Disability pension benefits cannot be denied on the basis of a vague medical opinion

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir: A Single Judge Bench of Sanjeev Kumar, J., allowed a writ petition filed by a retired ITBP constable, wherein the petitioner, who was a constable in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, was discharged from his duties on 03.04.2004 on account of being found unfit. The petitioner was diagnosed as a patient of “Psychoneurosis (Bipolar Affective Disorder) Manic Depressive Psychosis with Alcohol abuse”. The invalid pension of the petitioner to the tune of Rs 1,913 was released by the respondent, however the petitioner claimed disability pension as provided under Central Civil Services (Extraordinary Pension) Rules (“Rules”).

The main issue being that whether the petitioner was entitled to claim the benefit of disability pension as provided under the rules.

The Court examined the Rules and rejected the respondents contention that the petitioner’s medical condition was non-attributable to the conditions of his services in the force. The Court observed that opinion of the medical board was vague as there was no expert medical opinion about whether the said ailment was attributable to the service conditions or not. Moreover, the petitioner was also declared fit at the time of his joining and the concerned disease was neither genetic nor constitutional in nature. The Court further observed it to be conceded by the respondents that the concerned disease stems out of stress and strain and although petitioner was a cook/constable in the force, it cannot be said that he cannot suffer from stress or strain. Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the respondents were held liable for paying the disability pension as per the provisions of the Rules. [Arjun Singh v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 399, decided on 07.07.2018]

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