The Armed Forces Tribunal today asked the government to pay equal war disability pension to personnel who retire at same rank irrespective of the pay commission under which they have left the service.
Hearing the plea filed by lieutenant colonel (retired) PK Kapur, Tribunal's Principal Bench headed by justice AK Mathur "struck down" the defence ministry circular issued in 2008 regarding war disability pension.
"Government is directed to give benefit of war disability pension without any distinction between pre and post 2006 retirees," the Tribunal said. It also asked the ministry to pay the difference in pension to Kapur with 12% interest from 2006.
As per the present policy, personnel who have retired after 2006 get more benefits under the war disability pension than those who have left service before it.
Following the tribunal verdict, all eligible retired personnel are likely to get the pension as per the sixth pay commission which came into effect from January 1, 2006.
In his plea, the retired officer had termed the new rate of war disability pension implemented after the sixth pay commission as "unconstitutional" as it gave more benefits to those who retired after it.
After joining the Sikh Light Infantry regiment of Army in early 60’s, Kapur suffered an injury during the India-Pakistan war in 1965 and was released from service in 1989 with 30% disability.