New Delhi: More than a month after the Union Cabinet approved better pay benefits to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), the process has been mired in alleged ‘foul play’ by Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.
At loggerheads with their counterparts from the IPS, two separate CAPF delegations met BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to apprise the leaders of their grievances, ThePrint has learnt.
According to sources in the CAPF, one delegation met Birla last week and another saw Madhav Monday.
“The tussle is really blowing up now. It has started manifesting in routine work and interactions between cadre and IPS officers, so we are trying to apprise the political leadership of our concerns because we want the issue to be resolved soon,” said a senior officer from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who did not wish to be named.
The meetings with Madhav and Birla came in the backdrop of several letters that were written to Home Minister Amit Shah by some CAPF officers. The letters alleged that IPS officers were deliberately thwarting release of the Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFFU) grant to CAPFs despite a Supreme Court ruling in February ordering the same.
According to several retired and serving CAPF officers who ThePrint spoke to, Madhav is principally in agreement with them and has assured that he will talk to Shah after 15 August.
The SC had in February extended the status of organised group ‘A’ services (OGAS) to the CAPF officers and granted them NFFU — putting an end to a decade-old battle to attain pay parity and promotion at par with their counterparts in the IPS.
NFFU refers to the process by which whenever an IAS officer gets empanelled at a particular rank at the Centre, all their Group-A service counterparts also get upgraded to the same rank on a non-functional basis after two years, irrespective of whether they are actually promoted or not.
While CAPF officers insist that the grant of OGAS to them necessitates an upgradation of their Recruitment Rules (RRs), the IPS top brass argues that such a change is not necessary – and this disagreement lies at the heart of the ongoing tussle.
According to CAPF officers, the revision of RRs will ensure that promotions and arrears are decided in sync with their newly attained OGAS. Without doing so, the grant of NFFU will be “meaningless,” they insist.
The CRPF officer quoted above also said that upgradation of the RRs will ensure that IPS officers stop coming on deputation to their forces at top positions.
According to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) rules, in ‘Group A’ organised services, appointments up to the position of additional director general (ADG) can take place only through promotion from the cadre. Lateral entry or appointment through deputation is only permissible if the former is not possible.
In one of the letters written to Shah on 5 August, a serving CRPF officer has said: “As per norms of OGAS all the posts up to the rank of ADG must be filled by cadre officers. But as per Recruitment R – 2010 of CRPF officers, which is in vogue, 20 per cent posts of DIG and 50 per cent post of IG are being filled through deputation, i.e., by IPS officers.
“Out of four posts of ADG and four posts of SDG, only 1 post of ADG is being filled up by cadre officer. The only post of DG is being filled up by IPS officer on deputation. Unless fresh cadre review is undertaken by amending the RR at par with RRs of other OGAS…the cadre officers of CAPF are not going to get the benefits and the intention of your Government as well as the spirit of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi would remain unfilled,” the letter said.
Additionally, letters have been written by serving officers to their respective director generals in the CRPF and BSF.
“CAPF officers would never even write letters to their IGs earlier…Now they are being forced to write to the Home Minister, their DGs, run from court to court,” said a BSF officer. “What does it do to the morale of the forces?”
“There is a visible revolt in all the forces…If IPS officers keep blocking our promotions and pay, the matter will explode,” he said.
A senior IPS officer, however, who was a member of the IPS Association said the CAPFs are indulging in “unnecessary sensationalism”.
“It is nowhere stipulated that being granted OGAS means you will become a closed cadre, and IPS officers cannot come on deputation in your force anymore,” the IPS officer said. “Even the SC order does not say that. That is why we have filed a clarificatory petition in the court and are awaiting its response.”
The IPS officer also said they are not opposed to granting NFFU to CAPFs. “We obviously want to give them their due…But just want to protect the central deputation of IPS officers as well since that is important for the overall health of these forces,” he said.