DIRECTING THE authorities to release around two lakh rupees as medical reimbursement to a retired Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officer for the heart surgery which he underwent at Fortis Mohali in December 2010, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that it is a settled principle that the pensioner cannot be denied the benefit “as the State is under an obligation for reimbursing the medical expenses on the medical treatment”.
The retired Inspector, who is originally from Himachal Pradesh’s Una district had been denied reimbursement on account of the fact that he was not possessing a valid Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) token card at the time of treatment. He had taken voluntary retirement in 2003.
In November 2010, he had applied for stoppage of the Rs 300 fixed medical allowance to get covered under the health scheme of centre but suffered a heart attack before he could apply for it, the court was told. He received the card only in January 2011 and was told that it does not have retrospective effect. Authorities told the court that he has been given fixed medical allowance of Rs 100 per month and Rs 35,000 was given by the Director, CISF from the Central Welfare Fund.
Taking note of the fact that the petitioner has been running from pillar to post and also made representation to the Prime Minister of India in July 2014, the court said even if he was drawing a fixed medical allowance on December 5, 2010 when the procedure took place, the same would not cover the medical expenses of his hospitalisation. The court added that it cannot be disputed that the fixed medical allowance is pertaining to day-to-day medical expenses, which do not require hospitalisation.
“Therefore, respondents cannot wish away reimbursement of the expenses as such which have been incurred by the petitioner,” read the order, adding, “the respondents shall take steps to process the case of the petitioner for reimbursement for the purpose mentioned above and make necessary payment of Rs 2,06,776 within two months from the date of the receipt of the certified copy of this order”.