BY THE COURT (BHANWAROO KHAN,J.)
1. The applicant, Harisingh, initially filed S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.5961 of 2009 before the Rajasthan High Court Bench at Jaipur, for quashing the order Annexure/16 dated 9.12.2008 whereby the disability pension granted to the applicant was stopped. He has also prayed that the Medical Board held on 8.10.2008 at Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt may be declared as illegal.
2. The brief facts leading to this application are: that the applicant was enrolled in the Indian Army in the year 1960 and was placed in reserve liability in the year 1967. Thereafter, he was re-enrolled in the DSC in the year 1985 and was invalided out of service on 25.7.1991 without subjecting him to Invaliding/Release Medical Board. However, on his representation, he was subjected to Invaliding Medical Board on 2.5.1992, which recommended him for medical category âE with 100% disability but the applicant was granted 20% disability pension. In such circumstances, the applicant filed S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.5066 of 1993 before the Rajasthan High Court, Bench at Jaipur, which came to be decided on 26.8.2005 in the following terms:
âIn the result, this writ petition is partly allowed. Petitioner be deemed to be discharged from service from 02.05.92 when the invaliding medical Board made its recommendation, and the petitioner will be entitled for all consequential benefits upto date of decision of invaliding medical board and after the date of discharge from service i.e. 02/05/92, he will be entitled for disability pension in accordance with Army Pension Regulations and Army Rules with all consequential benefits and accordingly, withholding of disability pension from June 1997 under the order of respondents is hereby quashed and set aside. However, respondents will be free to hold resurvey medical board, if so required after due intimation to the petitioner in accordance with law.
All exercise to comply with aforesaid direction of this Court be made within three months. There shall be no order as to costs.
Thereafter, for non-compliance of the order dated 26.8.2005, the applicant filed S.B. Civil Contempt Petition No.600 of 2006 and in that contempt petition, learned counsel appearing for the non-applicants stated that disability pension to the extent of 50% has been paid to the petitioner, as ordered by the court, as such, the Honble Court observed that substantial compliance of the order dated 26.08.2005 has been made and nothing survives in the contempt petition.
3. Since vide order dated 26.08.2005, the Honble High Court ordered for holding Resurvey Medical Board of the applicant, the applicant was subjected to Resurvey Medical Board on 31.1.2006, which assessed the disability of the applicant at 20% for life. Thereafter, the applicant was again subjected to Resurvey Medical Board on 11.10.2008, which assessed his disability at less than 20%, as such, the disability element of the disability pension of the applicant was stopped with effect from 11.10.2008. Hence this application.
4. We have heard Mr. Ajay Gupta, the learned counsel for the applicant and Mr. Sanjay Pareek, the learned counsel for the non-applicants and have very carefully gone through the record of the case.
5. Learned counsel for the applicant pleaded that as per existing Rules and Regulations, an individual can only be subjected once to a Review Medical Board but in the instant case, the applicant was subjected twice to Review Medical Board firstly on 31.1.2006 and thereafter, secondly on 11.10.2008. He has further submitted that the first Review Medical Board assessed the disability of the applicant at 20% for life, as such, subjecting the applicant again to second Review Medical Board on 11.10.2008 is unjust and illegal and hence, the proceedings of the second Resurvey Medical Board held on 11.10.2008 cannot be sustained and thus, deserves to be set aside and quashed and as a result thereof, the order Annexure 16 dated 9.12.2008 stopping the disability element of the disability pension may also be set aside and quashed.
6. On the other hand, it has been argued by Mr. Sanjay Pareek, the learned counsel for the non-applicants that in the year 2008, the applicant was subjected to Resurvey Medical Board in compliance of the order Annexure R/4 dated 22.5.2008, which assessed his disability at less than 20%, as such, the disability element of his disability pension was rightly stopped vide order Annexure/16 dated 9.12.2008.
7. We have considered the rival submissions made at the bar.
8. In this case, the applicant was subjected to Resurvey Medical Board on 31.1.2006 in compliance of the order dated 26.08.2005 passed by the Honble High Court in S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.5066 of 1993, which assessed his disability at 20% for life. As per letter No.B/40122/MA(P) dated 20th July, 2006 of the Adjutant Generals Branch, Integrated HQ of Ministry of Defence (Army), in cases of disabilities which are not of a permanent nature, there will be only one review of the percentage by a Reassessment Medical Board (RAMB) to be carried out within a specified time frame and the percentage of disability assessed by the RAMB will be final and for life unless the individual himself asks for a review. In this case, initially the Invaliding Medical Board assessed the disability of the applicant at 100% and thereafter, in compliance of the order dated 26.08.2005 passed by the High Court, the Resurvey Medical Board assessed the disability of the applicant at 20% for life and the disability is of permanent nature, therefore, the applicant could not have been subjected to second Resurvey Medical Board in the year 2008. In this view of the matter, proceedings of Resurvey Medical Board held on 11.10.2008 as also the impugned order Annexure/16 dated 9.12.2008 cannot be sustained and thus, deserve to be set aside and quashed.
9. Resultantly, this application is allowed. The proceedings of Resurvey Medical Board held on 11.10.2008 as also the impugned order Annexure/16 dated 9.12.2008 are set aside and quashed. The non-applicants are directed to grant disability element of the disability pension to the applicant as per the Resurvey Medical Board held in the year 2006 assessing the applicants disability at 20% for life with effect from 11.10.2008, the date on which its payment was stopped. The arrears of the disability pension be paid to the applicant within a period of three months from today with interest at the rate of 8% per annum.
10. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs of this application.