CHENNAI: The Regional Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Chennai, has directed the Defence Ministry and Indian Army to pay disability pension to a 33-year-old ‘invalided’ recruit.
The petitioner, Tatarao Vankala of Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh, who had undergone 11 months and 28 days of training, was sacked after it was detected that he was suffering from kidney disorder, in 2003.
During training at Madras Engineer Group Centre, Bangalore, in January 2003, Tatarao fell sick and was referred to the Command Hospital, Bangalore, for treatment.
He submitted that he was diagnosed with ‘Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease’, due to which he was invalided from service on April 16, 2003 on having been found medically unfit for further service. His disability was assessed at 40 per cent for life.
Tatarao moved the tribunal for pension, which was rejected in March 2008 and August 2010. A letter dated October 19, 2010 sent by Under Secretary, Ministry of Defence, stated that “The ailment is considered as neither attributable to nor aggravated by military service”.
The petitioner contended that he was recruited to the Army after vigorous physical tests and medical examination. He was not suffering from any ailments and there was no history of constitutional disease in his family. The ID (disorder) was caused due to hard training in the Indian Army and hence it is attributable to or aggravated during the military service.
In its reply, the Army submitted that while undergoing basic military training, the petitioner was found to be suffering from the disease. The Medical Board recommended that he be invalided out of service. The bench comprising Judicial Member Justice V Periya Karuppiah and Administrative Member Lt General K Surendra Nath said that the disease was apparently aggravated due to military service.