By Sanjiv Krishan Sood
The Director General Central Reserve Police Force vide their letter dt 23rd July 2019 addressed to one of their Sector commanders appears to be committing contempt of the court by giving an entire new interpretation to the order of Delhi High Court affirmed by the Supreme Court in the matter of grant of OGAS status and NFFU to the CPMF. They have introduced a totally new dimension to the meaning of “Organised Group ‘A’ Service” (OGAS) which doesn’t find mention either in the Delhi High Court Order or in the order of Supreme Court.
This development clearly indicates the reluctance of IPS officers to implement the court orders in letter and spirit, an apprehension which has been voiced by the cadre officers at many forums.
Ironically DG CRPF has referred to the attributes of OGAS notified by DOPT in 2009 which were advanced as the main argument by the Government in courts to deny the benefits to CPMF Cadre officers. The court had obviously debunked their argument that is why they came to a conclusion that the CPMF are organised since 1986. It is apparent that the CPMF cadres fulfilled the attributes applicable much before the attributes and conditions notified in 2009. Hence these have no relevance to the case of CPMF as these were not even conceived since the time CPMF have been declared as organised service by the courts.
Only two attributes for a service to be recoganised as an organised service existed in 1986 as per cadre review division of DOPT. These are (a) The cadre should be sufficiently large and (b) 50 % of vacancies at the entry level i.e. at the Junior Administrative level should be filled through direct recruitment. Additions were made through the monographs in 1993 and those are applicable to CPMF cadres.
Reliance of CRPF therefore on attributes notified in 2009 is not only misplaced but also mischievous and aimed at denying the CPMF cadre officers their rightful due for which they were compelled to undertake a lengthy legal battle.
Argument of DG CRPF in the above quoted letter that promotion is an administrative matter and courts have no jurisdiction is implicitly contemptuous of the orders of Courts. It is a well laid down principle of jurisprudence that the courts can intervene in policy matters if the policies are found to be arbitrary and violate Fundamental Rights.
That the denial of OGAS status to CPMF and consequential denial of benefits of NFFU was arbitrary and violated Fundamental Rights of Cadre officers has been amply proved in the court by the petitioners i.e. the cadre officers.
CRPF has issued the ibid letter in-spite of clear cut directions of DOPT dt 12th July that the status of Organised service has been accorded to the five Paramilitary forces i.e. BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF and SSB consequent upon Court Orders is clearly aimed at obfuscating the issue further and somehow not implement the court orders.
Framing and notification of service rules is a prerequisite of an Organised Service. The grant of OGAS status therefore requires that service rules must be framed at the earliest for the CPMF on lines of all other organised services. However, this is in conflict with the interests of IPS as it will ensure that all cadre posts will be manned by the CPMF cadre officers. This emanates from the fact that all the posts of CPMF are cadre posts. None of the posts being ex- cadre posts, these IPS officers will have no claims over the posts presently manned by them in violation of the fundamental Rights of Cadre officers.
This scenario is what has rattled the IPS fraternity as they do not want their stranglehold on these forces to wither away. The policy level leadership positions that they occupy is enabling them to advance their cause through illegal orders such as the one issued by DG CRPF. The posts of IG (Personnel) in all these forces except SSB are occupied by IPS officers and it is they who prepare the brief of these cases and project them to the bureaucrats. This enables them to overrule the advice of cadre officers which has the legal backing of Court orders. The voice of Cadre officers is thus never heard in the corridors of power and decision makers in the ministry.
It is indeed ironic that the justified demands of cadre officers are sought to be subverted through such underhand tactics by these IPS officers in order to retain and further advance their own interests. It is said that the Government is the biggest litigant in India. Instructions to reduce litigation by the Executive are repeatedly thwarted through mischievous tactics as above.
It is clear that the IPS lobby at the helm of affairs in these organisations with strong support from bureaucracy doesn’t want to relinquish their hegemony over these forces. They appear to be inexorably pushing the cadre officers towards another prolonged episode of legal battle to enforce their Fundamental Right and implementation of a court order upholding their justified demands. (IPA Service)
The writer is former ADG of BSF.