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Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Army best judge on who is fit to be a soldier: HC
KOLKATA:Calcutta high courthas made it clear that it is for theIndian Armyto judge who is medically fit to join the force anddoctors in civilian hospitalsshould have no say in the matter. "The Indian Army is the best judge of its own needs as to who should be recruited to guard the frontiers:Government civil doctorsmay not be the best judges to opine on the subject matter or what a medical condition may mean in the most trying and toughest circumstances the forces encounter every day in unfriendly terrain and high altitudes," Justice DrSambuddha Chakrabartiobserved while dismissing five writ petitions by youths who were found unfit to serve in the Army by medical boards. These orders were passed in February.
After being rejected, the petitioners had got themselves examined at state-run hospitals and were declared fit by doctors there. Armed with these medical certificates, they approached the court alleging that the Army was behaving in an unfair manner.
"Standard of medical fitness for the purposes of recruitment vary and differ from service to service, from employment to employment and from the duties one is to discharge from the other. The standard of fitness is a job-specific one. A person found medically fit for discharging civilian duty may not be so found for another employment where the standard of physical fitness is more exacting and rigorous. He may not be necessarily fit for discharging the duties of the Army and fight battles in the war front ... A person found fit to work as a teacher or for performing a desk job or to be engaged in research activity may not be required to meet the standards required for other jobs of strenuous physical activity. A person medically found fit for a sedentary nature of work may not be qualified for a football tournament. Even in sports, a person found fit for one game may not be considered fit enough for mountaineering. The perfection of reflex and eye sight expected of a pilot operating an aircraft may not be insisted upon in respect of persons in other employments," Justice Chakrabarti observed.