The Armed Forces Tribunal has held that an individual is entitled to disability pension along with regular pension even if he has taken voluntary premature retirement.
There have been many instances where the authorities concerned have been denying disability pension to military personnel who opted for pre-mature retirement owing to their low medical category.
Granting disability pension to a Brigadier who retired in 2004 along with arrears since the date he retired with 12 per cent interest, the Tribunal overruled the contention of the government that Regulation 50 of the Pension Rules did not entitle voluntary retirees to disability pension.
“After discussions, we have held that even if the incumbent may seek pre-mature retirement, he is still entitled to the disability element of pension,” the Bench said. The Bench observed that in the present case, the incumbent sought pre-mature retirement after completing 33 years and four-month service. A medical board had assessed his disability to be 30 per cent, which was attributed to and aggravated by military service.
He had earlier petitioned the Army headquarters and the Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), over the issue, but to no avail. Thereafter, he sought legal redressal to his grievance.
Voluntary retirees entitled to disability pension
Can the disabled expect immediate payment of arrears?
From past experience one wonders if court orders will be respected by MoD or GOI! ESM are made to run from pillar to pillar to seek justice.