The Delhi High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the Union home and personnel ministries and others for their failure to file response to a petition filed by more than 500 CISF inspectors, who have not been promoted for 19 years as compared to the stipulated five.

A bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna issued an order on December 21, giving a "last opportunity to the respondents to file the written submissions within four weeks subject to costs of Rs 10,000 to be deposited with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee."

Advocate Ajay Sharma appeared for the Petitioners whereas CGSC Rajesh Gogna and Advocate Priya Singh appeared for Union of India.

The respondents in the case include the Union home ministry, under whose command the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) functions, the CISF director general, the chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the personnel ministry.

More than 540 inspectors of the CISF filed a writ petition before the court early this year alleging "deprivation" in their career progression as they got only one promotion (from sub-inspector to inspector) in more than 34 years of service and they have no "future prospects" to look forward to for their next promotion to the officer rank of Assistant Commandant (AC).

The petition of the inspectors, recruited in the central force between 1987 and 2005, has provided figures and data to apprise the court about their grievance.

"As on date, the senior-most inspectors (executive) who joined the CISF in 1987 as direct sub-inspector have earned only one promotion (from SI to inspector) in 28 years and the reduction in promotion quota (from 50 per cent to 33 per cent) has further brought down their chances of promotion," the petition stated.

They stated that while their contemporaries in other central forces (like CRPF and BSF) got due promotion to the officer rank of Assistant Commandant and even beyond, they are stuck at the sub-officer ranks of inspector despite serving for over 30 years.

The promotion ladder in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the sub-officer ranks move from SI to inspector followed by a promotion in the officer rank of Assistant Commandant.

The group of inspectors alleged in their petition to the court that no cadre review for promoting them has been undertaken in the CISF since 1990.

They claimed that the Union home ministry and the CISF DG also "misguided" a Parliamentary Committee, saying that inspectors were being promoted after five years.

"The same material fact is false and vexatious, having no credible relevancy because the cadre of inspector executive is not getting promotion to the next rank of AC even after completion of more than 19 years of service, however, counterparts of other CAPFs are getting promotion in time-bound manner...," the petition accessed by PTI submitted.

The paramilitary force, in its reply before the court, had said promotions in this force cannot be compared with other CAPFs as the CISF is a "need-based force mainly deployed in PSU/other installations and the post of Assistant Commandant in CISF is created only as per needs of the client organisation".

The petitioners rejected the statement made by their force, contending they were suffering as adequate number of Assistant Commandant posts were not created coupled with "adverse recruitment rules, non compliance of standard rules and concealment of facts from the Parliamentary committee that was sheer illegal, arbitrary and discriminatory."

They submitted that the sanctioned manpower in the CISF has increased from 95,863 in the year 1988-99 to 1,63,590 (2021) but "no career progression particularly to the extent of time-bound promotion was ever done to petitioners who are well equipped with more experience, skills, education, discipline and length of service and are badly affected by the illegal, arbitrary act of the respondents."

The inspectors have knocked at the court's door seeking its direction to the respondents for giving them their due promotion to the rank of AC along with consequential benefits with a retrospective benefit (from when they were supposed to be promoted as per rules).

The court is stipulated to hear the matter next on February 3.

The CISF guards major civil airports of the country apart from the Delhi Metro, historical monuments like Taj Mahal and Red Fort, government ministries in Delhi and a number of sensitive installations in the aerospace and nuclear domain.

Cause Title- Diwakar Pande & Ors v. Ministry of Home Affairs & Ors.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI Inputs