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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Armyman gets pension after 52 yrs

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 07, 2014
First Published: 09:20 IST(7/6/2014) | Last Updated: 10:18 IST(7/6/2014)

Sepoy Bara Singh, a resident of Abheypur village of Kharar, will get pension after a gap of 52 years. Recently, the Punjab and Haryana high court has allowed his appeal and set aside the judgment of ar med forces tribunal (AFT) against him.

He was enrolled into Indian army on June 24, 1953, and was invalidated from the service on November 11, 1962. He served for around 9 years. The invalidation medical board opined his disability, “schizophrenic reaction”, which was neither attributable nor aggravated by military service while assessing the disability to be 60%. He was denied any pension.

The wife of Bara Singh made a representation for grant of disability pension, which was rejected in 1964 and the appeal preferred was also rejected in1966. The second appeal, too, was rejected in 1967.

Even the application for conducting resurvey of medical board was also rejected in 1996.

Bara Singh then approached the AFT, Chandigarh bench in 2011. But his record was weeded out. The central gover nment opposed the pension submitting it was not attributable or aggravated during the military service. The AFT rejected Bara Singh’s petition in 2013.

After that Singh approached the high court. At the high court, Justice Hemant Gupta observed, “…in the absence of the reasons recorded by the Invalidating or review Medical Board that the disease could not be detected at the time of entry into Government Service, the claim for disability pension could not be declined.”

The judgment added, “Still further, the Government of India vide letter dated 31.01.2001, circulated that the persons who are entitled for less than 50% disability should be computed as disability element as 50%; whereas in respect of disability between 50-75% the said element should be 75% and between 76-100%, the pension amount should be computed at the rate of 100%.”

So, now Bara Singh will also get the benefit of this letter which is applicable for even those who retied prior to 1996.

“He has been living in penury all these days. We took up his case free of cost from 2010 onwards.

We got his pension after a gap of 52 years. It is a landmark judgment,” said Lt Col SS Sohi, president of ex-servicemen grievance cell.

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