‘Decision of Armed Forces’ Doctors on Fitness Final


The Delhi High Court has reiterated that once the doctors of the Armed Forces, who are well aware of the demands of duties of the Forces, have formed an opinion that a candidate is not medically fit for recruitment, the opinion of private or other government doctors to the contrary cannot be accepted. A Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon noted that private or other government doctors are “unaware of the demands of duties'' in which the recruited personnel are required to work in the Forces.


Stringent standards We have on several occasions observed that the standard of physical fitness for the Armed Forces and the Police Forces is more stringent than for civilian employment, it said while declining a petition by an aspirant to the post of constable in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). K.M. Priyanka, after qualifying the written test and the subsequent physical standard test/ physical efficiency test (PST/PET) was called upon for a medical examination. Unfortunately, she was declared medically unfit due to ‘Cubitus Valgus’ a medical deformity in which the forearm is angled away from the body to a greater degree than normal. Ms. Priyanka then approached the specialist orthopedic surgeon in the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Karnataka, who, after conducting a thorough examination, declared her fit, observing that “there is a bit of Cubitus Valgus carrying angle < 20° (18°)”.


Medically unfit  Later, she appeared before the Review Medical Board which again declared her medically unfit for the same reason — “Carrying Angle > 20° Both Side''. Further, in order to assure herself that she was not suffering from any defect, she got herself examined at Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore. The specialist, D. Akshay Yadav examined her and concluded that the carrying angle was: “right elbow 18°, left elbow 19°”. The HC pointed out that even the specialist consulted by Ms. Priyanka found that she suffered from ‘cubitus valgus’. “What may seem like a minor difference in the assessment of the civil doctors in comparison to the assessment of the medical boards, may blow up into a serious health condition during the course of service with the CAPFs,” it said. “The general health of candidates would be permanently impacted due to the stress, both physical and mental,” it remarked.




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