J&K HC directs Centre to promote BSF officer

Jammu, December 13 (UNI)  After years of struggle, the honour and prestige of a BSF officer has been restored after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court came down heavily on the apathetic bureaucracy for putting soldiers to shame and harassment in their civil life.

In a significant judgement, the State High Court has directed the Central Government to promote Deputy  Commandant of Border Security Force Swarn Dev after setting aside all past orders which were challenged, the Court has given 120 days’ time to BSF to consider the promotions and pay fixations.

Aggrieved by the order of BSF regarding denial of correct pay fixation and speedy fast track promotions, Mr Dev had moved J&K High Court and filed SWP 2366/2010.

He was represented by OP Thakur senior advocate, whereas, the BSF was represented by ASG Sindhu Sharma.

While pronouncing the judgement, Justice Alok Aradhe allowed the petition of Mr Dev in both the cases ie speedy promotions and protection of his last pay drawn.

After years of struggle, the Short Service Officer’s honour and prestige has been restored.

As per rules Mr Dev is eligible for the post of promotion of Inspector General BSF With effect from May 2, 2010. Now, he is eligible for promotion to the rank of Additional DG, BSF. After a lapse of 49 years, Short Service Officers recruited in BSF and other Central Services have received a much-deserved relief from the Court.

Mr Dev was commissioned in 24th Bn of Rajput Regiment of Indian Army as Short Service Commissioned Officer (SSCO) in 1987. He had joined Pre-Commissioned training on May 2, 1986 at Officers Training School Madras and was commissioned in Indian Army as Commissioned Officer in 1987.

After successful completion of the contractual assignment, he left the Army on March 7, 1992. Subsequently on June 14, 1995 he joined BSF as Assistant Commandant. He was recruited in BSF as DE Officer out of 10 percent quota reserved for SSCOs of Armed Forces. Immediately on his joining BSF, he put up a petition to BSF to protect his last pay drawn in Indian Army under the provisions of Rule 4 (iii) of “Fixation of pay of reemployed pensioners orders 1986”.

However, BSF under false impression that Rule 8 of said order did not apply to SSCOS who were recruited against reserved vacancies, did not fix his pay correctly and allowed him basic pay of Rs 2200 even he had put nine years of service in government departments already.

After completion of his probationary period in 1997, Mr Dev again put up a petition to BSF that he should be given fast track promotions in accordance with “determination of eligibility for promotion rules 1975”. BSF kept both these issues lingering and in limbo, but Swarn Dev showed consistency and kept on asking for his rights from a callous and opaque system.

BSF did not deny his legal rights nor accepted them, until 2009, when Mr Dev used the power of RTI and directly asked DG BSF to dispose off his just and rightful petitions and demands.

Raman Srivastava, then DG BSF called Mr Dev for an open interview wherein the later explained his position to DG BSF. DG BSF after three months of the said interview rejected claim of Mr Dev on the grounds that rules 1975 were not applicable to him.

After a protracted adjudication, the Court decided in favour of Mr Dev. All past orders which were challenged have been set aside by the court.

The judgement will ensure that years spent by army men in Army service shall not go waste and that period shall be counted for promotions by Central civil services Departmental Promotion committees.

Army officers, JCOs, and men shall not suffer financially and their full last pay drawn shall be protected by their Central Civil Services Employers in pursuance of this court order.

The service rendered by military men in uniform shall be counted by civil departments on their absorption in civil jobs, thus no loss of honour of soldiers would occur any more.  Once again honourable courts have come to the rescue of beleaguered soldiers who suffer in the second careers. (UNI)

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