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Consider soldiers’ emotional needs: HC to Air Force

CHENNAI: Taking care of social and emotional needs of soldiers is indispensable to maintain morale and motivation, said the southern bench of the armed forces tribunal.
It directed the Indian Air Force to consider the application of a personnel who had requested for discharge on ‘extremely compassionate grounds,’ to take care of his ailing parents.
Sergeant Beylinedas Yesudas, 36, said he was enrolled in the force as airman, military transport driver trade in 1988. According to the terms of service, he had to serve for 20 years. His parents, both over 60, were suffering from chronic pulmonary disease. He also had a 92-year-old grandmother who was bedridden.
Being the only young member of the family, it was his moral responsibility to take care of his family. He had applied for discharge from duty thrice—in 2009, 2011 and 2013. When the pleas were rejected, he moved the tribunal.
In its counter, IAF said while the commanding officer (CO) was competent to recommend cases for discharge on compassionate grounds, the air headquarters was the final authority to grant it. It was provided on the merits of the application in a situation where the grant would not disrupt efficiency or “overall manning” of IAF. Yesudas had to serve the full tenure as “discharge could not be claimed as a matter of right,” it said.

The bench of judicial member V Periya Karuppiah and administrative member K Surendra Nath said according to rules, discharge could be granted in cases where continuation in service caused “material hardship to airmen or their dependents.”
The recommendations of CO, who was in close contact with the airmen, was vital for considering the plea for discharge. Yesudas had applied for discharge in 2009; despite not completing the minimum service period for receiving pension. The CO and the intermediate headquarters had been recommending his case which was, however, rejected by the central air headquarters. “By virtue of the recommendation of the commanding officers, we can infer the correctness of the reasons put forth,” said the bench, adding, “the request for premature discharge was genuine.” Despite “opportunities,” the air headquarters had failed to provide sound reasons like manning constraints, obligatory service period, specialised service or warlike situation.
Also, Yesudas had completed a major portion of his terms of engagement (16 years). Stating his discharge was “unlikely to affect the efficiency of the Air Force,” the bench directed IAF to consider his plea. 

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Consider-soldiers-emotional-needs-HC-to-Air-Force/articleshow/44843635.cms

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