Delhi High Court quashes order by Army Chief

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday quashed an order by the Army Chief discharging more than 26,000 Army personnel below officer rank and Junior Commissioned Officers on the grounds of their being of “low medical category”.

Quashing the order issued on April 12, 2007, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice S. K. Kaul and Justice M. C. Garg also directed the Army to reinstate all the personnel affected so far with back wages and all the consequential benefits.

The judgment will also benefit those Army personnel who have been identified for discharge from service but the exit formalities are yet to be completed.

The judgment came on a bunch of petitions filed by as many as 300 discharged Army personnel.

In the April 12 order, the Chief of Army Staff had notified that 26,700 personnel had been identified for discharge from service as the Regular Medical Board had put them in the Shape-1 and Shape-2 medical fitness categories.

The petitioners had challenged the order on grounds that they had been discharged from service in violation of Rule 13 of the Army Rules which says that Army personnel categorised as medically unfit can be discharged from service only if an Invalidating Medical Board recommends their exit.

They further submitted that the Army Rules also say that personnel put in the Shape-1 and Shape-2 categories can continue in service with certain restrictions on their deployment.

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