New Delhi: The deputation of IPS officers in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will not be stopped in the light of the Supreme Court’s February order granting CAPFs better pay, the top court has said.
The court was hearing a clarificatory plea filed by the IPS Association about whether the deputation of IPS officers in the CAPFs would stop after they receive the status of Organised Group ‘A’ Services, which was granted by the court in February this year.
CAPF officers had interpreted the order to mean that their services would become closed, thereby bringing an end to the deputation of IPS officers in the senior ranks of their forces.
However, a two-judge bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and M.R. Shah said: “It is observed that while deciding the appeals this court has made no observations with respect to the right of IPS officers for deputation, in terms of the recruitment rules, if any, as the same was not the controversy and/or issue before this court and the decision of this court shall be construed with respect to grant of Organised Group ‘A’ Central Services only.”
The one-line bone of contention
ThePrint had earlier reported how one line in the Supreme Court’s February order had become the bone of contention between IPS and CAPF officers.
The SC had said in its order that the “grant of status of Group ‘A’ Central Services to RPF shall not affect (the deputation of) the IPS”.
However, the RPF — Railway Police Force — does not fall under the CAPFs. Hence, CAPF officers took it at face value to mean that the court order is only limited to the RPF and that their forces will now be headed by their own officers.
On Friday, the court clarified: “It is specifically mentioned that by granting Organised Group ‘A’ Central Services to the RPF (it should be read as CAPF), the rights of the IPS, if any, for their appointment on deputation on some of the posts cannot be said to have affected.”
Disappointment for CAPFs, vindication for IPS
The SC’s clarification has come as a major disappointment to CAPF officers, who have been running an aggressive social media campaign to end the deputation of IPS officers in their forces with hashtags like #GoBackIPS.
“The court has said that the issue of deputation was not under its examination,” said a senior CRPF officer. “So now, we are exploring the possibility of approaching the court specifically on the issue of central deputation of IPS officers.”
The IPS officers, on the other hand, stand vindicated. “The CAPF cadre feels aggrieved because they went completely over the top with their expectations regarding both Non Functional Financial Upgradation and Organised Group ‘A’ Services,” said a senior IPS officer.
CAPF officers felt that the new status would lead to revision of their recruitment rules, and allow them to head their own forces. However, far from ending the deputation of IPS officers in the CAPFs, the government did not even revise the recruitment rules of these forces after the SC order.
As reported by ThePrint, after a two-month-long standoff between officers of the CAPFs and their IPS counterparts, the government has decided against granting pay parity to the central forces.
Instead, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an Office Memorandum earlier this month, stating that the Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFFU) would be granted to officers of the central police forces when they complete 23 years in service.
Why deputation is controversial
Several retired CAPF officers said they could not rise up to the top because it was inevitable that an IPS officer would be chosen to lead them. The director general’s post in all CAPFs is reserved for IPS officers. In addition, a certain percentage of other senior posts like Additional Director General and Inspector General too are reserved for them.
However, IPS officers had argued that central deputation could not be ended for them.