Don’t treat Army men shabbily, SC tells govt.
R Sedhuraman-Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, April 1. The Supreme Court has directed the government to treat Army personnel in a “better and more humane manner” in respect of emoluments, pension and other benefits as they were bravely defending the country at the cost of their lives.
A Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and AK Patnaik passed the order yesterday while dismissing a government appeal against a Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict, granting disability pension to an officer for the entire 10-year period of commissioned service.
CS Sidhu was given short service commission on June 22, 1968, for five years, which was extendable by another five years. He was posted in a high-altitude field area and while being on duty on November 21, 1970, he met with an accident and suffered severe injuries. As a result of the accident, his right arm had to be amputated and he also suffered a compound fracture in the thighbone and another fracture in the jawbone. He was released from service on June 23, 1978.
For calculating the amount of disability pension, the Army authorities had taken into account only the period between the date of joining and the date of the accident.
Describing as “a pittance” the “meagre pension” of Rs 1,000 a month plus DA granted by the Army to the affected officer, the Bench said, “If this is the manner in which the Army personnel are treated, it can only be said that it is extremely unfortunate.”