The Defence Ministry has spent Rs 7.85 crore in legal proceeds against military personnel in the Supreme Court, Hight Courts and Armed Forced Tribunals between 2013 and July 2018, The Hindu has reported.
The information was acquired through an RTI plea as the Defence ministry is looking into the matter of taxing disability pensions for the personnel. The Supreme Court has also reportedly pulled up the ministry for engaging in excessive litigation.
Among the forces, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has spent the most, Rs 7 crore on 2,683 cases while the the Navy and Army have spent Rs 69 lakh and Rs 11.5 lakh respectively.
The ministry has been reducing the number of its pending litigations in the courts with 60 cases having been withdrawn in the Supreme Court last year. 17 of the cases were related to disability pensions, the report says.
A Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) circular related to tax exemption for disability pension shared by the Army’s Additional Director-General of Public Information (ADG-PI) handle on Twitter had earlier led to raised eyebrows.
“Such tax exemption will be available only to armed forces personnel who have been invalidated from service on account of bodily disability attributable to or aggravated by such service and not to personnel who have been retired on superannuation or otherwise” the circular read.
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