M.A. No. 784 of 2016 and O.A. No. 317 of 2016. Case: R.P. Suthan Vs Union of India and Ors. Armed Forces Tribunal

Case Number:M.A. No. 784 of 2016 and O.A. No. 317 of 2016
Party Name:R.P. Suthan Vs Union of India and Ors
Counsel:For Appellant: N. Sukumaran, Sr. Adv., N.K. Karnis and Vinay Kumar Varma, Advs. and For Respondents: C.B. Sreekumar, Senior Panel Counsel
Judges:S.S. Satheesachandran, Member (J) and M.P. Muralidharan, Vice Admiral, AVSM and BAR, NM and Member (A)
Issue:Service Law
Judgement Date:January 30, 2017
Court:Armed Forces Tribunal
 
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Order:

M.P. Muralidharan, Vice Admiral, AVSM and BAR, NM and Member (A), (Regional Bench, Kochi)

  1. The Original Application has been filed by Vice Admiral R.P. Suthan, No. 01137H (Retd) seeking the benefit of broad banding of disability element of disability pension granted to him. The applicant has also sought that Regulation 37(b) of the Pension Regulations for the Army, 2008 be quashed as it denies the benefit of Regulation 94(c) of the Pension Regulations. The Original Application has been accompanied by M.A. No. 784 of 2016 for condoning the delay of 727 days. Having regard to the issue raised in the petition, which has already been settled by this Tribunal in similar applications prosecuted condoning the delay, the delay is condoned and M.A. No. 784 of 2016 is disposed of.

  2. The applicant retired from the Navy with effect from 31 August 2009 with qualifying service of 39 years and 02 months and was granted service pension with effect from 01 September 2009 (Annexure A1). The applicant was also granted disability element of pension in addition to service pension for disability Coronary Artery Disease assessed at 30% for life from the same date i.e. 01 September 2009 (Annexure A2).

  3. The learned counsel for the applicant submitted that based on recommendations of the V CPC, the Government had approved the broad banding of disability element of disability pension. The Government orders on the subject promulgated vide Ministry of Defence Letter No. 1(2)/97/D(Pen-C) dated 31 Jan 2001 restricted the benefit of broad banding only to those personnel who had been invalided out of service. Further, even though the applicant who retired from the Navy is governed by Pension Regulations for the Navy 1964, subsequent to the revision of Pension Regulations for the Army 2008, those Regulations were also made applicable to Naval Officers. Reg 37(b) of the said Regulations deny the benefit of broad banding which had been promulgated in the revised Pension Regulations vide Reg 94(c) to those who were retained in service till the age of superannuation. Learned counsel further submitted that the Chandigarh Bench of the AFT in O.A. No. 329 of 2010 and other connected cases had struck down the provisions which restrict the benefit of broad banding only to those who had been invalided out of service. This was subsequently upheld by the Hon'ble Apex Court in Union of India vs. Ram Avtar, Civil Appeal No. 418/2012. The learned counsel therefore submitted...

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