By Ayaskant Das
New Delhi, Nov. 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) A debate has erupted over the criteria for disability to qualify for “disability pension” by armed forces personnel due to comments from the Army Adjutant General, Lieutenant General Ashwani Kumar, who retired on October 31.
According to Lt. Gen. (rtd) Kumar, “lifestyle-related illnesses” should not be treated as a disability and therefore disability pension should be denied to these men in uniform.
Speaking to IANS, he said that not all claims could be handled within the same parameters and arrangements that govern disability pensions. It required a review, he added.
Disability pension should not be given to those who fail to take remedial action despite certain illnesses caused by lifestyle, according to Kumar.
“If a soldier suffers from an illness as a result of his conditions of service, such as being posted for an extended period in a high altitude area, he should be eligible. the first symptoms of the disease appear, it should not be considered, “he said.
Citing Lt. Gen. Kumar’s comments, the veterans accused him of bringing a case that would deny a disability pension to soldiers from all walks of life who suffer from lifestyle-related illnesses while on duty due to unsustainable working conditions in most, if not all, cases.
Lt. Col. (rtd) Niraj Bakshi, himself a disabled, issued a legal opinion to Lt. Gen. Kumar on Wednesday for his alleged defamatory remarks about disabilities.
“A soldier who does not change his lifestyle, despite suffering from illnesses because of his habits, and yet claims compensation is not comparable to one who claims compensation for a disability suffered due to conditions. untenable work, ”he said. .
Veterans also criticized Lt. Gen. Kumar for failing to take action against “shady” disability pension claims during his tenure as adjutant general of the Indian army from July 2017 to October. 2019.
Lt. Gen. (rtd) Prakash Katoch, former Siachen Brigade Commander and Ladakh Region Corps Commander, told IANS that the military has been nonchalant in its approach to deal with unwarranted cases of disability pensions. “If a few officials have wrongly claimed a disability pension, why no action has been taken against them,” he said.
Disability pensions are granted in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Army. “These provisions need to be reconsidered. At this stage, the provisions are such that as soon as a soldier presents a medical certificate indicating disability, he is immediately entitled to a pension. There should be a review mechanism,” he said. -he declares.
However, even before the ex-adjutant general reported the problem, retired members of the armed forces were unhappy with the imposition of the disability pension. According to a finance ministry circular in June, the disability pension income tax exemption would only be available to staff members who have been “disabled” from the Service due to disability.
“The three department heads should jointly plan how to ban unjustified cases of disability pensions. No medical council should be allowed to be created from its own service for those claiming disability pensions during their last three years of retirement. Interservice councils should be put in place to review these cases, ”said Lt. Gen. Katoch.
(Ayaskant Das can be contacted at [email protected])