeed clears up a lot of issues especially regarding "aggravation/ attributibility when in peace areas

aloke guha

Sreenivasa S said...

Hope Govt doesn't challenge even this judgement. Soldier can take a deep breath, relax and do duty without thinking what happens to him.

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with the first comment posted here. It won't be fair to blame the MoD and its Babus for the injustice met to the disabled soldiers because the category, disability and the percentage are decided by the AMC people and not by the MoD. While they are liberal to help the generals and senior officers, they are overenthusiastic in implementing the same rules for junior officers and other ranks.

Sreenivasa S said...

There is Need to Scrap the AO/Book meant for allotting disability, its nothing to do with AMC. Its human mentality to deny the rightful share to right person thinking its wasting Govt money (People go to any extent to prove this).

Rule is simple "IF I AM READY DIE ON COMMAND OF MY SUPERIOR FOR NATION, ITS WORTH EVERYTHING - NEED NOT TO PROVE TO ANYONE". Just forget those babu's comment "We have not forced you to join armed forces, you are paid for it".

G C Sen (AMC) said...

Actually the specialists who take the decision rarely faced the hardship of service.If number of patients increased in opd in a single day is a big hardship for them.Thats why they don't find any reason which may cause for aggravation or attributability

Sreenivasa S said...

Mr GC Sen, you r mistaken spl were generous in giving disability, few who wanted VSM, AVSM taken away spl power on opining disability. You should hold those got VSM/AVSM responsible.

Anonymous said...

Dear major
Inspite of this vital and elaborated judgement by the honourable supreme court still the AGPS is rejecting synonymous cases pleading not attributable. What to do now? Should file suit or eaiy for govt decision ? pl advice
lt col