The Delhi High Court pulled up the CRPF for “complete apathy” and “lethargy” in failing to give a gallantry award to its jawan despite recommendations from his superiors.
“The government should be most sensitive to act with all earnestness and promptness in recognising brave-hearted soldiers like the petitioner. But instead, the respondents have exhibited complete apathy and impassiveness in not even taking the case of the petitioner for consideration for the PPMG award,” the court of Justices Kailash Gambhir and Najmi Waziri said.
The jawan, Rajesh Shukla, had received bullet injuries while nabbing an operative of the Khalistan Commando Force in September 1992.
His name was recommended for the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry by his superiors in 1992 and 1993. But, no action was taken.
In 2008, Shukla was informed that his name was not sent to the Home Ministry as the recommendation for his award had been “received in CRPF Headquarters after a gap of one year”.
Observing that the delay in sending the recommendation was not Shukla’s fault, the court observed that it would be “unfair and an act of betrayal by the society, if a soldier deserving recognition is denied the same because of apathy or unexplained bureaucratic delays”.
In its December 24 order, the High Court issued notice to the CRPF to reply to the petition and directed it to consider the case for conferment of the said PPMG award, “within three weeks”.