The alleged discrimination in disability pension on the basis of an armyman’s rank today came under the judicial scanner. Acting on a petition filed by an ex-serviceman contending that the disability element was higher for an officer and lower for a soldier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today put the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) on notice.In his petition placed before the Bench of Justice PB Bajanthri, petitioner Harbhal Singh contended that the discrimination was unlawful as “the value of an arm or a leg or foot is the same for all men”.Challenging the existing Disability Pension Policy and a circular for implementing the One Rank, One Pension scheme, Harbhal’s counsel Simranjeet Singh said the disability element was calculated on the basis of the years of service in the Army in comparison with the person’s rank.However, the disability pension was calculated on the basis of the last emolument received by an ex-serviceman. This emolument depended on the rank and years of service. Therefore, the disability element was higher for an officer, he added.The counsel contended that the petitioner was selected in the Punjab Police in 1993. However, he decided to join the Army because of his patriotic feelings. He was injured in a blast in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir and had to undergo eight operations.
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