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Home / India News / Row over disability pension may soon take a legal turn

Row over disability pension may soon take a legal turn

Lieutenant Col Bakshi has claimed the comments of the former Adjutant General has caused “irreparable damage” to his reputation as a disabled soldier, a disability pensioner and an upright military veteran and model citizen.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2019 02:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lieutenant Colonel Niraj Bakshi has threatened to sue General Ashwani  Kumar for a sum of Rs 1 crore.
Lieutenant Colonel Niraj Bakshi has threatened to sue General Ashwani Kumar for a sum of Rs 1 crore.(REUTERS Photo)
         

A veteran has threatened to sue recently retired Adjutant General Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar for the latter’s comments on disability pension received by retired soldiers. Kumar retired from the Adjutant General of the Indian Army on October 31.

The Adjutant General decides on staffing and human resources policies, benefits and facilities offered to the 1.3 million-strong Indian army

Lieutenant Colonel Niraj Bakshi (retd), who has threatened to sue General Kumar for a sum of Rs1 crore, was granted disability pension by the government on retiring.

Lieutenant Col Bakshi has claimed the comments of the former Adjutant General has caused “irreparable damage” to his reputation as a disabled soldier, a disability pensioner and an upright military veteran and model citizen.

Lieutenant Col Bakshi has sought an“unconditional apology” from Kumar for speaking in an “irresponsible and abandoned manner” about various service subjects and issues “outside” his purview.

On the day Adjutant General Lt Gen Kumar retired, he spoke to media on disability pension paid to veterans and the proposed Code of Conduct for veterans to prevent misuse which he claimed was high

“Take note that in case you issue an unconditional apology duly circulated in public within a period of 15 days from the receipt of this communication, this notice shall stand withdrawn, otherwise litigation shall be instituted in the contempt of Court of Law, the costs and consequences of which you would be personally liable to bear in toto,” the notice dated October 06 read.

Despite repeated efforts, Kumar did not respond to requests for comment.

“Beyond the legal notice that has been served on Lt General Kumar by my client, I do not want to comment,” Pradeep Kumar, counsel for Lieutenant Col Bakshi, said.

“You irresponsibly expressed views which are also against the statements of Union Defence Minister, statutory provisions and judgments of the High Courts and the Supreme Court,” the notice sent to Kumar said.

It has alleged that the former adjutant general spoke “disparagingly” about disability pensioners of the army and persons with disabilities “as if many such pensioners do not deserve disability benefits.”