He took part in 1962 war with China; denied adequate pension after discharge from service

Coming to the rescue of a war veteran who took part in the 1962 war with China and who was denied adequate pension after his discharge from service, the Armed Forces Tribunal, Regional Bench, has ordered the Defence authorities to enhance his disability pension.

Disposing of an application of J.George of Tirupati, the Bench, comprising Justice V.Periya Karuppiah and Lt.Gen (Retd) Anand Mohan Verma said that he was already aged more than 80 years, who had rendered service to the nation at the time of war. The authorities ought to have exercised much care in implementing an earlier order of the Tribunal in 2011 which directed the authorities to pay 50 per cent disability pension within three months.

Mr. George, who joined Indian Army in 1956, was posted in North Eastern Frontier Area which was an operational area in the wake of the war.

His battery was destroyed by the enemy's aggression and he was caught by the enemy troops, manhandled, tortured and half-buried in snow. They hit on his head and arms, with the rifle bayonet and left him in the snow, presuming that he had died. Later, when he regained consciousness, he found himself at an army medical camp. He was discharged from service on medical grounds in 1963.

In 2011, the AFT concluded that he was entitled to receive 50 per cent pension for the disability of ‘psychoneurosis’ which was found attributable to or aggravated by military service. However, he was paid only 20 per cent following a circular of Defence Ministry.

Hence, he filed the present application seeking to sanction of the war injury disability pension.

Rejecting his claim for the war injury disability pension, the Tribunal said it had discussed the issue in 2011 and concluded that he was eligible only for disability pension. It had noted that as the service records were destroyed as per rules, it could not be said that the injuries caused the disability were sustained in war.

However, the Tribunal reiterated its previous order granting 50 per cent pension to be implemented in letter and spirit.