MP urges Centre to withdraw appeals in disability pension cases

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New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar has welcomed the government decision to not challenge court orders that directed defence forces to give disability pensions to its soldiers, and urged the Centre to withdraw pending appeals.

In a letter to the Defence Minister on July 5, Chandrasekhar also urged the Centre to implement an expert committee’s recommendations on reduction of litigation and grievances redressal.

The committee had recommended immediate withdrawal of appeals filed by the ministry in service and pension cases affecting disabled soldiers and widows.

“The committee submitted its report in November 2015 with 75 recommendations and despite the then Defence Minister giving a go-ahead for their implementation in August 2016, no action has been taken till date,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

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“Despite then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s decision in January 2015 not to pursue nearly 4,000 disability pension cases pending in courts, new instructions were issued in April 2016 by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare under the ministry again to automatically file appeals in all cases pertaining to disability pensions and benefits,” Chandrasekhar wrote in his letter to the Defence Minister.

A Defence Ministry order dated June 29 had asked authorities to grant the disability pension as per Supreme Court orders in 2013 in the ‘Dharamvir Singh versus Union of India’ case.

The order said a member is presumed to be in sound mental and physical condition upon entering service, if there is no record at the time of entrance. In the event of subsequent discharge on medical ground or deterioration in health, it it presumed to be due to service.

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