Judgment on Discharge Under Army Rule: Union of India v. Rajpal Singh

In a significant ruling by the Supreme Court of India, the judgment on discharge under Army Rule has been delivered in the case of Union of India v. Rajpal Singh. The Court’s decision has far-reaching implications for military personnel facing medical unfitness issues. Stay tuned for more insights into this crucial legal development.


  • The appellant, who was enrolled in the Army as a Washerman on October 23, 1987, was discharged from service on medical grounds on August 31, 1993, due to ‘CNS (IN) Seizure.’
  • The appellant filed a statutory complaint on August 11, 2007, stating that no show-cause notice was given to him by the Commanding Officer who sanctioned his discharge under Rule 13(3) Item III (v) of the Army Rules, 1954.
  • The appellant’s option to serve in a sheltered appointment was declined in 2007, as no suitable appointment was available in the public interest, leading to his discharge under Army Order 46 of 1980.
  • The Tribunal found that the appellant was placed in permanent Low Medical Category BEE and had served only 5 years, 11 months, and 8 days before discharge on medical grounds.
  • The Classified Specialist imposed restrictions on the appellant, prohibiting activities like swimming, working near fire or moving machinery, and handling firearms to prevent seizure incidents.
  • The Tribunal determined that the appellant has been receiving disability pension at a rate of 20% for the past five years.
  • This decision likely indicates a previous ruling or assessment regarding the level of disability suffered by the appellant.
  • The duration of five years suggests a significant period over which the disability has been recognized and compensated for.

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  • The discharge of the appellant was under clause III(v) of Rule 13(3) of the Rules.
  • The argument of learned counsel for the respondents is that the question of subjecting the appellant to Invalidating Medical Board does not arise.

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  • Army Order No. 46 of 1980 is relevant
  • The case Union of India & Ors. v. Rajpal Singh was relied upon
  • The Court held that discharge on the ground of medical unfitness is acceptable
  • Discharge proceeded without reference to Invalidating Medical Board is not legally sustainable.
  • No reference to sub-clause (v) of Army Rule 13(3)(III) in the discharge order.
  • Clause (v) applicable to all other classes of discharge not mentioned in Rule 13(3)(III)(iii).
  • Communication of discharge due to placement in Low Medical Category.
  • Discharge on the ground of medical unfitness requires a specific procedure.
  • Recital of the provision not relevant in determining discharge under clause (v) or (iii).
  • Clause (iii) applicable when personnel found medically unfit, as in this case.
  • Order of discharge without Invalidating Board recommendation contrary to statutory rule.
  • Object, language, and purport of discharge determine if under (iii) or (v).
  • Clause (v) applicable as residual clause for other cases not covered by (iii).
  • Court confirmed discharge under clause (iii) for medical unfitness, not (v).

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  • Appellant entitled to pension in addition to disability pension for a period of five years.
  • No arrears of salary up to date of discharge due to no work no pay policy.
  • Entitled to arrears of pension for three years prior to filing Writ Petition No 61717 of 2007.
  • Entitled to be retained for ten years according to General Principles of Army Order 46 of 1980.
  • Deemed to be discharged on October 22, 1997, having joined service on October 23, 1987.


Case Number: C.A. No.-006977-006978 / 2019

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