Post the Pulwama terror attack, which killed 40 CRPF jawans on 14 February, the Modi government couldn’t stop talking about how much they care for our Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). But do they really? Judge it for yourself.
On 5 February 2019, the Supreme Court granted Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFU) status to the officers of the CAPFs, including CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, RPF and SSB, thereby giving them the same financial benefits as enjoyed by Organised Group ‘A’ officers. The SC had upheld an earlier order of the Delhi High Court in 2015 that had directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to notify granting NFU status to CAPF.
But till now, the MHA has not issued the notification. The Quint wrote to the MHA seeking a response on this matter. The Ministry did not give an official comment. Rather, one of the MHA officers requested us to write, “the Ministry is looking into the matter. We are examining it,”.
Is IPS Lobby Coming Between CAPF and NFU Status?
Apart from financial benefits, with NFU status, CAPF officers will also enjoy Organised Service benefits like faster promotion of the cadre officer and no more reservation of the top posts in the CAPFs for IPS officers.
“Currently, the top two posts of Director-General (DG) and Special Director-General are reserved for the IPS officers. With NFU status and Organised Services, the cadre officers will be able to be the Chief of the organisation. Since a CRPF officer reaches till the post of ADG. So, he loses minimum 25-30 percent of his salary as compared to his other batchmates in Group A service.”VPS Panwar, Ex-CRPF
The number three post in CAPF is that of an ADG. For instance, in CRPF, out of four ADG posts, only one post is reserved for the cadre. Hence, a CRPF officer can maximum reach the post of ADG, and then retire because the above two posts are for IPS officer.
The number four and five posts are of IG and DIG in CRPF. As much as 50 percent and 20 percent are reserved for IPS officers in both the posts.
“An IPS officers rarely comes on a deputation for a post below DIG because that would involve a lot of field job,” said VPS Panwar, former CRPF officer.
“It is important that CAPFs like CRPF, BSF are headed by the cadre officer s because they would be well-equipped to address the welfare related issues of their colleagues. An IPS officer has very limited knowledge of the functioning of the organisation or problems of the jawans serving in the field.”Serving CRPF officer
The question is, with thousands of CRPF and other CAPFs personnel on duty in conflict zones and highly sensitive parts of the country, can CAPFs afford to be led by officers who spend most of their careers outside the forces? For instance, would the Indian Army accept such an arrangement?
The CRPF officer also pointed that the government is not inclined to issue a notification because they are facing opposition from the IPS officers who want to enjoy plum postings in CAPF.
Is Govt Adopting Delaying Tactics?
It took six weeks for the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to write a letter to the MHA seeking their attention on the SC judgment.
The Quint has accessed the letter dated 25 March 2019, which says that the “proposal” for granting organised status to the CAPFs “needs to be moved immediately”. It also said that “the proposal” is thereafter to be sent for “final approval of the Cabinet.”
It adds that after the approval of the Cabinet, “necessary notification, in this regard, are to be issued by the MHA.”
The petitioner’s lawyer, however, said that it is not required.
“The Delhi HC and SC have already said in their judgment that there is no need to take Cabinet’s approval because these procedures have already been completed by the government in the past. The courts have categorically stated that only MHA’s notification is needed.Vaibhav Kalra, Petitioner’s lawyer
The Quint has learnt that there is quite a lot of resentment among the CAPF officers who have been fighting for their rights for years.
“This letter shows that the government wants to delay the matter further.”VPS Panwar, ex-CRPF officer.
On 15 March, the petitioners, including some serving CRPF officers, filed a contempt petition against the government in the Delhi High Court for non-compliance of judgment on the NFU status. The matter is now listed for Thursday, 28 March.
Note: After The Quint’s article was published, the DoPT cancelled their 25 March letter.