Josy Joseph awarded the Prem Bhatia prize 2011

Josy-Joseph-Sainik-School-Kazhakootam-Alumni
We are very, very proud of you, dear Josy.

Josy Joseph, Editor – Special projects at Times of India and from the Class of 1991, who exposed the Adarsh, 2G and Kalmadi scams has been awarded the Prem Bhatia award for excellence in political reporting.

The Prem Bhatia Trust‘s citation reads : For his scoops and revelations which includes list of scams that have become familiar names in the political lexicon. They range from the Adarsh Housing Society to the Commonwealth Games and the 2G spectrum.

In March 2011, he was felicitated by the alumni of  NSS College Cherthallai, for being the outstanding alumni of their college. In December 2010, at Kottayam, the Kerala Union Of Working Journalists (KUWJ) had felicitated him, for outstanding  contribution in the field of journalism.

You can follow Josy’s articles at the Times of India here.

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  1. Prince Jose says:

    I somehow missed reading this article till now. Josy was one of the first to support me in my hour of need and help me to take on a mammoth like Indian Army Bureaucracy. I have pasted the link to the article that he put in TOI followed by the the copy of Court Order.
    Thanks Josy a ton
    And promy you saved me.

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2004-10-01/india/27162986_1_kargil-permanent-commission-sena-medal

    Kerala High Court
    Maj Prince Jose vs Union Of India on 11 July, 2008y the
    IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM
    WP(C).No. 17966 of 2006(L)
    1. MAJ PRINCE JOSE,
    … Petitioner
    Vs
    1. UNION OF INDIA,
    … Respondent
    For Petitioner :SRI.PROMY KAPRAKKATT
    For Respondent :SRI.JOHN VARGHESE, ASSISTANT SG The Hon’ble MR. Justice S.SIRI JAGAN
    Dated :11/07/2008
    O R D E R
    S.SIRI JAGAN, J.
    ==================
    W.P.(C).No.17966 of 2006
    ==================
    Dated this the 11th day of July, 2008
    J U D G M E N T
    The petitioner is a commissioned officer in the Army in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Corps. He
    participated in the Kargil War. In that war, the petitioner suffered a fall causing injury to his head. He was
    unconscious for half-an-hour and on regaining consciousness, he had loss of memory for 10 minutes.
    Thereafter, he recovered. Subsequently, after one year, he developed a very rare disease named ‘stroke in the
    young’. Initially he was 100 per cent disabled. Later on, by constant care and treatment, he regained his health
    to the extent of 70 per cent leaving a disability of 30 per cent. According to the petitioner, taking into account
    his service and disability the petitioner was awarded a medal and was granted permanent commission. The
    petitioner is continuing in the service even now. While so, the Ministry of Defence, Government of India
    declared a scheme whereby persons who suffered causalities in “Operation Vijay” of Kargil war were to be
    given certain benefits. The petitioner claimed those benefits. According to the petitioner, the fact that the
    petitioner suffered head injury in the fall during “Operation Vijay” in the Kargil war was accepted by the Medical Board who examined him, which was also
    confirmed by a Court of Enquiry. However, for reasons best known to him, one officer referred the matter to
    the opinion of the Senior Consultant of the Army Medical Wing, who opined that the petitioner’s contracting
    disease ‘stroke in the young’ cannot be attributed to Kargil war. Pursuant thereto, the petitioner’s claim was
    rejected by Ext.P18 order. The petitioner is challenging Ext.P18 order in this writ petition. The petitioner
    seeks the following reliefs in this writ petition:
    “i) Issue a writ of certiorari, any other writ order or direction, quashing Exhibit P18 as illegal;
    ii) Issue a writ of Mandamus, any other writ, order or direction, directing the Respondents to disperse [sic] the
    benefits as per the Ext.P1 scheme, forthwith, and relieve the petitioner from service.
    iii) To declare that the petitioner is eligible for the benefits of the Ext.P1 scheme as per the Ext.P10 order.
    iv) Issue a writ of Mandamus, or any other writ, order or direction, directing the Respondent to assess the
    percentage of disability as per the Ext.P15 Schedule.”
    2. The respondent has filed a counter affidavit in which, while admitting the report of the Medical Board, as
    also that of the Court of Enquiry specifically finding that the petitioner contracted the said disease on account
    of the fall during Kargil war, it is stated that the final opinion on this question is that of w.p.c.17966/06 3
    the Senior Consultant who opined that it is not because of the fall in the Kargil war that the petitioner has
    contracted this disease and therefore, the petitioner is not entitled to the reliefs prayed for.
    3. I have considered the rival contentions in detail.
    4. Certain facts are not disputed. They are:- The petitioner took part in the Kargil war. “Operation Vijay” was
    part of Kargil war. In the course of the operation, the petitioner had suffered a fall from 100 feet. He had a
    head injury. He lost consciousness for half an hour. After regaining consciousness, he had loss of memory for
    10 minutes. Thereafter, he recovered. After a period of one year, he was detected with the very rare disease
    called ‘stroke in the young’ which initially completely incapacitated him. Subsequently, after constant care and
    treatment, he recovered, which according to the petitioner, is to the extent of only 70 per cent, whereas the
    respondent would contend that he recovered to the extent of 90 per cent. The Medical Board consisting of
    doctors who treated the petitioner gave the opinion that the petitioner contracted the disease because of the
    head injury caused to him during the fall in the Kargil War, while taking part in the “Operation Vijay”. The
    Court of Enquiry constituted specifically for considering this issue also came to the very same conclusion.
    5. The difference in opinion starts thereafter. Apparently despite the opinion of the Medical Board and the
    Court of Enquiry, one Col.SK.Handa, a Junior Consultant, entertained a doubt as to whether the ‘stroke in the
    young’ occurred after one year of the fall can be due to that fall which occurred one year ago. Accordingly, he
    referred the question for the opinion of the Senior Consultant who after examining the records, rendered an
    opinion that it cannot be due to fall during Kargil War.
    6. Ext.P1 is the welfare package declared by the respondent for those who participated in the “Operation
    Vijay” and suffered fatal causality. The same specifically states thus: “3. For implementation of both these
    packages, relevant data of the following category of battle casualties will be required duly authenticated and
    support by DO Part II Orders:-” Therefore, what is relevant for the purpose of this welfare package is DO Part
    II Order which is produced as Ext.P10, which specifically states that the ‘stroke in the young’ suffered by the
    petitioner on 24.5.2002 is attributable to military service in the operation area. Ext.P5 is the opinion of the
    Medical Board which consisted of the Doctors who treated the petitioner. It specifically w.p.c.17966/06 5
    says thus regarding cause of the disease ‘stroke in the young’ suffered by the petitioner:
    “Due to fall during OP. Vijay Officer lost consciousness due to this. Present episode appears to be aftereffect
    of same (Refer Co. unit war report).”
    Therefore, the Medical Board who examined the petitioner was of opinion that this disease, ‘stroke in the
    young’ was contracted by the petitioner as a result of the fall during “Operation Vijay”. Thereafter, a Court of
    Enquiry was constituted to examine this question. The Court of Enquiry after examining the whole issue in
    the light of the records came to the following findings in Ext.P9: “1. (SS 36622M) now IC 5557 4M Capl
    Prince Jose, SM was posted to 9 PARA (SF) after the completion of Young Officers Course in FEB 98. The
    unit was deployed in Cl Opn and he was appointed as the 21C of an assault team in CI Opn (O.P.
    RAKSHAK) and in OP. VIJAY. For his performance in CI Opn (OPRakash) he was awarded Sena Medal.
    2. During the assault on Sando feature during O.P.VIJAY (Kargil) he was leading a route opening party and
    while fixing the ropes on a 70-degree ice gradient was hit by an enemy Arly splinter. He slipped and fell
    approx 100 mtr along the slope, which made him unconscious for half an hour and further resulted in a loss of
    memory for about 10 minutes, one he regained consciousness. For the injury inflicted on him by the enemy
    Arly splinter he was awarded Wound Medal.
    3. He came on posting 188(1)Fd Wksp on 06 Dec 98 and was appointed as Wksp Offr. On 24 Jul 2000 while
    on his journey had from MH Ahmedabad where he had undergone a medical examination (ENT) which is a
    pre-requisite for the grant of permanent commission in Indian Army he suffered a stroke diagnosed as
    STROKE IN THE YOUNG. He was admitted in MH Jaipur on 24 Jul 2000 and was transferred to BR
    Hospital Delhi on 25 Jul 2000. He was placed Low Medical Classification SIHIAIP (T8) E1 (sick leave for 56
    days) wef 10 August 2000.
    w.p.c.17966/06 6
    4. The initial medical board conducted in MH Jaipur placed him in Low Medical Classification SIHIAIP4
    (P24) E1 and opined that the disability he suffered is due to the fall he had during OP. Vijay on Sando feature
    on 01 Jul 99 and is attributable to Mil Service in OP. Vijay. The Re-categorisation Medical Board held at MH
    Jaipur on 01 Oct 2001 placed the officer in Low Medical clarification SIHIAIP2 (Perm) E1 w.e.f 07 Sep 2001
    and attributed the disability to Mil service in OP. Vijay.
    5. On being placed in permanent Low Medical classification which is attributable to Mil service in OP Vijay
    the officer was granted permanent commission in Indian Army vide letter No.05512/SSC 16/PC/MS78 dated
    06 Dec 2001.
    6. The STROKE IN THE YOUNG suffered by the officer on 24 JUL 2002 is not a self inflicted injury.”
    7. It is not known why after the opinion of the Medical Board and the Court of Enquiry, Col. S.K.Handa
    thought it necessary to refer it to a senior consultant. Notwithstanding the fact that the senior consultant may
    have more experience than the Doctors who actually treated the petitioner who constituted the Medical Board,
    I am of opinion that the opinion of that Senior Consultant who appears to have given the opinion on the basis
    of the physical examination and medical records long after the petitioner recovered from the disease could not
    have been given more importance than the opinion of the Medical Board and the Court of Enquiry, especially
    since under Ext.P1 the relevant data acceptable for the purpose of the welfare package declared was DO Part
    II Orders, which certainly subscribed to the view that the petitioner contracted the disease as a result of the fall
    during the w.p.c.17966/06 7
    Operation Vijay in Kargil war.
    8. Further, all along that officer was in the defence service. He was actually working in the war front itself.
    Nobody had any case that prior to his fall he had any disease, accident or infirmity or other symptoms which
    may have led to the contracting of the disease ‘stroke in the young’. The respondent has also no case that
    subsequent to the fall in the Kargil war, the petitioner had suffered any injury which may have contributed to
    the disease ‘stroke in the young’. Going by the Full Bench decision in Baby v. Union of India [2003 (3) KLT
    362] as also my decision in Murukesan v. Union of India [2005 (3) KLT Short Note 39 case No.47], once the
    initial burden of showing that the disability was attributed during service is discharged by the petitioner, then
    the burden shifts back to the respondent to show that it cannot be attributed to military service. Those
    principles squarely apply in this case also. Here prima facie the petitioner has shown that the petitioner
    contracted the disease ‘stroke in the young’ on account of fall in the Kargil war. The respondent has not been
    able to rebut the same by producing any sort of evidence whatsoever. I am of opinion that the opinion of a
    senior consultant who did not even treat the petitioner cannot override the medical Board’s opinion as also the conclusion of the Court of Enquiry. Further, in Ext.P1 which is the welfare package, what is relevant is the DO Part II order. DO Part II order also supports
    the case of the petitioner. I am satisfied that the respondent has not discharged their burden of showing that
    the petitioner has not contracted the disease ‘stroke in the young’ because of the fall during Kargil war.
    Therefore, I am satisfied that Ext.P18 order, solely based on the opinion of the Senior Consultant, is
    unsustainable. Accordingly, Ext.P18 is quashed and the writ petition is allowed. The respondent is directed to
    give the petitioner the benefit of the welfare package as evidenced by Ext.P1. Orders in this regard shall be
    passed and benefits disbursed to the petitioner, as expeditiously as possible, at any rate, within two months
    from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this judgment.
    Sd/-
    sdk+ S.SIRI JAGAN, JUDGE ///True copy///
    P.A. to Judge
    Maj Prince Jose vs Union Of India on 11 July, 2008

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