BSF officers move HC against Home Ministry

BSF officers move HC against Home Ministry

BSF officers move HC against Home Ministry

Unhappy with "acute stagnation" and deprivation of "financial benefits", more than 100 BSF officers have petitioned the Delhi High Court against those who frame policies for them - the Union Home Ministry and the IPS officers who constitute the top brass of the border guarding force.

A bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh on August 14 has issued two separate notices to the Union Home Ministry and the Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters for a response on the petition of these officers who are in the ranks of Deputy Inspector Generals, Commandants, Deputy Commandants and Second-in-command.

This is a rare instance of officers of an armed force rendering internal security duties approaching the court for relief as they claim that non-implementation of policy measures is affecting their "morale and efficiency".

The BSF officials, who guard the crucial Indian frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh, are aggrieved that they are not being extended the "non-functional financial upgradation", despite a 2009 Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order in this regard.

The said upgradation, the BSF officials contend, will ensure pay parity and social recognition as they would get timely promotions.

"A total of 66 BSF officers are signatory to the first petition that has been filed in the Delhi High Court. Many more officers have sent similar signed representations. The officers have taken this step as issues related to their equitable pay and on-time promotions have hit their morale," Advocate Rekha Palli, counsel for these officers, told PTI.

Sources in the force said the total number of signatories to the petition has gone above 100 as many officials from the field formations have sent in their representations.

The officers pleaded in their petition, "Despite the general duty group 'A' officers of the BSF dedicating their life in the field areas and sacrificing their personal lives for the organisation and the nation, they instead of being rewarded for their selfless service, are being deprived of even those financial benefits and privileges which other group 'A' officers are enjoying and hence they have no other remedy except to approach the honourable court."

The officers said they "are facing an acute stagnation not only because of lack of adequate promotional posts but also because a majority of the important posts of the top hierarchy had been/are always held by deputationists (IPS officers), who have failed to take adequate steps for career progression of the cadre officers."

"This is effecting the morale and efficiency of the officers dedicating their life to the service of the nation at the borders," the petition said.

The 2.40 lakh personnel strong BSF, country's second largest paramilitary after the CRPF, has made various representations to the Home Ministry but the Ministry is still to take a final view on the subject, it said.