The recent India Legal show debated the issues regarding the paramilitary forces in India vis-à-vis their ranks, perks and promotions. The show also dwelt upon the common grouse of paramilitary personnel that why the internal officers are not promoted to higher ranks as compared to officers who are recruited from Indian Police Services.
The show was anchored by Rajshri Rai, Editor-in-Chief, APN. The eminent panellists included:
- AK Bakshi, Lt. Gen. (Retired)
- Jaiveer Singh Chaudhary, former DIG, ITBP
- Justice K Sreedhar Rao, ex acting CJI, Gauhati High Court
- MS Malhi, former IG, BSF
- PK Mishra, former ADG, BSF
- Vikram Singh, former IPS
Rai started the debate by first asking MS Malhi: “Many of the BSF, CRPF and ITBP personnel keep forwarding their complaints through social media. They are repeatedly complaining that they are not getting equal status.”
Malhi replied: “Border Security Force was formed in 1965. And officer cadre started forming since 1966. Two years ago, BSF has celebrated its 50th anniversary so BSF’s officer cadre is more than 50 years old. Still, the highest posts in BSF are not available for the BSF cadres, although these officers have received excellent training; they have a lot of experience in the most hostile borders of India. So if such experienced people are kept in the topmost posts then many problems can be solved.”
Rai then asked Malhi: “What is the problem if an IPS officer is made in-charge. He too understands the BSF well and is well aware of their struggles.”
Malhi explained: “In 1965, to form BSF’s very own cadres, direct entry officers were taken. It was understood that initially for some years IPS officers and released emergency commissioned officers would stay in the force and then slowly this cadre will build up and since they do specialised work more of the specialised and experienced officers will be needed. But even after more than 50 years, the system has been exploited so that officers have kept coming in from outside and cadre officers have not been promoted to top posts.”
The anchor then asked the panellists that BSF and ITBP employs expert officers specially trained to man the border areas and the work of the police is to deal with in-house matters, then what is the police doing inside these troops?
PK Mishra answered the question: “We officers who join the paramilitary force, live with the soldiers in the same border outpost, let that be on the LoC or any international border and we do our service with them for around 20 years.
“We go with them for the operational duty and are involved very closely with them and after that we reach the administrative post. Then we see that IPS officers who are 20 years junior to us, they come on deputation and join higher posts. There is a small force called coast guards, in coast guards too their own in-house people get the DG post but in paramilitary force, the in-house officers are not allowed to hold top positions because they don’t recognize this cadre.”
Rai also asked Vikram Singh, former IPS and took his view as why IPS officers are given precedence over in-house officers especially in paramilitary forces. Singh responded: “I disagree with this because the IPS officers who are selected for the paramilitary forces are outstanding or else they will not get selected in the first place. They are selected by the Cadre Controlling Authority. If we say that the whole process is not just then that is not correct. Cadre Controlling Authority applies its mind and selects the best officers. IPS officers demand to be the Home Secretary but they are not made so because the MHA uses its own discretion.”
We present bytes/views of some of the panellists below:
Jaiveer Singh Chaudhary
Justice K Sreedhar Rao
P K Mishra
M S Malhi
—Compiled by Lilly Paul