O.A. No. 53 of 2012. Case: Rank-Ex-Hony Nb Subedar Vs Union of India, The Officer-in-Charge and The President, Invaliding Medical Board. Armed Forces Tribunal

Case NumberO.A. No. 53 of 2012
CounselFor Appellant: M.K. Sikdar & S. Biju and For Respondents: Mr. B. Shanthakumar, SPC
JudgesV. Periya Karuppiah, J. (Member (J)) and Anand Mohan Verma, Member (Ad.)
IssueService Law
Judgement DateApril 09, 2013
CourtArmed Forces Tribunal


Anand Mohan Verma, Member (Ad.), (Regional Bench, Chennai)

  1. The petitioner prays for quashing the finding of the Review Medical Board and to declare his disability, assessed as 80 percent composite, attributable to or aggravated by military service. The petitioner was enrolled on 28th October 1975 and was discharged on 31st October 2001 on fulfilling the conditions of his engagement. At the time of discharge from service, he was holding the rank of Naib Subedar and was in Low Medical Category due to which he was brought before Release Medical Board which assessed his disability at 40% for two years and the disease was neither attributable to nor aggravated by military service. The petitioner's appeals were rejected and he filed O.A. before this Tribunal which was numbered as O.A. 35 of 2010. This Tribunal after considering all relevant facts dismissed the application. The order dated 7th January 2011 stated that it was open to the applicant to challenge the Medical Board's opinion by way of seeking a Review Medical Board. The petitioner requested for a Review Medical Board which was convened by the respondents and the Review Medical Board dated 25th July 2011 assessed his IDs, CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE and ISHAEMIC CVA, to be not attributable to nor aggravated by service. Composite assessment was assessed to be 80% for life and disablement disability pension was "Nil" for life. The petitioner now challenges the finding of the Review Medical Board.

  2. Mr. M.K. Sikdar, learned counsel for the petitioner would plead that the petitioner was posted at Petroleum Controlling Unit, Mumbai where his main function was to check distribution of petroleum and gas products to the three services from the bulk storage of IOC, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, thus exposing him directly to petroleum and gas products which caused him to contract the heart disease. He would argue that the petitioner developed the heart disease during his service in the Petroleum Controlling Unit due to exposure of gas products and polluted atmosphere and would contest the reference to the petitioner being a "chronic smoker" as stated in the Review Medical Board. He would state that the petitioner is not a chronic smoker but only a casual smoker. He would also say that prior to his posting to peace station that is Mumbai in 1997, he was posted to high altitude area and the stress and strain of serving in high altitude also contributed to the disease. In support of his argument, he would plead that according to Annexure III to Appendix II of Pension Regulations for Army 1961, heart disease is shown as affected by high altitude and heart disease has not been mentioned under the heading, "Disease not Normally Affected by Service" which establishes that the disease did occur during the service due to conditions of service for which the petitioner had to undergo angioplasty four times. The learned counsel would say that the Review Medical Board has not taken into account, as observed in the Tribunal Order in O.A. 35 of 2010, the conditions of duty performed by the petitioner during the last three years of service from the time the disease occurred for the first time. He would argue that the opinion of the Review Medical Board based on 14 days charter of duties only, which would not provide a true picture of stressful environment prevailing in such a Unit and therefore, it is obvious that the Review Medical Board was not provided full and comprehensive inputs of the service conditions of the last three years of the petitioner's service from the time the disease occurred and therefore, the finding and opinion of the said Board erroneous and deserves to be set aside and requests that the petitioner be granted disability pension for a composite assessment of 80% for life.

  3. The Senior Panel Counsel Mr. B. Shanthakumar on behalf of the respondents would provide details of the petitioner's hospitalization prior to 2000 which indicates that he had been treated for a number of diseases such as, "Piles, Ligament Strain(R), Injury to Pip JT RT Middle Finger, Ligamesntous Strain Proximal Interphalangeal Joint (RT) Middle Finger (Old), Malaria MT, Urticarla, Viralaveved, Hypersensitivity Vasculitis...

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