Indian Army

Soldiers’ ‘invalid pension’ clause forces Ministry of Defence to re-examine order

The “mischievous and unauthorised” addition of a few words in an order issued on July 16, which could restrict the scope of ‘invalid pension’ to disabled soldiers, has caught the defence ministry (MoD) in an embarrassing bind.

The MoD had announced that ‘invalid pension’ would now also be given to those military personnel boarded out before completing their 10 years of qualifying service due to disability that was “neither attributable to, nor aggravated by military service (NANA)”.

This was in accordance with the original government notification issued by the department of pensions and pensioners’ welfare in February 2019, on prodding by the Supreme Court, for all government servants. The crucial line was physical or mental infirmity which “permanently incapacitates him (or her) for service” before completing 10 years.

But the order by MoD’s department of ex-servicemen welfare (DESW) said the benefit shall be granted for a disability which “incapacitates them from military service as well as civil re-employment”.

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