HC directs relief for CRPF jawan injured in 1989 terror attack

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NEW DELHI: 29 years after a CRPF jawan suffered serious injuries in a terrorist ambush, the Delhi high court has directed the Centre to grant him due financial upgrade benefits.

The court said the constable has been “unjustifiably deprived” of financial benefits to which he was entitled after being granted relaxation in the medical standards according to the policies of the ministry of home affairs and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Rekha Palli quashed and set aside the government’s June 2003 and December 2005 orders by which it had rejected the jawan’s claim for grant of benefits under the assured career progression (ACP) scheme.

“The official is held entitled to receive the first financial upgradation from the due date i.e. August 9, 1999 and the second financial upgradation under the ACP scheme from January 24, 2005, when he had completed 24 years of services,” the bench said while allowing his petition.

It, however, said that keeping in view the delay on the part of the official in approaching the court for relief, he will be granted only notional fitness in the scales and the arrears payable on the upgrades would be given only for three years prior to the date of filing of petition in 2016.

The man had approached the high court for grant of first and second financial upgrades under the ACP scheme from the due dates, by treating him to be in the appropriate medical category after grant of relaxation according to the policies.

He was appointed as a constable (GD) in the CRPF on January 24, 1981, and was re-mustered as a constable (driver) in 1984.

On July 26, 1989, while posted in the 72nd battalion at Tarn Taran in Punjab, he became a victim of an ambush attack by terrorists, when he was driving a government vehicle carrying troops.

The man said in his plea that in the attack, he suffered bullet injuries in his left eye, right arm and chest and a court of inquiry was held to enquire into the circumstances relating to the attack.

The court of inquiry came to the conclusion that the injuries sustained by the official were attributable to government service.

When the man approached the authorities seeking grant of financial upgrade under the ACP scheme, his request was turned down and he was informed that he did not fulfil the criteria as he had not undergone the pre-promotional course and was not under the required medical category.

He relied on a September 2000 government policy by which those personnel who have been placed in a low medical category due to injuries/ wounds suffered while fighting against the enemy/ militants or in accidents while on active duty, will be entitled to relaxation in medical category in certain cases.

The authorities government, however, opposed his claim on the ground that since he was in a low medical category and had admittedly not undergone a pre-promotional course, he did not fulfil the promotional norms which were mandatory for grant of financial upgrade under the ACP scheme.

The bench, however, said it was of the view that the official was entitled to get relaxation in respect of the requirement of medical category for grant of benefits under the ACP scheme.

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