New Delhi: The CRPF doesn’t want its Recruitment Rules to be amended and has rejected a Supreme Court order that gives the force parity with the IPS.
The position is a complete turnaround for the central police force that had long fought for terms that would allow its own officers to be able to head it — a move senior officers of the CRPF claim has been taken “under pressure” from the IPS lobby.
“They basically want the IPS deputation in these forces to continue, and thus this letter has been written by CRPF under pressure from the IPS lobby,” said a senior CRPF officer who did not wish to be named. “It goes against the apex court judgment, the decision of the cabinet and MHA’s own orders. Obviously, all the forces are very worried and demoralised.”
The paramilitary force, in an internal communication dated 23 July, said the matter of promotions is strictly administrative, and courts should not “interfere” in it.
According to CRPF officers, the letter has gone viral on WhatsApp groups of all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and left them extremely worried.
M Dinakaran, DIG and Chief Spokesperson, CRPF refused to comment on the issue.
“The cadre review of an organisation is purely an administrative matter… Administrative Ministry/Department has to decide the modus operandi of any Cadre Review keeping in view all pros and cons vis-a-vis the functional requirement of the organisation concerned. Courts should not interfere in the administrative matters,” says the letter written by a CRPF DIG to the IG who is in-charge of legal issues in the force.
The letter has the “approval of the DG”. The CRPF DG, or director general, is an IPS officer on deputation.
The letter goes on to urge the CRPF IG to bring these “facts” to the notice of the central government standing counsel or the additional solicitor general and “apprise the court on next day of hearing”.
The CRPF’s move comes even as the government has set the wheels in motion to implement the Supreme Court’s February order, which granted paramilitary forces Organised Group ‘A’ Service (OGAS) status — meaning officers would finally be able to head their own force instead of getting officers from the IPS.
What the letter says
The letter says no change needs to be made in the Recruitment Rules of Group A Officers of the CRPF.
According to the existing Recruitment Rules, vacancies in the CRPF can be filled through recruitment, promotion and deputation. It is through deputation that IPS officers head senior posts in paramilitary forces even when eligible officers are available from within the force. After the grant of OGAS, this was expected to change.
According to DoPT rules, in ‘Group A’ organised services, appointments up to the position of additional director general can take place only through promotion from the cadre; lateral entry or appointment through deputation is only permissible if the former is not possible.
The letter also says some petitions seeking clarification of the Supreme Court’s judgment are still pending in court, and no changes should be made in the Recruitment Rules before they are clarified.
“Till these applications are decided upon, it would be incorrect to presage the Apex Court’s clarification and act in a manner which may not have been the intention of the Hon’ble Court,” the letter says.
Days after the court gave its judgment, the IPS Association had filed an application for clarification in the apex court.
“Clarify the order dated 5 February 2019 to the extent that the right of the IPS officers for deputation, in terms of the recruitment rules, in the various CAPFs are not impacted merely by grant of Organised Group ‘A’ Services to the CAPFs,” the IPS Association plea said.
Letter ‘contradicts’ govt stand
While IPS officers and even the central government have for long resisted the grant of OGAS to paramilitary forces — including CRPF, CISF, BSF, ITBP, NSG — the DoPT has already issued orders for cadre review of these forces in the aftermath of the Cabinet approval earlier this month.
“The government has already started the work of implementing the court orders, but they are trying to thwart our progress in other ways now,” said the senior CRPF officer quoted above. “The ramifications of this letter are not limited to the CRPF alone. If the RRs for CRPF are not changed, it will set a precedent for other forces also, and the SC judgment will be made redundant.”
The Union Cabinet on 3 July gave its approval to the proposal to grant Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFFU) and other pay benefits to officers of the paramilitary forces, which their counterparts in all ‘Group A’ organised services are entitled to.