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AFT Popular Judgments Ex SGT Ram Avtar Yadav

EX SGT RAM AVTAR YADAV V. UNION OF INDIA ORS.

Armed Force Lawyer and Advocate

In this case of Ex Sgt Ram Avtar Yadav v. UOI Ors., the petitioner, i.e., Ram Avtar Yadav had been denied the benefit of rounding off of the disability pension though he was entitled to disability pension @ 30 percent as he suffered 30 percent disability which was held to be attributable to and aggravated by his Air Force service of 20 years and 16 days. This denial is in violation to the direction given by the honourable Supreme Court in the Civil Appeal no. 418/2012, Union of India & Ors. v. Ram Avtar on 10.12.2014.

Also Read- DISABILITY PENSION ALLOWED BY AFT CHANDIMANDIR

 

In this order of the Apex court, Union of India’s several contentions against the grant of benefit of rounding off of the disability pension had been dismissed. The Supreme Court directed High Courts as well as Tribunals to take note of this dismissal in order to grant appropriate relief to the petitioners before them. However, in spite of this order, the petitioner’s prayer in this case had been rejected stating that the law declared by the courts cannot be applied to the similar cases unless the government passes any order. The respondents, particularly the office concerned was thus directed to file an affidavit which was filed on 03.09.2015.

Also Read- AFT TRIBUNAL ADVOCATES AND LAWYERS IN CHANDIGARH PANCHKULA AND MOHALI

 

As per the respondents, this denial of benefit of rounding off was supported by government’s orders dated 27.01.2015 and 05.02.2015 according to which the Raksha Mantri had approved the implementation of the Apex Court’s decision prospectively from 1st January 2015, except the PMR (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) and VRE (Vancomycin-resistant enterococci) cases. These orders pertained to approximately 1600 cases in which AFTs/ Courts had granted broad-banding benefit.

Also Read- WAR INJURY PENSION ARREARS ALLOWED BY AFT TRIBUNAL

 

In another order dated 29.01.2015, the concerned office stated that the court orders are passed on the merits of a particular case and cannot be treated in general for similar other cases until specific government orders are issued. Subsequently, when this matter was considered for the first time on 09.04.2015, it was found that the concerned authority, i.e., the Director of Air Veterans had been ignorant of the directions of the Supreme Court passed in the case of UOI v. Ram Avtar and its actions portrayed as if Court orders need strength from government orders. Further, on the same lines, the operation of the order dated 29.01.2015 was stayed and respondents were directed to process the case of petitioner for rounding off of the disability pension. A sanction order, dated 13.07.2015, was thus passed by the respondent acknowledging the petitioner’s entitlement for benefit of rounding off of the disability pension to 50 percent.

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The order dated 27.01.2015 led to the change in the date of granting of the benefit of arrears that was upheld by the Supreme Court. Therefore, the respondents were directed to state an oath, whether the order of the government dated 27.01.15 was in force at that time or on 13.07.2015 when the sanction order was passed. In pursuance of this, an affidavit was filed by Gp CaptS.S.Chandel, working as Director III at Directorate of Air veterans, in which it was clearly stated that the said government order was in force at that time as well as on 13.07.2015 when the sanction order was passed. It was further stated in the affidavit that no direction had been received to implement Armed Forces Tribunal’s order pertaining to rounding off of the disability benefit as a result of which, according to the respondents, the Directorate of Air Veterans had no option but to follow the directions given by Ministry of Defence in the order dated 27.01.2015.

Also Read- ARMED FORCES TRIBUNAL ACT, 2007

 

Yet in another order dated 19.05.2015 pertaining to the implementation of Supreme Court judgment of 10th December 2014, approval of Honourable Raksha Mantri was thereby conveyed for grant of benefit of broad banding of disability in retirement/discharged cases by the way of absolute sanction from the dates mentioned in respective AFTs orders in respect of 249 cases at execution stage as reported by service headquarters. This order indicated that the government order dated 27.01.2015 was reconsidered by the Ministry. However, there was reference of 249 cases in the order of 19.05.2015 while in the order dated 27.01.2015, there was a reference of about 1600 cases.

Also Read- DISABILTY PENSION BY THE AFT

Furthermore, it appeared that, since the Service Headquarter annexed the list of 249 cases along with their proposal for grant of sanction of broad banding from the date as given in the AFT’s order the last line in respect of 249 cases at execution stage was incorporated in the order and that may have created the confusion that the order dated 19.05.2015 pertained to only 249 cases. If this order was read in the manner in which Directorate of Air Veterans had read it, it would have led to serious alimony that in 249 cases, order dated 27.01.2015 would not be applicable, whereas, it would apply in other cases.

Also Read- DECIDING MAINTENANCE OF SPOUSE OF ARMY

 

This would amount to serious discrimination and this order would have been in violation to the Article 14 of Indian Constitution. Also, it would have recognized government’s authority to interfere in the judicial orders, which can not be accepted in the constitutional scheme of the country.

Therefore, it had been declared that after the government order dated 19.05.2015, no one under the Union of India can restrict the benefit of rounding off of the disability pension in light of the government. Also, the orders dated 27.01.2015 and 05.02.2015 stood withdrawn.

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Another important issue in this case is that the competent authority had refused to take any decision, waiting for a government order to apply the law. The competent authority is supposed to apply its own mind and take a decision. However, it failed to discharge its duty in this particular case. This tendency of not taking decision is required to be condemned.

Also Read- ARMED FORCES TRIBUNAL

In this case, the respondents wrongly applied the governments order dated 01.01.2015 while passing the order of sanction cut of date fixed in order dated 15.07.2015 fixing the date of benefit from 01.01.2015 was set aside. Thus, the OA was allowed. It was finally held that since the petitioner approached the tribunal for benefit of rounding off of the disability pension after the delay, he shall be entitled to the arrears of last three years from the date of filing of the OA, i.e., 17.03.2015 but not from the date of his discharge.

Also Read- PUNISHMENT OF REPRIMAND BY AFT TRIBUNAL

 

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