A 40-year-old debt: AFT directs Centre to pay arrears to war hero

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Nearly 40 years after its invalidation, a retired army commander will receive arrears from a war injury pension after the Chandigarh Court of the Armed Forces Court (AFT) detained the central government for its “total lack of empathy.” ”

Commander Jasbeer Singh was blown off the right foot to the ankle and lost sight in his left eye during an operation to clear a minefield in Sikkim. The incident occurred in 1966, but Maj. Singh continued to serve in the Indian army until 1978, when his wounds worsened.

At this point, he was invalidated out of service, but was granted a disability pension instead of a war injury pension.

The commander made representations in late 2012 and early 2013, declaring that he was eligible for a war damage pension since his invalidation in 1978, and that he was entitled to arrears.

The authorities replied in August 2016, indicating that he would be eligible for a war injury pension from the date of representation made by him in 2013, and not since his invalidation in 1978.

After receiving this communication, the commander made a new representation in 2016, which received no response. At this point, he chose to approach the AFT.

The judiciary judge, MS Chauhan, and the Lieutenant General of the Administration, Munish Sibal, described the government’s handling of the situation as “an evident sign of apathy and official indifference …”

Renu Bala Sharma, an advisory lawyer for the Indian Trade Union, argued that the petitioner had been eligible to receive a war injury pension through a letter from the Ministry of Defense in February 1972 and a letter from the Government of India in October. 1987

It was added that he would have obtained the right if he had appealed before, and the fact that he approached the court after 36 years was highlighted. It was argued that their service records had been eliminated in the interim period. However, at no time was there any dispute over the fact that the commander was a battle victim.

The argument that the commander had approached the court very late and that he was entitled to only three years of arrears as a result of it left the bank “stupefied.”