The lack of a cadre review in 25 years in the Border Security Force has resulted in no post creation at command levels, leading to “frustration” among already ageing officials due to extremely slow promotions, observed the Delhi High Court and directed the Centre to appoint a panel for conducting the exercise within six months.
The last cadre review, according to the petitioners, was done way back in 1990.
The court of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani in a 24-page judgment, issued on Wednesday, took note of the issues raised in three separate pleas filed by several serving officers of the BSF regarding the imbalance in the sanctioned strength of officers in the paramilitary force. With no cadre review, the officer level posts remain the same since 1990, even though the strength of the BSF has grown exponentially.
“It is the case of the petitioners that non-creation of posts at Commandant to Additional Director General level(which is the Command level), with the growth of the force has resulted in acute stagnation in promotions and a Deputy Commandant earns a promotion after 15 years. The stagnation in the ministerial cadre is alleged to be from the lower rank of Sub-Inspector onwards,” noted the judgment.
The court has also noted that the delay in promotions and the pressure created had led to demotivation in the BSF, which is responsible for India’s frontline security.
According to the data placed before the court, the average age of Commandant in BSF is 49.2 years and most officers are in the age bracket of 48 to 52 years. “Younger age profile is the need of the hour, especially in a Combatised Force with main role of combat, operations, security, border guarding etc. If the age profile at the level of Commandant is not lowered the combat abilities of the force would be weakened and this would be detrimental to the security of the nation,” the court noted.
The lack of promotions has also put a huge burden on the existing officers, with only one officer of the rank of Director General in command over 82,321 personnel of the BSF, and a total of 13 posts at the Inspector General Level across the country.