Delhi HC Upholds CISF Constable’s Dismissal For Befriending Pak Girl On Facebook [Read Judgment]
He had also created an exclusive Gmail ID to talk to the suspected undercover agent, given her his personal details and also indulged in highly inappropriate talks about the Forces over Facebook.
In the case of Balkar Singh vs. Union of India & Ors., the Delhi High Court through Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice V. Kameswar Rao upheld the dismissal of a CISF constable suspected of sharing critical information with an undercover agent from Pakistan over Facebook.
The petitioner had gone on a UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti during 2009-10, when he opened an account on social networking site Facebook and befriended a Pakistani girl named Tanzeela Mazeed. He stated that he did not disclose any crucial information, except for the names of a few CISF units which were anyways available on public domain, and stopped talking to her after she started asking too many details which, if revealed, would have been inimical to the interest of the organization, and closed his Facebook account soon after the incident.
However, it was contended by the respondents that the petitioner had created an exclusive Gmail ID to talk to the suspected agent, gave his house address, bank account details and his cell number, and had indulged in highly inappropriate Internet talks about the Forces, which couldn’t have been given out of ignorance or innocence.
The main issue arising was whether the respondents could have dispensed with the inquiry.
The court agreed with the competent authority’s recorded reasons with the inquiry in the order of dismissal itself. The relevant portions from the order that convinced the court of the appropriateness of the decision are:
- Balkar Singh is a trained member of the Forces and has knowledge of various aspects and resources of CISF functioning and any further leakage of information would harm the interest of the department and be against public interest.
- Any attempt of holding a regular departmental inquiry by serving charge memorandum and following the due procedure in the manner prescribed in Rule 36 of the CISF Rules 2001, is not practicably possible as the other person is an outsider and it is difficult to get in touch with that person and to bring the statement of that person on record for the disciplinary process and at the same time retention of the said constable in the security force anymore would be detrimental to interest of department and will be against public interest.
- In exercise of the powers conferred by Rule 32 read with sub Rule (ii) of Rule 39 of CISF Rules, 2001, Balkar Singh is dismissed from service with immediate effect.
After perusal, the court said: “The allegation against the petitioner of divulging information with regard to CISF units and his colleagues, is surely an aspect, which is detrimental to the security interest of the organization, moreso, when the person to which the information has been divulged, is an undercover agent of a hostile foreign country and such a person to whom the information divulged is an important witness, who cannot be produced in the disciplinary proceedings.”
As regards the relevancy of reasoning given for dispensing with the inquiry, the court was in agreement with the respondent that a departmental inquiry was not possible and hence, set aside the petition and upheld the decision of dismissing the CISF constable.
Read the Judgment here.