Benefit of rounding off / bunching of disability percentage for calculation of disability element would be applicable to superannuating personnel too
The 5th Central Pay Commission had recommended the benefit of rounding-off / bunching of disability percentages for grant of disability element of disability pension. It was recommended that persons with disability till 50% should be paid a disability element calculated by taking the disability at 50%, those with a disability between 50-75% should be granted a disability element by taking the disability as 75% and those with a disability above 75% should be granted a disability element @ 100%.
The said modalities were notified by the Govt in 2001 with effect from 1996. However, the govt sanction letter provided that the said benefit would only be made available to those who were invalided out and not to those who were discharged on completion of terms or on superannuation with a disability, and that the latter would be granted a disability element in accordance with the actual percentage of disability and hence would not be provided the benefit of rounding off / bunching.
The Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court however did not take this kindly. The Hon’ble High Court in 2008, in the case Paramjit Singh Vs Union of India, ruled that even those who are discharged on completion of terms or on superannuation would be entitled to the rounding off and bunching of disability percentage thereby leading to an enhanced pension. The same was done by relying on Regulation 179 (Regulation 53 for officers) of the Pension Regulations for the Army. The said Regulations provide that persons retiring or superannuating with a disability would also be ‘deemed to have been invalided out’ or service.
The govt however filed a review petition in the said Writ Petition but the same has been dismissed by the Hon’ble Court and it has been re-iterated that the benefit should be granted to all disabled personnel including those discharged / retiring with a disability and not only to those who have been invalided.
The Court has also held that AGIF is liable to pay disability cover even to discharged / superannuating personnel and that AGIF is very much a body under the control of the govt, the actions of which can be challenged in the High Court. It was contended by the Govt that AGIF was not a body of the ‘State’ and hence writ jurisdiction could not be invoked against it.
Source: Indian Military Service Benefits & issues Blog