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‘Retd. babus can claim medical reimbursement’

This would definitely bring cheers to lakhs of retired government officials who have served in the Delhi Government, reports Harish V Nair.

delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2010 23:36 IST
Harish V Nair

This would definitely bring cheers to lakhs of retired government officials who have served in the Delhi Government.

The Delhi High Court on Friday ruled that they are entitled to medical reimbursement even if they have not opted for any such scheme.

Till 2007, all retired government employees were being given refund.

But as per a rule brought into force on October 2, 2007, one had to enroll in a scheme floated by the employers for the purpose, either at the time of retirement or after it.

Striking down the government rule, Justice Kailash Gambhir said: “It is a settled legal position that a government employee, during his life time or after his retirement is entitled to get medical reimbursement and no fetters can be placed on his rights on the pretext that he has not opted to become a member of any scheme.”

“It is shocking that despite various pronouncements of this court and the Supreme Court, the government laid down such a rule,” said the court .

The remarks came while the court ordered the government to reimburse Rs 1.25 to one Kishan Chand, a retired District Employment Officer who underwent a heart bypass surgery at the Ganga Ram Hospital.

It was being denied to him as he had not joined any medical reimbursement scheme before or after his retirement, as per the policy initiated in 2007.

“Under Article 21 of the Constitution, the state has a constitutional obligation to bear the medical expense of government employees while they are in service and also after they retire,” said the court.

Imposing a cost of Rs 10,000 on the government, Justice Gambhir said: “Clearly, in the present case, by taking an inhuman approach, these officials have denied reimbursement to the petitioner. They did not bother even after court judgment was brought to their notice”.