Army transfer policy for officers with dependent disabled children challenged in Supreme Court

Lt. Col. Anil Kumar Yadav v. Military Secretary Branch & Ors: The Supreme Court allowed the petition Lt. Col. Anil Kumar Yadav vs. Military Secretary Branch & Ors, SLP(C)351/2017, directing army authorities not to transfer an officer with a disabled child out of the Bombay headquarters. The officer's child is 100% blind, 100% mentally retarded and speech impaired, and has been undergoing rehabilitation in Bombay from last seven years. In its decision, the SC set aside the order of Bombay high court. Army has opposed the petition on the ground that as per the posting policy, the officer does not fall under the entitling Priority 1/1A which is for officers with dependents requiring "constant specialist medical attention"; and that there are several other officers in similar circumstances awaiting transfer to the Bombay HQ. Choudhary Ali Zia Kabir, advocate for the petitioner, contended that petitioner's son may not require specialist 'medical' attention but being unable to see, hear, speak, bath, brush, cloth, walk, discern bodily sensation like first, hunger, pain, making involuntary movements, displaying abnormal aggression, he is possibly the most severe case of disability in all of army fraternity, and certainly requires constant specialist 'rehabilitative' attention. Advocate Kabir added that "We are not resisting transfer in times of war or emergency. We shall report then wherever posted. It is the only general routine transfer in which we seek exception for an officer with such as severely disabled son. And here is a shining example of an Indian army officer. By sacrificing his carrier, by withstanding the stress of a caregiver in such a severe case, by bringing up his son with so much affection and responsibility when others often abandon theirs at temples and railway stations, he has displayed exemplary valour, no less than any shown at the battlefield."