The Delhi High Court on Monday refused urgent hearing on a plea seeking a status report from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) following a BSF soldier’s allegation that troopers posted along the LoC were being served poor quality food. The petitioner urged the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini, which did not assemble, that the matter be transferred to another bench today itself as it was an “urgent issue”.
The court master, who was giving dates in the matter, asked the counsel for the petitioner what was the urgency. “The authorities concerned are looking into the issues (raised in the writ petition). Even the Army Chief has also taken steps in this regard,” the court master said. To which the counsel for the petitioner requested that at least it be listed for tomorrow. Agreeing to which, the matter has been fixed for consideration on Tuesday.
The plea was filed by Puran Chand Arya, a former central government employee, in the wake of a video posted on Facebook by BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav, claiming corruption among officers and poor working conditions. The public interest litigation (PIL) sought direction to the MHA to submit a status report with respect to all paramilitary forces in India over allegations of the BSF jawan in his video, which went viral on social media.
Citing the fundamental Right to Equality (Article 14) and Life (Article 21), the PIL filed through advocate Abhishek Kumar Choudhary highlights the allegations about insufficient and bad quality of food provided to jawans. It seeks action on the incident so that the morale of the force is not affected and also asks for clarity on ration procurement, food preparation and servings to various categories of officers.
On January 9, Yadav had posted a video on Facebook which showed a meal box comprising a watery soup-like dal, which he said had only turmeric and salt and a burnt chapatti. He said this is what jawans were served at mealtime on duty. He said jawans often went to bed on an empty stomach. The PIL has sought direction to depute higher officers to supervise cooking of proper healthy food and its distribution.