March 10, 2010 11:53:35 pm
The Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) decided a disability pension case in favour of a retired subedar on Tuesday. The case had earlier been rejected by a lower court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the grounds that the army personnel had given an undertaking at the time of voluntary retirement stating he would not claim disability pension.
Citing the decision of the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court in the case of Mahavir Singh Narwal versus Union of India of 2005 in support of this case,the Chandigarh bench of AFT,comprising Justice Ghanshyam Prasad and Lieutenant General (retired) Justice N S Brar,decided that the lower court was neither legal nor justified and had wrongly rejected the suit of the petitioner.
The bench decided that the petitioner,former subedar Rohtash Singh,resident of Umrawal village,district Bhiwani,was entitled to get disability pension from the date of his discharge plus the arrears of three years prior to filing of the suit with eight per cent annual interest. It was stated that the rejection of Singhs claim for grant of disability pension on the grounds that he was discharged from service at his own request and gave an undertaking that he would not claim any pension was absolutely illegal,arbitrary and bad in law.
Rohtash Singh joined the Regiment of Artillery on May 25,1967. He had a head injury after he met with a serious accident on September 26,1989.
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The medical board proceedings conducted by the Military Hospital in Ambala Cantonment awarded him 30 per cent disability and he was discharged on September 1,1992.
He approached the appropriate authority for the grant of disability pension,which was rejected by the Artillery Record,Nasik,on January 12,1994,on the plea that he was discharged at his own request and hence not entitled for disability pension. He also filed an appeal against the rejection of his appeal which was also rejected by the competent authority on July 22,1994.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court relegated the matter to the civil court on August 12,2005. The civil court also rejected Singhs appeal on the grounds that he was discharged from service at his own request on extreme compassionate grounds as per the Army Headquarters and he has approached the court after the lapse of nine years of rejection of his appeal.
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