TEN MONTHS have gone by since a Supreme Court verdict that Grah Rakshaks (home guard volunteers) of different states are eligible for the basic pay, grade pay and dearness allowance that are being given to a constable rank policeman, a total 1,352 home guard volunteers attached with Chandigarh administration are yet to get their due. A number of representations have been filed with the Chandigarh administration but the matter is still pending. And what the volunteers is even more surprising is that the neighboring states, including Punjab and Haryana, has started giving the enhanced salary to their thousands of volunteers.
A senior officer with Home Guard department of Chandigarh said, “Despite the fact that a copy of the Punjab police orders has been received by Chandigarh administration, in which Punjab police officials clearly state that they have started giving the enhanced salary to volunteers similar to a constable rank police personnel. In Chandigarh, Punjab police rules are being followed and if Punjab police give money to the home guard volunteers as per the decision of apex court, Chandigarh is bound to release the money on the same pattern to home guards in Chandigarh.”
When contacted, Home Secretary (HS) Anurag Agarwal, who also holds the charge of Finance Secretary, said, “Indeed, there is a clear-cut verdict of the apex court making the home guard volunteers eligible to the salary equal to a constable rank police personnel. But Chandigarh follows the rules, which are applied on Union Territories. In the case of Punjab police rules, which are being followed in Chandigarh, these are applicable on the regular employees. Home guard volunteers are not regular employees. We have sought clearance on this issue from MHA and the matter is pending with UT wing of MHA.”
The decision was on the allowances of volunteers was announced on the petition of Grah Rakshak, Home Guard Welfare Association in May, 2016. The association consisting the HGV of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. Grah rakshaks were originally raised in the UK after World War-II as voluntary citizen organisation and an Indian version was launched in (then) Bombay in 1948, have been struggling to get a respected salary for last so many years. Responding a plea of association, a double bench apex court instructed the state governments to release the minimum allowances, which releases to the lowest ranked post in the police department.