New Delhi: The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have decided against upgrading or amending their Recruitment Rules (RRs) which would give them pay parity with IPS officers, ThePrint has learnt.
The decision was taken Tuesday at a closed-door meeting between the new home secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and director generals of all the CAPFs.
If the RRs are amended, then the lateral deputation of IPS officers in the CAPFs would end eventually. All the forces are currently headed by IPS officers.
“The DGs basically told the home secretary that they are not in favour of upgrading the RRs, and that they would like to fight the battle in court,” said a senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) official on condition of anonymity.
“The home secretary told them that if they can fight the matter out in court without inviting contempt from the court, they can go ahead with the existing RRs.”
It was also decided at the meeting that all the cases of Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFFU) would be submitted without revising the RRs.
NFFU is 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.
The CAPFs include the CRPF, Central Industrial Security Force, Border Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and National Security Guard.
How the controversy started
In February this year, the Supreme Court ruled that officers from the CAPFs will be granted NFFU and other pay benefits, which their counterparts in all organised ‘Group A’ services (OGAS) are entitled to. Subsequently, in July, the Union Cabinet gave its nod to the proposal.
The CAPFs believe that the grant of OGAS status has to be followed by an upgradation of Recruitment Rules, without which the grant of the status would be meaningless.
However, their IPS counterparts believe that doing so is not necessary.
This seemingly minor technicality has been at the heart of a long-drawn tussle between CAPFs and IPS officers.
What the rules say
“Upgrading the RRs would mean that the reservation of IPS officers in CAPFs would come to an end because the DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training) orders clearly state that once a service becomes an organised Group A service, lateral deputation of officers from other services stops there,” said the official quoted above.
“But that can only be done if the Recruitment Rules of the CAPFs are upgraded to reflect their OGAS status, which these IPS officers are not allowing.”
If the RRs of these forces are not upgraded, the deputation of IPS officers in these forces will continue.
The IPS Association has even filed a plea in the Supreme Court to ascertain whether or not their deputation in these forces can continue in the aftermath of the top court judgment.
“Nowhere is it mentioned that just because a force has been granted OGAS, their RRs have to be upgraded,” said a senior IPS officer, who was in the IPS Association earlier.
“The Association has filed a clarificatory plea, so it is only correct for the forces to not upgrade the RRs in the interim, and that is what has been decided,” added the IPS officer who didn’t wish to be named.
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