The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to re-think on the issue whether paramilitary forces — CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB — can be given monetary benefits like the “organised services”. The apex court was hearing a batch of appeals including one filed by the Centre against the Delhi High Court’s September 2015 verdict asking the government to consider all paramilitary forces as “organised services”.
The high court had said officers of paramilitary forces should be given the benefits including non-functional financial upgradation (NFU), earlier available to ‘Group A organised services’, from 2006 in terms of the 6th Pay Commission. Under NFU, if all the officers of a particular batch cannot move up the ladder owing to lack of vacancies but only one does, the others will automatically get financial upgradation like the one who has been promoted.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, told the apex court if the paramilitary forces were declared as organised group ‘A’ services, there cannot be any deputation and no one from IPS cadre can come on deputation.
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The apex court said it perceives that the paramilitary forces personnel were grieved by the non-grant of ‘equal pay for equal work’, a benefit granted to the organised services, and if the conferment of monetary benefit can assuage their grievance, the government might think over it.
“In the ultimate eventuate, we think it apt to say that if the conferment of monetary benefit can assuage the grievance of the respondents, the Union of India may rethink over the matter without disturbing its sense of discipline as it conceives,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and M M Shantanagoudar said.
“The personnel of BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, RPF and SSB are to play their role in their duties. Though we have framed the issues that will be required to be addressed, yet we would like the Union of India to take a decision, as advised, so that the respondents may feel that their grievances have been appositely addressed,” the court said.
The bench, which granted 12 weeks to the Centre to deliberate upon the issue, further said, “The respondents, as we perceive, are grieved by non-grant of equal pay for equal work, that is, benefit that has been granted to the organised services”.
“If that is the case, we would like the respondents to file their duty chart in respect of each of the forces. The petitioners shall also file the duty chart and the job allocation so that a comparison can be made that can render assistance in the process of adjudication,” it said and fixed the matter for hearing on August 9.
The apex court has framed three issues for consideration, including whether the Home Ministry was alone responsible for takeing a decision or other departments can confer the benefit of equivalence subject to approval by the Cabinet.