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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Cut-off date for ex-servicemen status to boarded-out recruits removed

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 26, 2014
First Published: 23:52 IST(26/7/2014) | Last Updated: 06:44 IST(27/7/2014)

The ministry of defence (MoD), in its recent letter, has removed the cut-off date for allowing the ex-servicemen status to boarded-out recruits on medical grounds, who have been granted disability pension.

As per its earlier letter dated March 18, 2013, the MoD had clarified that such recruits who were boarded out/released on medical grounds and granted medical/disability pension would be covered under the category of ex-servicemen for all practical purposes with effect from February 1, 2006, only. It left out those who were boarded out before February 1, 2006.

Later, a number of representations were received from individuals and associations with the request that the matter might be re-examined and the benefit of ex-serviceman status might be extended to those recruits who were boarded out/released prior to February 1, 2006.

Now, in a letter dated July 7, the under-secretary, department of ex-servicemen welfare, MoD, Supriyo Mukherjee, has said, "The matter has been examined and with the approval of the competent authority, it has been decided that such recruits who were boarded out/released on medical grounds and granted medical/disability pension will be covered under the category of ex-servicemen for all practical purposes…irrespective of the date of boarding out/release."

It implies that all personnel who were boarded out due to injury during their training and are getting disability pension will be treated as ex-servicemen and can claim benefit of reservation under the defence personnel quota in the central and state government jobs. The boarded-out recruits have been getting benefit of Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) earlier too.

Officer trainees are still left out
"The boarded-out officer trainees neither get benefit of the ECHS nor status of ex-servicemen category. Their disability pension is also lesser than those of jawan recruits," said Major Navdeep Singh, advocate, Punjab and Haryana high court.

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