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Apr 29, 2010

Retired govt officials can claim reimbursement – without joining CGHS

Judgement – Retired govt officials can claim reimbursement – without joining


Retired employees
entitled to
medical reimbursement – Delhi HC – Brief

Retired employees entitled to medical reimbursement – Even if not opted
for Medical Scheme: Court

Ruling that all government employees,
even those retired, are entitled for medical reimbursement, the Delhi High Court
Tuesday asked the Delhi government to pay the medical bills of a man who retired
from a government enterprise in 2002.

Justice Kailash Gambhir asked the government to pay the medical expenses of
Suraj Bhan and said: ‘The state has a constitutional obligation to bear the
medical expenses of government employees while in service and also after they
are retired. Clearly in the present case by taking a very inhuman approach,
these officials have denied the grant of medical reimbursement to the petitioner
forcing him to approach this court.’

Bhan had approached court seeking reimbursement of his medical bills.

In 2003, following a circular issued by the government, Bhan got enrolled for
the medical scheme and paid the premium on regular basis though he had retired a
year earlier. In 2007, a new scheme was introduced, but he was not aware of it.

Bhan was suffering from asthma and was under treatment at the Sir Ganga Ram
Hospital from July 3 to July 9, 2004. When he moved an application for
reimbursement of Rs.33,654 towards hospital bills it was rejected by the
employment officer as Bhan was not part of the 2007 scheme.

‘It is quite shocking that despite various directions from the courts, the
government in utter defiance of the law has taken a position that the pensioner
is not entitled to the grant of medical reimbursement since he did not opt to
become a member of the said health scheme after his retirement,’ the court said
and imposed a law suit cost of Rs.10,000 on the government.

The government said that since Bhan had not opted for the new scheme in 2007,
he was not entitled to reimbursement.

‘The scheme is prospective in nature and the same would be effective once an
employee becomes a member of the scheme and not otherwise,’ counsel for the
government said.

‘It is a settled legal position that a government employee during his life
time or after his retirement is entitled to get the benefit of medical
facilities and no fetters can be placed on his rights on the pretext that he has
not opted to become a member of the scheme or had paid the requisite
subscription after having undergone the operation or any other medical
treatment,’ the court said.


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