- HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh |
- Updated: Dec 12, 2014 11:57 IST
In an order that will benefit lakhs of disabled soldiers, the Supreme Court has dismissed more than 800 multiple appeals that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had filed against broad banding of their disability percentage.
The fifth pay commission had introduced the concept of broad-banding to minimise medical subjectivity and rationalise the mistakes of medical boards by providing that those with below 50% disability would be granted a disability element by treating it as 50%; those with 50 to 75% disability would be granted the benefit of 75%; and above-76% cases would be considered as that of 100% disability.
By rounding off, the disability percentage enhances, which means higher pension. However while implementing the concept, the MoD granted it only to the personnel who were invalided out on medical grounds post 1996. The rounding-off benefit was not given to pre-1996 cases or those released with disability pension on superannuation or completion of terms, though all categories were afflicted equally with the problem of medical subjectivity.
Military pension rules, however, provided that defence personnel released in a low medical category were deemed invalided out of service for purposes of disability pension.
In a series of litigation later, various benches of Armed Forces Tribunal, high courts and the Supreme Court held that pre-1996 disability cases and those released on completion of terms or superannuation could not be deprived of broad banding. One of the lead cases was of Panchkula resident and former army vice-chief lieutenant general Vijay Oberoi, who had lost a leg in the 1965 war with Pakistan.
in 2011, in spite of a decision of the-then chief of the army staff, general VK Singh, to refuse to file appeals against judgments in favour of disabled soldiers, the MoD insisted on filing appeals in all matters, stating that the decisions were “against the government policy” and instructing the government lawyers to file appeals in thousands of these cases in the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, a three-judge bench of the apex court head more than 800 clubbed cases and dismissed all appeals, bringing relief to the disabled and war-disabled soldiers.
All-India Ex-servicemen Welfare Association (AIEWA) chairman Bhim Sen Sehgal, welcomed the decision, saying that disabled soldiers had suffered for long. “Rather than resolving pension anomalies, the MoD forces disabled and war-disabled soldiers to litigate unnecessarily till the Supreme Court, causing unnecessary heartburn and burden on taxpayers’ money,” said high court lawyer major Navdeep Singh. He added that the lower bureaucracy was working against the spirit of the directions of the current government.
Public figures, including actor Kabir Bedi, parliamentarian Rajeev Chandrasekhar, former defence services chiefs, and 1971-war hero brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (retd), had written to the Prime Minister on Armed Forces Flag Day that most of MoD appeals in the Supreme Court against disabled soldiers were “alarming enough to make the entire citizenry hang its head in shame”.
Hon'ble Def Minister should take notice of enblock rejection of appeal by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and punish the officals in MoD responsible for giving twist to Vth pay commission recommendations and filing appeals recklessly against the disabled soldiers.ReplyDelete
there are still many veterans who were discharged on LOW Med.cat on completion of terms and condition- with 20% disability and not Broad Banded. When applied, the RO has turned down the application as the case was under clause not eligible for Broad Banding.
As per this ruling , we hope these veterans may be eligible for Broad Banding.
A person injured during 1971 war- Bullet passed through chest, narrowly escaped hurt in the heart was sanctioned with only 20% normal disability even though the PPO contains the Prefix as D/BC/- and BB not eligible. Case is till pending-
Exwel Trust, Trunelveli-Dist, TN.
Sir kindly update broad bending disability for 20% those who release on complition of term any latest action by mod for implimentation letter as on 12 March 2015ReplyDelete
Can someone please tell me , is the RMB has calculated three disabilities as 30%+30%+5% , is the composite disability 53% or 50%.ReplyDelete
And if it is 50% then under the broadbanding principle is it elligible for 75% disability pension or 50%.
sir mod has issued a letter on 18 Apr 2016 saying sanction of broad banding of disability pension to normal retirees. anybody seen it?ReplyDelete
letter of dtd 18 Apr 2016 sanction of broad banding of disability pension to normal retirees only for those who approached to AFT and got order in favor of them.Delete