whether the respondent is entitled to service element of disability pension from the date of discharge.? yes the applicant was discharged on 30th June, 1978 after completion of 10 years and 169 days of service. He was in low medical category since 1970. He was granted disability pension @50% on account of suffering from Viral Myocarditis post discharge, but the applicant was denied the benefit of service element of disability pension. It is the denial of this service element which led the applicant to invoke the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. – the objection is that applicant is not entitled to service element of disability pension as he was released on expiry of engagement before completion of pensionable qualifying service of 15 years and was not invalided out of service on account of disability, though he has been paid service gratuity and death-cum-retirement gratuity. – The learned Tribunal relied upon Regulation 101 of Navy (Pension) Regulations, 19643 to hold that since applicant has been invalided from service on account of disability, therefore, he is entitled to full disability pension including the service element. The reliance was also placed upon Regulation 107 of the Regulations which contemplates that where the individual has not rendered sufficient service to qualify for service pension, the personnel will be entitled to proportion of the minimum service pension appropriate to the individual’s ranks and group. It is the said order passed by the Tribunal which is the subject matter of challenge in the present appeals. -Apex court held that In the present case, we are concerned with the situation where the individual has completed his period of engagement in the low 8 medical category but not the qualifying service for pension in terms of Regulation 78 of the Regulations. The question is whether the applicant is entitled to service element of disability pension corresponding to the number of years he has put in the service of Navy.- The quantification of disability pension in the cases of an individual, who has not completed qualification service is dealt with in Regulation 107. Sub-clause (a) of Clause (1) of Regulation 107 deals with the situation where the individual has rendered sufficient service to qualify for a service pension i.e. 15 years of service in terms of Regulation 78. However, sub-clause (b) comes into play where the individual has not rendered sufficient service to qualify for service pension. In cases where the disability was suffered while flying or parachute jumping, the minimum service pension is appropriate to his rank and group but in all other cases, the service pension is restricted to minimum of two-thirds of the minimum service pension. For such reason, the disability element would be in addition to the service pension by cumulative reading of Regulation 78, Regulation 105B and Regulation 107 of the Regulations. The service pension is to be assessed on the basis of the minimum service pension laid down for an able individual of the same group in Regulation 107 of the Regulations. Learned counsel for the appellants refers to an order passed by this Court in Bhola Singh v. Union of India & Ors. We find that this Court has not referred to Regulation 105B as well as Regulation 107 of the Regulations to maintain an order of the High Court to deny service element of pension to an individual who has completed the initial fixed period of 10 years. Since the appeal has been decided without any reference to statutory regulations, we find that the reliance of the appellants on the said order is not helpful to the arguments advanced. We find that the reliance on the judgment of this court T.S. Das is not tenable for the reason that it was not the case of grant of disability pension. It was the case of grant of special pension. In view of the above, we find no merit in the present appeals, the same are dismissed. The appellants shall pay the arrears of service element preferably within a period of four months from today in terms of directions issued by the Tribunal

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 4714-4715 OF 2012
UNION OF INDIA & ORS. …..APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
V.R. NANUKUTTAN NAIR …..RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
HEMANT GUPTA, J.
1) The challenge in the present appeals is to the orders passed by the
Armed Forces Tribunal, Regional Bench, Kochi1
on 26th October,
2010 and April 12, 2011 holding that the respondent2
is entitled to
service element of disability pension from the date of discharge.
2) The facts in brief are that the applicant was discharged on 30th
June, 1978 after completion of 10 years and 169 days of service.
He was in low medical category since 1970. He was granted
disability pension @50% on account of suffering from Viral
Myocarditis post discharge, but the applicant was denied the
benefit of service element of disability pension. It is the denial of
this service element which led the applicant to invoke the
1 for short, ‘Tribunal’
2 hereinafter referred to as the ‘applicant’
1
jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
3) The stand of the appellants before the Tribunal was that the
applicant is not entitled to service element of disability pension as
he was released on expiry of engagement before completion of
pensionable qualifying service of 15 years and was not invalided
out of service on account of disability, though he has been paid
service gratuity and death-cum-retirement gratuity.
4) The learned Tribunal relied upon Regulation 101 of Navy (Pension)
Regulations, 19643
to hold that since applicant has been invalided
from service on account of disability, therefore, he is entitled to full
disability pension including the service element. The reliance was
also placed upon Regulation 107 of the Regulations which
contemplates that where the individual has not rendered sufficient
service to qualify for service pension, the personnel will be entitled
to proportion of the minimum service pension appropriate to the
individual’s ranks and group. It is the said order passed by the
Tribunal which is the subject matter of challenge in the present
appeals.
5) Ms. Divan, learned Additional Solicitor General for the appellants
argued that the applicant was not boarded out of service on
account of disability but on account of completion of the
engagement. The learned ASG traced the history of the grant of
disability pension. It is submitted that disability pension was
3 for short, ‘Regulations’
2
initially granted when a member of the Armed Forces could not be
retained in the Force on account of disability, attributed to or
aggravated by military service. Such course was creating hardship
to the personnel boarded out on account of injury suffered due to
military service. Therefore, the concept of disability pension was
introduced. The disability pension has two components i.e. service
element and the disability element. The disability element is
related to disability whereas; the service element is to be granted
as per the rules and regulations applicable. The qualification
service for earning pension is 15 years; therefore, an individual
who has not rendered 15 years of qualifying service and was not
boarded out on account of disability is not entitled to service
element of pension.
6) It is argued that Regulation 105B of the Regulations would be
applicable if an individual is not invalided out of service on account
of disability and has not opted for continuation in the Armed
Forces. The said Regulation provides that on completion of period
of engagement, apart from service pension admissible which is on
completion of 15 years of service, a disability element is also
granted.
7) It is argued that initially, the Regulations contemplated 10 years of
engagement with another 10 years as reservist. Therefore, an
individual would not be entitled to pension merely upon completion
of 10 years of active service but would become entitled to service
3
pension upon completion of 15 years of service including 5 years
as reservist. It is argued that such situation has undergone change
when on 3rd July, 1976, the Government of India contemplated 10
years as initial period of engagement, with the option of reengagement of the existing sailors on completion of 10 years of
engagement. It is argued that the period of engagement in case of
the applicant was 10 years approximately, therefore, he has not
completed the qualifying service of 15 years in terms of Regulation
78 of the Regulations. Thus, he is not entitled to service element as
the same is payable only after completion of 15 years other than to
an individual who is boarded out from service on account of
disability. The reliance is placed upon a judgment of this Court
reported as T.S. Das & Ors. v. Union of India & Anr.
4 wherein,
the Court held as under:
“29. As aforesaid, on introducing the new policy on 3-7-
1976, the Fleet Reserve was discontinued and instead the
Sailors in service at the relevant time were given an
option to continue in active service for a further term of 5
years. Some of the Sailors opted to continue till
completion of 15 years, who, then became eligible for
“service pension” having qualifying service.

  1. The quintessence for grant of reservist pension, as
    per Regulation 92, is completion of the prescribed Naval
    and Reserve qualifying service of 10 years “each”. Merely
    upon completion of 10 years of active service as a Sailor
    or for that matter continued beyond that period, but
    falling short of 15 years or qualifying Reserve Service, the
    Sailor concerned cannot claim benefit under Regulation 92
    for grant of reservist pension. For, to qualify for the
    reservist pension, he must be drafted to the Fleet Reserve
    Service for a period of 10 years. In terms of Regulation 6
    4 (2017) 4 SCC 218
    4
    of the Indian Fleet Reserve Regulations, there can be no
    claim to join the Fleet Reserve as a matter of right. None
    of the applicants were drafted to the Fleet Reserve Service
    after completion of their active service. Hence, the
    applicants before the Tribunal, could not have claimed the
    relief of reservist pension. …”
    8) On the other hand, learned counsel for the applicant supported the
    order of the Tribunal to contend that Regulation 105B of the
    Regulations was introduced to clarify that the benefit of disability
    element who has completed the period of engagement shall be in
    addition to the service pension. The provision was to grant benefit
    and not to deny the benefit of the service element. It was inserted
    to avoid payment of service element twice i.e. as part of disability
    pension and again as service pension. In respect of an individual
    who has either been invalided out of service or has completed less
    than 15 years of qualifying service for pension, the disability
    pension including service element is computable and payable in
    terms of Regulation 107 of the Regulations. Such Regulation deals
    with an individual who has not rendered sufficient service to qualify
    for service pension. The service element is granted in proportion
    to the minimum service pension appropriate to an individual’s rank
    and group, in which the number of his completed years of
    qualifying service bears to 15, but in no case less than two-thirds of
    the minimum service pension. Such Regulation would be rendered
    otiose, if the argument of the appellants is to be accepted.
    9) The relevant clauses from the pension Regulation read as under:
    5
    “78. Minimum qualifying service for pension. – Unless
    otherwise provided, the minimum service which qualifies
    for service pension is fifteen years.
    xx xx xx
  2. Conditions for the grant of disability pension. – Unless
    otherwise specifically provided, a disability pension may
    be granted to a person who is invalided from service on
    account of a disability which is attributable to or
    aggravated by service and is assessed at twenty per cent,
    or over.
    101A. Individuals discharged on account of their being
    permanently in low medical category. – Individuals who
    are placed in a lower medical category (other than ‘E’)
    permanently and who are discharged because no
    alternative employment suitable to their low medical
    category could be provided shall be deemed to have been
    invalided from service for the purpose of the Rules laid
    down in Appendix V of these Regulations.
    101B. Reservists discharged on account of being placed in
    a low medical category. – (1) A reservist who is placed
    permanently in a lower medical category (other than ‘E’)
    and is discharged from the Fleet Reserve on that account
    will be deemed to have been invalided out of service for
    the purpose of the rules laid down in Appendix ‘V’ of these
    regulations.
    (2) An individual who is found to be ineligible for the grant
    of disability pension shall be paid service gratuity as
    admissible under regulation 89.
    xx xx xx
    105B. Disability at the time of discharge. – (1) A sailor,
    who is discharged from service after he has completed the
    period of his engagement and is, at the time of discharge
    found to be suffering from a disability attributable to or
    aggravated by naval service may at the discretion of the
    competent authority be granted in addition to the service
    pension admissible, a disability element as if he has been
    discharged on account of that disability.
    xx xx xx
    6
    (3) The provisions in sub-regulations (1) and (2) shall also
    apply to sailors discharged from service on completion of
    the period of their engagement and who have earned only
    a service gratuity.
    xx xx xx
  3. Amount of disability pension. – In cases where the
    accepted degree of disablement is twenty per cent, or
    over, the monthly rates of disability pension consisting of
    service and disability elements, shall be as follows,
    namely:
    (1) Service element
    (a) Where the individual has
    rendered sufficient service to
    qualify for a service pension.
    Service pension admissible
    in accordance with his
    rank and group last held,
    and length of service.
    (b) Where the individual has not
    rendered sufficient service to
    qualify for service pension.
    (i) If the disability was
    sustained while on flying
    or parachute jumping duty
    in an aircraft or while
    being carried on duty in an
    aircraft under proper
    authority, the minimum
    service pension
    appropriate to his rank
    and group.
    (ii) In all other cases, that
    proportion of the minimum
    service pension
    appropriate to the
    individual’s rank and
    group which the number of
    his completed years of
    qualifying service bears to
    fifteen but in no case less
    than two-thirds of the
    minimum service pension.
    Provided that for the purpose of this clause, service
    rendered before the age of seventeen years shall be
    treated as qualifying service.
    Explanation. – The service element shall be assessed –
    (i) in the case of ordinary seaman or equivalent, on the
    basis of the minimum service pension laid down for able
    seaman or equivalent of the same group.
    7
    xx xx xx
    Appendix V – Nature, Assessment and Attributability of
    Disability and Entitlement to Disability Pension.
  4. xx xx xx
  5. Invalidment from service is a necessary condition for
    the grant of disability pension. An individual who at the
    time of his release under the Release Regulations is in a
    lower medical category than that in which he was
    recruited will be treated as invalided from service. Sailors
    who are placed permanently in a medical category other
    than ‘A’ and are discharged because no alternative
    employment suitable to their low medical category can be
    provided as well as those who having been retained in
    alternative employment but are discharged before the
    completion of their engagement will be deemed to have
    bene invalided out of service.”
    10) We have heard learned counsel for the parties and find no merit in
    the present appeals.
    11) The disability pension has two elements: disability element and the
    service element. The disability element is in relation to the extent
    of disability suffered by an individual whereas the service element
    is to be granted keeping in view of rules and regulations. Service
    pension and service element are synonymous. The expression
    service element is used in the case of payment of disability pension
    whereas, service pension is used for the pension payable on
    account of services rendered.
    12) In the present case, we are concerned with the situation where the
    individual has completed his period of engagement in the low
    8
    medical category but not the qualifying service for pension in terms
    of Regulation 78 of the Regulations. The question is whether the
    applicant is entitled to service element of disability pension
    corresponding to the number of years he has put in the service of
    Navy.
    13) We do not find any merit in the argument that as per Clause (1) of
    Regulation 105B, the service element is admissible only if the
    following conditions are satisfied:
    (i) That discharge was on account of disability attributable to or
    aggravated by Naval Service.
    (ii) The individual is entitled to service pension only on completion
    of 15 years of service in terms of Regulation 78.
    14) In terms of Regulation 101A of the Regulations, an individual who is
    placed in lower medical category and is discharged because no
    alternative employment suitable to his low medical category and
    an individual who at the time of his release under the Release
    Regulations is in a lower medical category than that in which he
    was recruited will be treated as invalided from service in terms of
    Clause 2 of Appendix V of the Regulations. Therefore, in terms of
    such Regulations, individuals who are invalided out of service on
    account of disability for the reason that no alternative employment
    suitable to their low medical category or an individual who at the
    time of his release under the Release Regulations is in a lower
    medical category, are entitled to disability pension.
    9
    15) Clause 1 and 2 of Regulation 105B are applicable to sailors who are
    discharged from service on completion of the period of
    engagement and who have earned only a service gratuity in terms
    of Clause (3) of the said Regulation. Clause 1 pertain to the grant
    of service pension in addition to the disability element. Therefore,
    in terms of Clause 3, service element would be payable to an
    individual who has been paid service gratuity.
    16) We find that the purpose of the Regulation 105B is to exclude dual
    payment of the service element of disability pension, when an
    individual is entitled to service pension as well. In the absence of
    such Regulation, an individual would be entitled to disability
    pension including the service pension. Therefore, the service
    element cannot be granted again as part of disability pension. It is
    to avoid the payment of service element twice over. The
    Regulation 105B has not used the expression ‘on completion of
    qualifying service’. The interpretation as argued by the learned
    ASG leads to addition of words in Regulation 105B which is not
    permissible as the Regulations have to be interpreted harmoniously
    and not by adding words to the Regulations. A person who has
    completed the period of engagement is entitled to disability
    element apart from service pension. The expression ‘service
    pension’ admissible is not restricted to the qualifying service
    provided under Regulation 78. It is not for the Courts to remedy the
    defect in the Statute. The reference may be made to an early
    10
    judgment of this Court reported as Nalinakhya Bysack v. Shyam
    Sunder Haldar
    5
    , wherein it was held as under:-
    “9. …It must always be borne in mind, as said by Lord
    Halsbury in Commissioner for Special Purposes of Income
    Tax v. Pemsel [LR (1891) AC 531 at p 549], that it is not
    competent to any court to proceed upon the assumption
    that the legislature has made a mistake. The Court must
    proceed on the footing that the legislature intended what
    it has said. Even if there is some defect in the phraseology
    used by the legislature the court cannot, as pointed out
    in Crawford v. Spooner [6 Moo PC 1: 4 MIA 179] , aid the
    legislature’s defective phrasing of an Act or add and
    amend or, by construction, make up deficiencies which are
    left in the Act. Even where there is a casus omissus, it is,
    as said by Lord Russell of Killowen in Hansraj
    Gupta v. Official Liquidator of Dehra Dun-Mussoorie
    Electric Tramway Co., Ltd. [(1933) LR 60 IA 13; AIR (1933)
    PC 63] , for others than the courts to remedy the defect. In
    our view it is not right to give to the word “decree” a
    meaning other than its ordinary accepted meaning and we
    are bound to say, in spite of our profound respect for the
    opinions of the learned Judges who decided them, that the
    several cases relied on by the respondent were not
    correctly decided.”
    17) In another judgment reported as Petroleum and Natural Gas
    Regulatory Board v. Indraprastha Gas Limited & Ors.
    6
    , this
    Court held:
    “35. After so stating the Court has referred to the observations made by Lord Diplock in Duport Steels Ltd. [Duport Steels Ltd. v. Sirs, (1980) 1 WLR 142 : (1980) 1 All ER
    529 (HL)] wherein it has been ruled thus: (All ER p. 541hj)
    “… the role of the judiciary is confined to ascertaining from the words that Parliament has approved as expressing its intention what that inten5 AIR 1953 SC 148
    6 (2015) 9 SCC 209
    11
    tion was, and to giving effect to it. Where the
    meaning of the statutory words is plain and unambiguous it is not for the Judges to invent fancied ambiguities as an excuse for failing to give
    effect to its plain meaning because they themselves consider that the consequences of doing
    so would be inexpedient, or even unjust or immoral. In controversial matters such as are involved in industrial relations there is room for differences of opinion as to what is expedient, what
    is just and what is morally justifiable. Under our
    Constitution it is Parliament’s opinion on these
    matters that is paramount.”
    (emphasis supplied)
  6. Recently, in Sarah Mathew v. Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases [(2014) 2 SCC 62 : (2014) 1 SCC (Cri)
    721] , while interpreting Section 468 CrPC, the Court has
    opined: (SCC p. 99, para 45)
    “45. It is argued that a legislative casus omissus
    cannot be supplied by judicial interpretation. It is
    submitted that to read Section 468 CrPC to mean
    that the period of limitation as period within
    which a complaint/charge-sheet is to be filed,
    would amount to adding words to Sections 467
    and 468. It is further submitted that if the legislature has left a lacuna, it is not open to the court
    to fill it on some presumed intention of the legislature. Reliance is placed on Shiv Shakti Coop.
    Housing Society [Shiv Shakti Coop. Housing Society v. Swaraj Developers, (2003) 6 SCC
    659] , Bharat Aluminium [(2012) 9 SCC 552 :
    (2012) 4 SCC (Civ) 810] and several other judgments of this Court where doctrine of casus omissus is discussed. In our opinion, there is no scope
    for application of doctrine of casus omissus to
    this case. It is not possible to hold that the legislature has omitted to incorporate something
    which this Court is trying to supply. The primary
    purpose of construction of the statute is to ascertain the intention of the legislature and then give
    effect to that intention. After ascertaining the legislative intention as reflected in the Forty-second
    Report of the Law Commission and the Report of
    the JPC, this Court is only harmoniously construing the provisions of Chapter XXXVI along with
    12
    other relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code to give effect to the legislative intent
    and to ensure that its interpretation does not lead
    to any absurdity. It is not possible to say that the
    legislature has kept a lacuna which we are trying
    to fill up by judicial interpretative process so as to
    encroach upon the domain of the legislature. The
    authorities cited on doctrine of casus omissus
    are, therefore, not relevant for the present case.”
    xx xx xx
  7. We must take note of certain situations where the
    Court in order to reconcile the relevant provision has supplied words and the exercise has been done to advance
    the remedy intended by the statute. In Surjit Singh
    Kalra v. Union of India [(1991) 2 SCC 87] , a three-Judge
    Bench perceiving the anomaly, held: (SCC p. 98, para 19)
    “19. True it is not permissible to read words in a
    statute which are not there, but ‘where the alternative lies between either supplying by implication words which appear to have been accidentally omitted, or adopting a construction which
    deprives certain existing words of all meaning, it
    is permissible to supply the words’
    (Craies Statute Law, 7th Edn., p. 109). Similar are
    the observations in Hameedia Hardware
    Stores v. B. Mohan Lal Sowcar [(1988) 2 SCC 513
    at pp. 524-25] where it was observed that the
    court construing a provision should not easily
    read into it words which have not been expressly
    enacted but having regard to the context in
    which a provision appears and the object of the
    statute in which the said provision is enacted the
    court should construe it in a harmonious way to
    make it meaningful. An attempt must always be
    made so to reconcile the relevant provisions as to
    advance the remedy intended by the statute.
    (See Siraj-ul-Haq Khan v. Sunni Central Board of
    Waqf [AIR 1959 SC 198 : 1959 SCR 1287].)”
    18) It, thus, transpires that by judicial interpretation, words cannot be
    added to a statute, which would include the Rules, Regulations and
    Instructions issued under a Statute, as an excuse to give effect to
    13
    its plain meaning of the language of the regulations. If the
    legislature has left a lacuna, it is not open to the Court to fill it on
    some presumed intention of the legislature. But where the Courts
    find that the words appear to have been accidentally omitted, or if
    adopting a construction deprives certain existing words of all
    meaning, it is permissible to supply additional words but should not
    easily read words which have not been expressly enacted. The
    Court should construct the provisions harmoniously having regard
    to the context and the object of the statute in which a provision
    appears, to make it meaningful. An attempt must always be made
    so to reconcile the relevant provisions, so as to advance the
    remedy intended by the statute. Thus, it is not possible to read
    completion of qualifying service in Regulation 105B of the
    Regulations.
    19) In view of the principles of interpretation relating to Casus
    Omissus, we find that a reading of the Regulations does not lead to
    an inference that the service element should be limited to an
    individual who has completed minimum 15 years of engagement.
    Regulation 78 cannot be read into Regulation 105B when no such
    qualification is provided in Regulation 105B.
    20) Still further, the Regulation 107 providing service element in the
    event of an individual who has not completed the qualifying
    service will become otiose. A reading of all the regulations
    harmoniously and keeping in view the object of grant of disability
    14
    pension, we find that the interpretation which advances the object
    and purpose of the grant of disability needs to be accepted being a
    beneficial provision for a class of individuals who have suffered
    disability in the course of duty.
    21) The quantification of disability pension in the cases of an
    individual, who has not completed qualification service is dealt with
    in Regulation 107. Sub-clause (a) of Clause (1) of Regulation 107
    deals with the situation where the individual has rendered
    sufficient service to qualify for a service pension i.e. 15 years of
    service in terms of Regulation 78. However, sub-clause (b) comes
    into play where the individual has not rendered sufficient service to
    qualify for service pension. In cases where the disability was
    suffered while flying or parachute jumping, the minimum service
    pension is appropriate to his rank and group but in all other cases,
    the service pension is restricted to minimum of two-thirds of the
    minimum service pension. For such reason, the disability element
    would be in addition to the service pension by cumulative reading
    of Regulation 78, Regulation 105B and Regulation 107 of the
    Regulations. The service pension is to be assessed on the basis of
    the minimum service pension laid down for an able individual of
    the same group in Regulation 107 of the Regulations.
    22) Learned counsel for the appellants refers to an order passed by
    this Court in Bhola Singh v. Union of India & Ors.
    7
    . We find that
    7 Civil Appeal No. 4486 of 2002 decided on 10th August, 2010.
    15
    this Court has not referred to Regulation 105B as well as
    Regulation 107 of the Regulations to maintain an order of the High
    Court to deny service element of pension to an individual who has
    completed the initial fixed period of 10 years. Since the appeal has
    been decided without any reference to statutory regulations, we
    find that the reliance of the appellants on the said order is not
    helpful to the arguments advanced. We find that the reliance on
    the judgment of this court T.S. Das is not tenable for the reason
    that it was not the case of grant of disability pension. It was the
    case of grant of special pension.
    23) In view of the above, we find no merit in the present appeals, the
    same are dismissed. The appellants shall pay the arrears of service
    element preferably within a period of four months from today in
    terms of directions issued by the Tribunal.
    ………………………………………J.
    (L. NAGESWARA RAO)
    ………………………………………J.
    (HEMANT GUPTA)
    NEW DELHI;
    NOVEMBER 07, 2019.
    16