- 3 military docs face court martial
Three senior military doctors, including an Air Commodore, could face a court martial over what the Armed Forces Tribunal has found to be “callous manner, inhuman approach and failure of performance of duty” while handling the case of a jawan who had suffered 100 per cent disability in the line of duty. In a scathing order, the tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the doctors and ordered disciplinary action against them.Havildar Moharsingh of Rajasthan had received multiple injuries on head and other parts of the body while travelling in an Army truck during Operation Falcon near Tawang in February 2002. After a six-month hospital stay in Pune, Command Hospital, Lucknow, suggested that he be invalided out.The invaliding medical board assessed his disability of motor neuron disease as 80 per cent for life and attributed it to military service. His case was forwarded to the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), which rejected his claim for disability pension on the grounds that it was constitutional in nature and not related to military service.Moharsingh went for an appeal medical board (AMB), which described the percentage of his disability as nil and held that the disability suffered by him was not attributable to or aggravated by military service. Thereafter, he sought judicial redressal to his grievances.The tribunal summoned the petitioner and looking at his pathetic condition wherein he was brought in on a stretcher, it ordered the Commandant of the Military Hospital, Jaipur, to medically examine him.The medical board held last month assessed his disability as 100 per cent and attributed it to military service. The medical expert opined that Moharsingh was suffering from a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder with no specific treatment.Observing that the report of the AMB, comprising Air Commodore DP Joshi, Col SB Singh and Lt Col Shobana Das, was not only contrary to that of two other boards, but also did not mention the reasons for assessing disability as nil, the Tribunal held that AMB was grossly incorrect and deserved to be deprecated.“We direct that these three officers be subjected to disciplinary action under the Army Act. It is expected that necessary action against them shall be taken at the earliest and the result thereof be intimated to the Tribunal,” the Bench ordered while imposing costs of Rs 1 lakh to be paid to the petitioner by the government to be recovered from the salaries of the AMB members.The incident reflects inhuman treatment that had crossed all boundaries of humanity by superior Armed Forces medical officers, whose actions resulted into injustice and restrained the authorities to grant disability pension to the petitioner, the tribunal observed.
With Warm Regards
Col CJS Khera
Ex.SERVICEMEN JOINT ACTION FRONT (Sanjha Morcha)