CISF jawans | Nayanika Chatterjee/ ThePrint
CISF jawans (representational image) | Nayanika Chatterjee | ThePrint
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Supreme Court grants ‘non-functional upgradation’ to officers from CRPF, CISF, BSF etc. Officers hail it as example of ‘equal pay for equal work’.

New Delhi: After a long, hard battle, the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have finally been granted pay parity with their Indian Police Service and other ‘Group A organised services’ counterparts, in the form of non-functional upgradation (NFU).

In a judgment that was widely welcomed by CAPF officers across the board, the Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that officers from these forces, which include the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Assam Rifles (AR), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the National Security Guard (NSG), will be granted NFU.

NFU, granted to all Group A organised services in 2009, entails that if all the officers of a particular batch have not climbed up the ladder due to lack of vacancies but only one does, the others are automatically entitled to financial upgradation at par with the one who has been promoted.

“The judgment will give our cadre officers the long-awaited respect of an organised service. For long, IPS officers kept arbitrarily denying that we are organised services… Now, we can feel proud to belong to organised services,” said former CRPF inspector-general V.P.S. Panwar, welcoming the judgment as one that enforces the idea of ‘equal pay for equal work’.

“It was a 10-year-long battle for dignity, status and morale of those who protect the borders but were systematically denied equality with other services by powerful IAS, IPS lobbies,” said a senior CrPF officer, who did not wish to be named.

“This is a historical judgment, which will give the dignity to 10,000 serving officers, and about 10,000 retired officers from these forces,” the officer added.

Genesis of the problem

In 2006, the Sixth Pay Commission recommended that officers from services other than the IAS should be given a financial upgradation every time an IAS officer two years junior to them gets a promotion. This was recommended in order to address the financial stagnation of officers among other services vis-a-vis their IAS counterparts, who get promoted a lot more rapidly than them.

However, while the recommendation was accepted for all central civil services in 2009, it was denied by the government for the CAPFs, who it said were not ‘organised services’.

“This was completely arbitrary, and it has taken us 10 years to fight this battle,” said the officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Also read: Women to have 15 per cent representation in CRPF and CISF: Govt in Parliament

Arguments in court

The apex court upheld a 2015 Delhi High Court order, which had said that officers of paramilitary forces — as CAPFs were earlier called — should be given benefits, including NFU from 2006 in terms of the Sixth Pay Commission.

The order was challenged in 2016 by the Centre along with the IPS Association in the Supreme Court, arguing that CAPFs are not organised services, and thus, should not be entitled to the same benefits.

According to the Department of Personnel and Training, an organised Group ‘A’ service is constituted consciously as such by the concerned Cadre Controlling Authority through the established procedure.

Arguing against giving the status of organised services to the CAPFs, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that if paramilitary forces were declared as organised Group ‘A’ services, it would prevent any deputation, and no one from the IPS cadre would be able to come on deputation.

However, Panwar echoed the CAPFs’ view that the provision was arbitrarily introduced by the IAS and IPS lobby to distinguish themselves from other services.

“The Indian Constitution only recognises the Central Civil Services… All this organised and unorganised services is mere innovation,” he said.

Moreover, there is no need to bring IPS officers on central deputation in these forces, Panwar said. “We neither lack numbers nor experience, so there is no need for them to come on deputation,” he said.

“They should stay in their states and manage law and order since the condition is so bad in almost every state.”

Another battle underway

While the CAPFs may have won this battle, another battle with IPS officers is still underway.

As of now, as a rule, each CAPF is headed by IPS officers, much to the frustration and dismay of their own cadres. Even other positions like the additional DG, inspector-general and deputy IG are mostly reserved for IPS officers.

“I had filed a writ petition to prevent IPS officers from heading CAPFs in the Tripura High Court…While the petition was not upheld, I have filed an SLP in the Supreme Court in 2014 regarding that matter,” said Sanjiv Sood, who retired as ADG from the BSF.

“It is fundamentally unfair to deny CAPF cadre officers the right to head their own forces,” he said.

Also read: Why IPS officers want to keep heading forces like CRPF, NSG & BSF


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6 Comments Share Your Views


  1. CAPF got their dues after decades wait.
    CAPF ‘s are highly professional in dealing law and order in the country. State police rely more on central forces during tough situation.
    NDA govt to implement it

  2. The smarter and intelligent IPS officers have done wonders in state police .The level of their intelligence and tough exam seem to be scanty and examplified when it comes to law and order of state police forces they head and the standards of professionalism they possess . Professional forces like BSF, ITBP, SSB need specialised officers who have the first hand experience of dealing the peculiar situations of these forces ,troops and their psychological situations . The problem doesnt end here IPS officers need to be inducted in these forces but at a much lower level and not with a goal to head the force but to lead the troops they r assigned to lead . Surpisingly the IPS Officers who do not understand the diff between BOP ,COB,FDL and Police station r in decision making process of future of these forces .

  3. Service conditions r different, agreed, IPS are more intelligent is myth as brtisher created in the past. We should get better pay just because our service conditions are difficult. Most of IPS offs are selected in their third or fourth attempt sand many Capf offrs have reached to the interview stage in first and second attempt, so keep your intellectual mind for policing in state because after border guarding need experience of coy comdr and comdt which you lack. Think abt a person who is trying to solve physics questions after studying chemistry. Is it possible to solve however intelligent, he thinks abt himself, Same goes here

  4. In any job, in any work place, the daily routine of everyone looks identical, because the work is repetitive — and everyone looks equally capable to handle that job. Not everyone works in R&D where there can be noticeable difference between the capabilities and output of different people. Imagine a manufacturing line where lot of employees are handling the same kind of machines, or quality control department, where all employees are following the QC manual or procedures.

    In such situations the slogan that rises is, “same work same pay” or something like that. Similar SEEMS to be the situation in the two types of policing jobs mentioned here. So should their salaries be the same?

    In my opinion, no. Notice from the example of a manufacturing setup that I have given above, and especially when we talk of IPS which means we are talking of senior positions, the situation at hand is an amalgam of REPETITIVE work + R&D. Senior policing work often requires “analysis of crime” where the ANALYTICAL prowess of an officer becomes important.

    Does a non-IPS officer has the same intelligence level as that of an IPS officer? Then why didn’t or couldn’t he crack the civil services exam? If a candidate has succeeded in a TOUGHER SELECTION PROCESS, then he is definitely more intelligent and has better awareness of the world around us. He is likely to be more capable of “working out a solution” in a crunch situation. We can say this as a thumb rule. There can be exceptions.

    • You are calling it a tougher exam , it’s merely writing some papers after mugging notes provided from different coaching centres , but reality comes when you start working on ground , one young Ast. Commandant who start working in naxal hit and other tough terrain that time your intelligent note writer IPS officer doing flattering of some NETA or seniors for pulpy postings and promotion , when that time CAPFs officer come to know the difficulty in the organisation at ground level and get promoted to solve such problems that time your note writer come and sit on higher post and try to appease his God father’s because he know nothing about organisation that he is heading . Moreover Judges who gave decision are much smarter then your note writers. Kindly ponder before writing.

    • IF IPS are more capable then law and order of every state should be impeccable brush aside the issue of law and order if they are atleadt capable the state police which the belong to should be professionally in superlative which one can only dream of .First let them manage their house before peeking their nose in other’s . we are more capable we are born and brought up in our respective force and we are very my qualified to handle it so no that you plz


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