Satyanand Singh vs Union Of India 2024 INSC 236 – HIV Aids – Army Service

Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 – despite the enactment of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017, and the slew of awareness measures taken by Governments in recent times, the stigma and discrimination which lamentably accompanies an HIV+ve diagnosis is still an illness that afflicts the minds of society today.

Summary: Allowing appeal against AFT order that rejected the appellant’s prayer seeking reference of his diagnosis as AIDS inflicted, to a fresh Medical Board , SC observed: In view of the extreme mental agony thus undergone by the appellant, in not only facing the apathetic attitude of the respondents 2 to 4 but in facing 16 the concomitant social stigma and the looming large death scare that accompanied such a discharge from the armed forces, we deem it fit to award a lumpsum compensation of Rs.50,00,000/- (Rupees fifty lakh only) towards compensation on account of wrongful termination of services, leave encashment dues, non-reimbursement of medical expenses and the social stigma faced, to be paid by the respondents 2 – 4 to the appellant within eight weeks from the date of this judgment without fail. In addition to the above, the appellant shall be entitled to pension in accordance with law as if he had continued in service as Havaldar and on completion of the required years of service retired as such, without being invalided. We make it clear that since the appellant had not continued in service beyond 26th December, 2001 and there was no occasion to assess his performance for securing a promotion, he shall not be entitled to raise any plea in relation thereto. However, in computing the quantum of pension payable to the appellant, the respondents shall take into account allowances / increments that the appellant would have been entitled to, had he continued in service till the date of his retirement as Havaldar.

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