Disability among soldiers is again in debate.
Govt says many soldiers are feigning disabilities so all shall be taxed? Mass punishment for all? And it is done by those politicians who don’t pay tax on their salaries as peoples representative and draw multiple pensions.
But can soldiers feign disability? No. Disability of a soldier is decided by the medical board of expert military doctors. It is only on recommendation of medical board, disability of a soldier is fixed.
Then why to punish soldiers? If govt says there are too many disabled soldiers? Then there is reason to investigate cause? Are Indian soldiers being exposed to constant stress and prolonged risky situations which are beyond limit of human tolerance? In USA studies have shown, that soldiers if exposed for more than 6 months in one spell to risks of counter terror operations are most likely to develop disabilities. Indian soldiers are exposed to such risks up to 2 years in one spell. In India soldiers are not even medically tested for PTSD as done in USA or most advanced armies. Whereas visibly many suffer.
Instead of investigating causes of such rise in disabilities and taking remedial measures, can govt punish soldiers by taxing an income which is being paid to soldiers as compensation for injuries caused in service of nation? It defies all concepts and laws of taxation and can not sustain legal argument in court.
Well if doctors are involved in making fit soldiers disabled then it is a crime and actions must be taken against such doctors after due investigations. How can soldiers be punished for the crimes of doctors?
Let us not forget after 71 war, govt has committed soldiers in few war like missions violating spirit of constitution. Constitution empowers govt to use military in war or war like missions only if emergency on grounds of threat to national defense is declared and military leaders are empowered and operations protected by laws like Defense of India act. Laws like AFSPA only have time limits of 6 months and need to be re-applied again and again. Indian army is fighting counter terror operations for last 30 years and more, continuously under no legal backing like on LOC or temporary and incomplete laws like AFSPA in CI Operations.
Govt has still not formed special courts as required under Disturbed Areas Special Court Act 1976 to punish terrorists and wants to punish soldiers to have become disabled while serving nation?
Un-favorable legal situation thus created, puts soldiers under more stress. Use of military in war like missions on LOC have no legal backing and amounts to violation of constitutional provisions. No govt or professional military leaders shall expose troops like this without backing of laws. Naturally then, we have situations like this where govt manages wars under some illegal administrative policies sidelining military leaders and soldiers suffer.
A situation is thus created wherein for every wrong administrative decision, soldiers are being forced to go to court. Soldiers are not only required to fight enemies of nation but own govt in courts over wrong administrative policies. Worst top military leadership is a silent spectator and just nodding heads.
This survey is being conducted to map mood of soldiers, military families, citizen soldiers and citizens on issues of an illegal administrative action of govt to tax soldiers on their disabilities caused in service of the nation.
Comments from readers within limits of maintaining decorum, are invited.
Govt recently imposed tax on disability pension of those soldiers who do not get boarded out ( forced to leave job due to serious disability). India is a country where politicians take multiple pensions and don't pay tax on their income as PMs and MLA's but they want to tax soldiers who receive disabilities due to their nature of risky jobs. The subject matter has triggered debate. Do you agree with the decision of the govt?