The government has decided to remove existing “anomalies” and come out with a specific percentage-based system for granting disability pensions to Army, Navy and Air Force personnel sustaining injuries in the line of duty. The decision has been taken in view of the long-standing demand of the armed forces that the current system of determining disability pension needs an overhaul. Official sources said the government has finalised a new slab-based system which is aimed at addressing most of the concerns of the armed forces that is expected to reduce litigation against the government.
Under the existing mechanism, 30 per cent of the last salary minus the dearness allowance is given as disability pension to those sustaining 100 per cent disability. The pension amount reduces depending on specific percentage of the injury and sources said the affected personnel often take legal recourse, alleging discrepancies in determining quantum of injury.
As per the new slab-based system, security personnel with 20-50 per cent disability will be considered 50 per cent disabled while those with 50-75 per cent bracket will come under the 75 per cent disabled category. Any personnel with more than 75 per cent disability will be considered 100 per cent disabled.
So all the eligible disability pensioners will be considered under three broad categories and accordingly pensions will be determined. “It will be a robust system and will address long-pending grievances of the armed forces,” a senior official said. Explaining the new system, he said, “Any person with 50 per cent disability will get half of the total pension being given to a person with 100 per cent disability under existing mechanism.”
The government had started giving disability pension with effect from January 1, 2006 to those who had taken pre-mature retirement due to injuries sustained in line of duty. The changes being introduced to calculate disability pension are based on recommendation of a committee headed by former Adjutant General of the Army, Lt Gen (retd) Mukesh Sabharwal. The mandate of the committee was to suggest remedial measures to reduce litigations and disputes in various courts relating to disability pension.