Tribune press service
Chandigarh, February 20
It took the intervention of the Supreme Court for a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) to obtain his disability pension for an injury he suffered in 1984.
Finally, putting an end to the ordeal of a retired Subedar from Dasuya in the Punjab, the Supreme Court this week rejected an appeal filed by the defense authorities against a disability pension which had been granted to him by judicial decision.
Subedar Sadiq Masih of the Corps of Engineers suffered a permanent disability while riding a two-wheeler after sunset to avoid encountering terrorists when dealing with an emergency while on occasional leave.
Terrorism was at its peak in Punjab at this time, and it was common for military and police personnel to be attacked during the day.
The invalidity was declared “attributable to military service” by the Statutory Court of Inquiry as well as by the brigade commander, but the invalidity benefits were refused by the administrative authorities indicating that the invalidity had been suffered during leave.
By discussing the scope, length and breadth of the rules and relying on the instructions of the Supreme Court and High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the Chandigarh Court of the Armed Forces Tribunal, composed of Judge MS Chauhan and Lieutenant-General Munish Sibal, granted him redress in 2017.
Rather than release benefits, the tribunal’s decision was challenged by the government in the Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal against the disabled Subedar this week.
He retired in 2005.
Sources close to the issues said that despite instructions from the Minister of Defense and Secretary of Defense, callous and controversial appeals have been filed in many cases by defense authorities in cases involving soldiers with disabilities where the allowance granted was tiny compared to the amount spent by the government on litigation.
In 2016, then Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar accepted the recommendations of a high-level panel of experts who recorded that further appeals in individual cases should not be filed on matters which have achieved finality at the level of the High Court. or the Supreme Court.
The Committee had called the multiple appeals against the soldiers and other employees “administrative selfishness”.