50 years on, Punjab and Haryana High Court holds Air Force official’s discharge illegal; orders release of pension : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

50 years on, Punjab and Haryana High Court holds Air Force official’s discharge illegal; orders release of pension

The Bench of Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma and Justice Sudeepti Sharma also held the order of his discharge to be against the rules

50 years on, Punjab and Haryana High Court holds Air Force official’s discharge illegal; orders release of pension

The matter was brought to the Bench’s notice after Ex Sgt Gopi Ram filed a petition challenging his discharge from the air force prematurely. Tribune file



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, May 25

More than 50 years after a decorated ex-Air Force personnel was discharged after nine years of service and participation in two wars, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held the discharge to be illegal before making it clear than an order depriving him of pension could not have been passed.

The Bench of Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma and Justice Sudeepti Sharma also held the order of his discharge to be against the rules before directing the Union of India to release his pension after “considering him to have served the air force on sergeant’s post up to the age of 58”.

The matter was brought to the Bench’s notice after Ex Sgt Gopi Ram filed a petition challenging his discharge from the air force prematurely. Among other things, the petitioner contended that he would have served up to 58 years had he not been discharged illegally. As such, he would have been entitled to regular pension.

The Bench, during the course of hearing, was told that the petitioner actively participated in two Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 before being awarded medals, including the Raksha Medal.

He completed nine years of service in December 1971 before being retained in service, but was discharged without any reason in March 1972.

Taking up the matter, the Bench observed the petitioner’s services were admittedly extended after nine years for 93 days. The sanction for extension was granted the same day decision was taken to discharge him.

Referring to the ‘Air Force Instructions’, the Bench asserted an extension once granted would be for six-year duration, extending until the individual completed 15 years of service. There was no provision for a standalone service extension for 93 days.

“This court also noticed that the petitioner completed nine years of service on December 26, 1971, when the 1971 war was in force and it appears that only after the Emergency was lifted that the petitioner has been discharged in 1972. In the opinion of this court, orders could not have been passed to the detriment and disadvantage of a defence personnel in a manner that he is deprived of his pension,” the Bench observed.

The petitioner was also held entitled to the benefit of complete 15 years of service for pension purpose alone, considering that he had already attained the sergeant’s rank and no justification had been provided in the order for his discharge after serving for over nine years.

“His discharge order having been quashed, he would be entitled to full pension on completion of his full service on attaining the age of 58 years,” the Bench added.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


Top News

People want substance, not slogans, drama: PM to Opposition

People want substance, not slogans, drama: PM Narendra Modi to Opposition

Bitter start to LS session | NDA, Opposition trade barbs ove...


Cities

View All