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HC asks Army to consider war veteran’s disability pension plea

The Bombay High Court directed Army authorities to consider within two weeks a representation made by a 68-year-old war veteran seeking disability pension.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a petition filed by Hindurao Ingale seeking direction to Army to give him disability pension and Maharashtra government to allot him land as prescribed in its resolutions.

Ingale, a resident of Satara, claims to have participated in the Indo-Pak war of 1971 during which he sustained severe injuries which left him handicapped.

“Despite suffering injuries, the petitioner continued to serve till 1975. However, the petitioner was denied the benefit of disability pension after it was recorded in the discharge book that he was discharged from the Army at his own request,” the petition claims.

The petition further adds that according to the Pension Regulations of the Army, those Army men who are discharged from service on account of a disability which is attributed to aggravated military service, they are entitled to get disability pension.

Advocate V P Patil, appearing for Ingale, argued that he could not approach the Armed Forces Tribunal as the seat in Mumbai was vacant, thus he was forced to move the High Court.

Counsel for Army agreed with the fact of the seat being vacant and added that an application to decide on pension can be made to the principal bench of the tribunal in Delhi.

The High Court, however, observed that the petitioner at this age cannot travel to Delhi and hence the Army will have to decide his representation here itself.

The court directed the Army to consider Ingale’s petition as a representation and take a decision within two weeks. The Army will have to file a compliance report before the High Court on May 7.

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