The Delhi High Court has ruled candidates suffering from varicose veins as unfit to join the armed forces.
The court stated that a candidate who had developed varicose veins and was operated upon later is unfit to join the armed forces, as it requires working in extreme conditions and involves more physical activity.
The court noted that a study has revealed that the patients with varicose veins have pain or heaviness of legs, inability to walk and stand for long hours, itching and leg cramps at night and they can also have dermatitis in the region, which may lead to the development of ulcers.
The court bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Pratibha Rani said that the consequences of the operated cases of varicose veins are that it leads to impairment of blood circulation and individuals who have been operated upon for the condition, have a predisposition of developing such a problem in other vessels.
The bench declared that though the person may be medically fit for civilian jobs, he/ she will not be fit for military and paramilitary posts, which involve working in extreme conditions and a lot of physical activity.
The court said the decision by the medical board and the review medical board declaring a man to be unfit "cannot be faulted" with and does not require its intervention.
• The court’s ruling came on a petition by a man who had said that he had sat for a combined recruitment written examination for the post of constable in 2015 in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Special Security Force (SSF).
• The man claimed that he had qualified the written examination and was asked to appear for a physical test and medical examination for selection in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
• On May 23, 2016, the man was declared medically unfit on three counts- varicose veins, tremors and tachycardia.
• The court dismissed the man's petition challenging the decision to declare him medically unfit for the post of constable in CRPF.
• The petitioner’s plea claimed that he had been operated upon for varicose veins at a hospital in Rohtak in May 2016 and was declared to be fit for recruitment to the post of Constable (GD) in CAPFs by the chief medical officer of Jhajjar's general hospital.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins occur when veins become enlarged, dilated and overfilled with blood. The veins in this condition typically appear swollen and raised and have a bluish-purple or red color. They are often painful.
The condition is very common, especially in women. More than 23 percent of all adults are thought to be affected by varicose veins.
Varicose veins occur when veins aren’t functioning properly. They happen when faulty valves in the veins allow blood to flow in the wrong direction or to pool. The veins then enlarge.
In most cases, varicose veins appear on the lower legs, as the veins there are the farthest from the heart and gravity makes it harder for the blood to flow upward. Pregnant women are more susceptible to varicose veins.
The primary symptoms of varicose veins are highly visible, as veins appear twisted and bulging and are mostly dark purple or blue in color.
The veins may also be painful, leading to swelling, discoloration, heaviness, muscle cramping and achiness over or around the enlarged veins.
In severe cases, the veins can bleed significantly leading to the formation of ulcers.
If the patient has no symptoms of discomfort and is not bothered by the sight of the varicose veins, treatment might not be necessary.
However, if there are symptoms, treatment may be required to reduce pain or discomfort, address complications, such as leg ulcers, skin discoloration or swelling.
The most advised treatment for the condition is to make changes in the lifestyle such as:
• Avoid standing for extended periods of time.
• Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
• Exercise to improve blood circulation.
• Elevate legs while resting or sleeping.