2 Jan

In a landmark judgment, the Himachal Pradesh High Court Wednesday directed the central government to provide full medical benefits, including reimbursements of medical emergencies, to employees post-retirement.

 In the case of Union of India versus Shri Shankar Lal Sharma in CWP 4621 of 2011 the Division Bench of the High Court of Shimla has delivered a Judgement on 28-12-2015. The Court has directed the Central Government to ask the employees at the time of their retirement if they want to be covered under the Central Services (Medical) Attendance Rules or the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). The Court made it clear that the judgement was applicable to all retired government officials residing in non-CGHS areas. The Court observed that “There cannot be any discrimination while extending the social benefits to serving and retired employees.

 Using the legal maxim Salus populi suprema lex esto, the bench said “the health of the people should be supreme law.” The order further reads: “A serving employee, who enjoys benefits under the CS(MA) Rules, 1944, cannot be left high and dry immediately after retirement for want of medical care. His medical issues are required to be looked into with more sensitivity, compassion and sympathy. His genuine requirements for medical treatment cannot be permitted to be buried in the labyrinth of red tapism.

 The court has held that it was the prime responsibility of the state to protect the health and vigour of retired government officials, this being their fundamental right under Article 21, read with Articles 39(3), 41, 43, 48-A of the Constitution.

 Copy of the Judgement:  High Court of HP Simpla –  CWP 4621 of 2011