A Delhi High Court Bench comprising Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Najmi Waziri has directed the central Government to consider all paramilitary forces, the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB, as “organized services”.
The order, that would benefit about 10, 000 Group A Officers, said that Group-A Officers of paramilitary forces should be given all benefits, including non-functional financial upgradation (NFU) from 2006 in terms of the Sixth Pay Commission, on the lines of those given to administrative services officers.
The Sixth Pay Commission Report had included a provision to provide Group-A officers with non-functional upgradation in pay scales, since upgrade of designation and promotions were not possible due to shortage of vacancies. Ministry of Home Affairs had however denied such benefits to the forces, claiming that BSF and other forces were “a General Central Service’ and not an “organized service”.
The Court was hearing a plea filed by more than 200 serving and retired officers of the paramilitary forces, demanding grant of NFU to them alleging the deprivation of the financial benefit is “affecting the morale and efficiency of the officers”. They said “undertaking these policy measures will ensure pay parity and social recognition as they would get timely promotions”. They had challenged an Office Memorandum issued by the ministry in October 2013 that had denied the benefits of pay scale revision under the NFU policy to the CAPFpersonnel.
The Officers had reportedly claimed that officers from the paramilitary forces are facing stagnation because of lack of adequate promotional posts. The situation was aggravated by the fact that a majority of the higher posts in the hierarchy had been filled up by deputations by officers from the Indian Police Service and the government has failed to take adequate steps for career progression of the cadre officers.
Representing the officers, Senior Advocate Jyoti Singh pleaded that though they are the members of armed forces of union and employed on very sensitive duties like guarding of borders, maintaining internal security, fighting terrorism and left wing extremism and involved in disaster management etc., yet they are not being given their due with respect to the status as well as financial benefits.
The Court observed that the Centre had admitted in several notifications and documents since 1986 that the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) came under “organized services”. It noted that “as recently as on February 11, petitioners in central forces have been categorized as 'organized services', therefore benefits ought to be granted to them”.