Friday, April 22, 2016

AFT seeks list of MoD properties for attachment after disabled officer denied pension

The bench, headed by Justice Surinder Singh Thakur, passed these orders after learning that the officer had not been released his pension till date despite judicial orders to this effect.

Annoyed over the denial of disability pension to a Lieutenant who had been medically invalided out of the Army in 2002, the Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has asked the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide a list of its properties worth Rs 30 lakh for attachment for non-compliance of the decision.
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The bench, headed by Justice Surinder Singh Thakur, passed these orders after learning that the officer had not been released his pension till date despite judicial orders to this effect.
Lieutenant Amit Vasudev was invalided out of the Army in 2002 just after he was commissioned on account of Spondylolisthesis (displacement of vertebra) but was not released disability pension and was informed that his disability was ‘neither attributable to, nor aggravated by service’. In the year 2013 however, when he obtained his documents under the RTI Act, it was discovered that his disability had actually been declared ‘attributable/aggravated’ and pension was illegally denied to him.
When Lieutenant Vasudev approached the AFT for relief, pointing out that he was made to suffer all these years and made to live a life of indignity without any financial support or healthcare, the Army admitted that his case was not processed for release of pension for more than a decade due to an ‘oversight’ at their end. The Tribunal had then directed the authorities to release his pension with 10 per cent interest.
When pension was still not disbursed, the officer was forced to file an execution petition before the Tribunal and finally the Army issued him the sanction letter for pension but without interest but still pension was not released to him.
Observing that the disabled officer who was illegally denied pension for the last 14 years was still being made to run from pillar to post despite a judicial order in his favour, the Chandigarh Bench has directed the MoD to submit a list of its properties for attachment.
Advocates familiar with the ADFT procedures say that many orders of various benches of the AFT remain unimplemented by the MoD. The AFT Act does not provide any provision for ‘civil contempt’ or procedure for execution of its orders. It was only after a decision of the Kerala High Court in Shihabudeen Versus PCDA of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the PIL titled Maj Navdeep Singh Versus Union of India ordaining that the AFT should invoke powers of criminal contempt and the execution procedure of a civil court under the code of civil procedure, that compliance of decisions of the Tribunal came to be initiated.
In December 2014, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had taken a strong note that the AFT was not taking coercive action against Army authorities for willful obedience and breach of its orders that non compliance would result in exemplary costs personally recoverable from the officers responsible, increase in the rate of interest awarded and action may also be initiated under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
(Source- Indian Express)


  1. Wonder it is same army we served or the babus on MoD.
    Best way ahead will be to fix the responsibilities on an individual or a hierarchy of few persons with exemplary monitory punishments.

  2. Good ! Delay and non compliance of judicial orders / judgements by MOD and PCDA are are piling up .These violations by MOD are compounded day by day.They are neither immune nor an independent authority beyond law of INDIA.
    Those individuals and departments responsible for violation of law are liable for criminal prosecution ,if the designated authorities ,do not take action of imposing penalties or departmental punishment for wilfull non compliance and disobedience of lawful authority.

  3. All those concerned for this delay must be punished with 14 increment cut.

  4. Certainly ,Lt Amit Vasudev would have complained to COAS.All the pension circulars are first addressed to the three chiefs.What is their role in this sort of situation.Why to blame MOD and PCDA always.What action COAS had taken under whom Vasudev served?.Is it not his prime responsibility to make sure that one of his officers should get his legitimate dues?

  5. Sir,Definitely the RM should intervene in such cases and should take strong action against the culprits of MOD.

  6. Disabled veterans suffering in civil life. Court directed to all policy makers be more liberal while granting disability pension. But no one is bother for disabled veterans. Making more trouble for their right dues. The entire system is responsible.