Army man can’t claim 100 per cent pension unless injured in war: Madras HC

The order was passed by a division bench of Justices SS Sundar and N Senthilkumar recently.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

CHENNAI : Holding that an ex-army man cannot claim 100% pension unless the injury he sustained is during battle or war-like situation, the Madras High Court has dismissed an appeal filed by an ex-service man who had suffered grievous injuries resulting in amputation of one of his legs while on military duty. The order was passed by a division bench of Justices SS Sundar and N Senthilkumar recently.

The appeal was filed by S Thangam, a Naik, who suffered grievous injury when the military vehicle he was driving on the Harchandpura bridge across Gaggar river toppled. The accident occurred in 1992. His right leg had to be amputated below the knee.

He was awarded disability element of pension at 75% for life through an order in 2012, besides a one-time grant of Rs 50,000 for buying wheel chair and endolite artificial limbs. His representation to treat the injury as battle casualty/war injury and provide him 100% pension was rejected by the authorities and subsequent petition to the Army Force Tribunal in Chennai was dismissed. Later, he approached the high court with an appeal against the order.

Referring to the explanation to Category E of the rules governing award of monetary pension benefits of battle casualty/war injury, the division bench reasoned, “Unless the petitioner sustains an injury when he is engaged in battle or war-like situation, he cannot claim the said pension.”

However, the war injury pension comes under different classification and this court is “unable to find any discrimination or illegality” while rejecting the petitioner’s claim for war injury pension, the court stated in the order.

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