The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Thursday directed the accounts officer of the Jalandhar Cantonment to reconsider the medical claim worth Rs 55,000 of an applicant and reimburse the amount spent on the treatment of the applicant’s wife. Gurmeet Singh had filed an application in which he challenged the orders rejecting the medical claim (for the treatment of his wife). The orders rejecting the medical claim were passed by the account officer of the cantonment on October 14, 2015.
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Pronouncing the orders the tribunal said, “Without verifying this fact that wife of the applicant was admitted in a private hospital in the emergent condition, the accounts officer has turned down medical reimbursement of bills on this ground that wife of the applicant was not admitted in real time emergency.” The tribunal further added that considering that an arbitrary power has been used by the accounts officer, the order (rejecting the claim) is liable to be quashed and set aside and the matter remitted back to the respondents to reconsider the case of the applicant and reimburse the amount.
Singh, a resident of Ropar, said he worked with the respondents as a civil motor driver and was authorised to claim medical reimbursements. On May 1, 2014 his wife, Jaswinder Kaur, was admitted to SGHS Hospital, Sohana, in the emergency ward and she remained under medical treatment for 12 days. Singh paid the hospital expenses worth Rs 63,215. Singh stated in the application that he had informed the respondent immediately and also sought reimbursement of medical expenses by submitting the necessary documents along with a certificate issued by the concerned doctor certifying the emergency at the time when his wife was admitted. His claim was verified by an army officer and the said officer recommended for disbursement of Rs 55,035 as per the rules.
However, the claim was rejected by the accounts officer on the ground that his wife had taken treatment from a private hospital, thus, it could not be reimbursed. Secondly, he had not submitted the bills within the time prescribed. Singh then filed an application in the tribunal last year. In its reply, the respondents have resisted Singh’s medical claim stating that his wife got treatment from a private hospital, which is not covered by the Central Services (Medical Attendance) Rules, 1944 and submitted bills after one year and three months, therefore, the same cannot be reimbursed.