Army pulled up for dealing `insensitively` with jawan`s widow

Pulling up the Army for showing "heartlessness and insensitivity in dealing with the widow of a fully-disabled soldier, the Armed Forces Tribunal asked the service to pay Rs one lakh and enhanced pension to the jawan`s family.

Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 00:56 AM IST

New Delhi: Pulling up the Army for
showing "heartlessness and insensitivity in dealing with the
widow of a fully-disabled soldier, the Armed Forces Tribunal
today asked the service to pay Rs one lakh and enhanced
pension to the jawan`s family.

Sepoy Yatender Singh had suffered injuries due to a
land-mine blast during Operation Parakram and had lost his
eyes and hands and was undergoing treatment in the Army
hospital here in 2004.

Taking serious note of the treatment meted out to the
soldier and his family after his death, Tribunal chairperson
Justice A K Mathur said, "It speaks volume for heartlessness
and insensitivity."

He said that when the person had become a virtually
living dead body and was just surviving, he should have been
given a facility of an attendant to take him to the Army
Hospital but "instead of this they left him dying and
missing".

Terming the handling of the issue by the Army as
"unfortunate", the Bench ordered it "to release immediately
liberalised family pension to the wife of the deceased soldier
from the date he was found missing."

It also asked the Army to pay a sum of Rs one lakh to
the widow and said "the entire pensionary benefits should be
worked out and paid to the widow of deceased with 12 per cent
interest".

-PTI

Despite the soldier virtually becoming a "living dead
body" after the injuries, he was sent alone by his commanding
officer in a roadways bus to his house in Haryana and not
provided any attendant.

While returning to his unit, the jawan went missing
and never reported to either his home or unit and was declared
a deserter by the Army.

His family was also given only the ordinary family
pension and not the liberalised pension for the families of
personnel injured in war.

After her plea for increased pension was rejected by
the authorities, his wife Geeta Devi filed a plea urging the
Tribunal to direct the Army to grant her war injury pension
along with arrears from the date her husband went missing and
was presumed dead.