The Court directed identification of less strenuous jobs for disabled jawans. It said: “The Home Ministry shall take a policy decision in this regard. They are to be rational and logical and frame uniform policies pertaining to rehabilitation and/or retention in service of all personnel serving under different central paramilitary forces.”
The ruling came following a petition by an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (I.T.B.P.) personnel Gajendra Prasad posted in Kashmir who suffered a peripheral vascular disease after a frost bite at minus 20 degrees Celsius in 2001. His right leg and left toe had to be amputated. I.T.B.P. first placed him under ‘low medical category’ and later, expelled him from service.
Prasad appeared in person before the Court and said: “It is injustice to throw me out of job. With an artificial leg I am in a position to work even as a constable dak (mails) and it is wrong to state that I cannot perform any duty.”
The bench, headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, was duly impressed. They said, “Let us confess that when he stood up in court on our request we saw him more smart in his turn out vis-à-vis other constables of paramilitary forces we see in Court.”
The bench also pointed out that another central paramilitary force, namely C.R.P.F. has a rule that no one shall be boarded out of service unless not found fit for “any job”. The bench praised C.R.P.F. for having a “benevolent policy”.
The bench then went on to tersely ask the Home Ministry as to what prevented them from having a “uniform policy” for all paramilitary forces vis-à-vis those jawans who became disabled while on duty.