Recruits also entitled for Disability Pension : Supreme Court

Recruit also entitled for Disability Pension

Recruit also entitled for Disability Pension

The Supreme Court has held that Recruit also entitled for Disability Pension even his disability is less than 20 % . 

Earlier Ministry of Defence were granting disability pension to those soldier who invalided out from service.

Later on MoD issued a policy letter 31.01.2001 to extend the disability pension on completion of engagement 

As per Regulation 181 of the Pension Regulation of for Army (Pt-I), 1961, Disability pension is also admissible to Recruits.  

Qualifying Service for Recruits

Earlier there was minimum qualifying service to earn service element of disability pension. 

However, there is no minimum qualifying service required to earn disability element of disability pension. 

With effect from 16.07.2020, MoD has abrogated the minimum qualifying service for service element. Consequently, all recruits also entitled for both elements. 

Minimum Percentage of Disability for Recruits 

As per the existing Rules, minimum 20 % disability is required for disability element. 

However, if Army/ Navy/ Air Force authorities discharged any recruit in Low Medical Category even less than 20 % of disability then also the recruit will be entitled for disability pension. 

Medical Board Out is Primary Condition for Recruits

As per Rule 4 of the Entitlement Rules, 2008, Invalided out is primary condition for earning disability pension. 

If Medical Board has invalided out any recruit with disability assessed even less than 20 % , then also the same will be rounded off to 50 % . 

The various benches of Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) have passed number of judgments on disability pension for less than 20 percent

Supreme Court Judgment on Recruit’s Disability

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal 5605/2010 titled as Sukhvinder Singh Vs Union of India decided on 25.06.2014 held a recruit entitled for disability pension. 

In the above matter recruit was invalided out from service with disability less than 20 %.

The Supreme Court held that the disability cannot be less than 20 % if a recruit is being invalided out from service. 

This landmark judgment has added in the settled laws on the disability pension in Armed Forces.

Frequently Asked Questions

(a)   What is Invalid Pension in Army/ Navy/ Air Force & Eligibility ? 

Ans. When Medical Board invalided out any soldier or recruit due to his disability. Invalid Pension can be given to that soldier or recruit.

(b)    What is minimum percentage of disability required to earn disability element ?

Ans.  Minimum 20 % disability required however on Invalid out cases there is no such criteria.

(c)    Medical Board assessed my disability less than 20 % whereas it must be 20 % or more, What is next action for me ?

Ans.  You should challenge the findings of medical board before Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT).

(d)     I sustained injury during sports activity in unit but medical board assessed my disability neither attributable nor aggravated (NANA), What should I do ?

Ans.  Any injury sustained during course of sports activities/ PT organized by Unit Authorities, you are eligible for disability pension.

(e)   What is the latest judgment on disability pension in armed forces ?

Ans.  AFT/ High Court & Supreme Court are passing judgments on disability pension in routine manner.

(f)  If my disability is not attributable and not aggravated by military service, Am I eligible for any kind of Pension ?

Ans. Yes, if your disability is not attributable and not aggravated by military service, then you are eligible for Invalid Pension.

(g) What is minimum qualifying service for disability pension and Invalid Pension ? 

Ans. There is no minimum qualifying service required to earn disability pension and Invalid Pension.

(h)   If I took voluntary retirement from service, whether I am eligible for disability pension. 

Ans. Yes, you are eligible for disability pension on voluntary retirement subject to meeting other criteria.

(g)  Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has dismissed my case of disability pension. My advocate is telling to file appeal before Supreme Court of India. 

Ans.  You need to approach to Supreme Court of India. You can file Appeal against AFT Judgment in High Court through Writ Petition.