Voluntary retirement from paramilitary forces: The dark underbelly

Lalit Shastri

The order for the voluntary retirement of an ASI from Seema Surkasha Bal, who has been relieved from Government service on 1 April 2021 by the office of the DIG, CTC, SSB, Srinagar, Gharwal, is sheer case of injustice and smacks of vendetta. Union Ministry of Home Affairs should intervene to revoke this order for the cause of justice and to ensure the paramilitary forces are not demoralised by their seniors.

Newsroom24x7 had published a report on 30 March 2021 titled “Why so many are quitting the paramilitary forces” pointing out that between 2016 and 2020, 40, 096 paramilitary personnel took voluntary retirement and 6, 529 of these troops had resigned from service.

In its reply on this serious matter concerning national security, the Union Ministry of Home affairs had told Parliament that an analysis carried out by the Forces indicates that personal and domestic reasons, including children and family issues, health issues relating to self or family members, social and family obligations and other commitments, better career opportunities are some of the major reasons for voluntary retirement and resignation.

The reasons cited by the MHA in Parliament on the issue of excessively large number of those who have taken voluntary retirement or have resigned from the paramilitary forces in recent years only give a superficial perspective of the problem. Obviously security personnel who are being compelled to submit their papers to seek voluntary retirement from service have more compelling reasons than what they mention in their applications because if they spell out the whole truth or reflect upon the poor working conditions or inhuman treatment by their bosses they would only end up jeopardising their post-retirement benefits and pension.

Newsroom24x7 has come across a case of voluntary retirement that has been forced upon an ASI of Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) despite repeated attempts by this ASI who gave applications to the concerned DIG and even the IG through the proper channel to withdraw his 3 month voluntary retirement notice on humanitarian grounds before he was relieved from service. The manner in which the ASI was relieved from service on 1 April 2021 smacks of injustice, poor administration, harassment and vendetta. It is a poor commentary on the administration and handling of matters relating to SSB personnel by the field level officers. In this particular case the finger especially points to SR Gupta, DIG Centralised Training Centre (CTC), Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttarakhand.

Satish (ASI GD), was transferred from 26th Batallion SSB, Ranchi and posted at 21 Batallion Bagha, Srinagar Garhwal on 11 March 2020 on the orders of the SSB headquarters in New Delhi on the grounds of his wife’s poor health. His wife, who was working as an assistant teacher at a Government Primary School in Garhwal, had met with a road accident and suffered serious spinal injury while returning from duty. She was advised rest and told by the doctor to avoid travelling by road. He had given an application on 9 July 2020 to the DIG CTC, Garhwai, requesting for a temporary posting at the Rishikesh transit camp from where he could attend to his wife’s medical treatment needs. He followed up with another request for a temporary posting six months after joining at Srinagar. He also inforned that he had not taken a single day’s leave at his new place of posting.

Within a brief period, Satish had made a series of representations seeking a temporary posting at the Rishikesh Transit Camp.

Frustrated by the lack of response to his request for a temporary posting at Rishikesh Transit camp due to compelling family reasons, Satish applied for voluntary retirement on 8 December 2020.

On 28 February 2021, Satish reconsidered his decision to seek voluntary retirement and gave an application to the DIG CTC, SSB, Srinagar requesting withdrawal of his notice for volunatry reirement on humanitarian grounds. He especially cited poor financial status, child’s education and pressing domestic reasons as the ground for making this request

He also made a respresentation to the Inspector Genral, SSB, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand on 23 March 2021 informing about his decision to withdraw the notice for voluntary retirement. He had underscored that he was neither being given a temporary posting at Rishikesh Transit Camp nor being sanctioned leave despite several requests. Through this petition, he urged the IG, SSB to grant approval for the withdrawal of his voluntary retirement application.

IG SSB order of 26 March 2021 asking the DIG to “reconsider” the voluntary retirement application.

To his utter surprise and shock on 1 April 2021, the office of the DIG, CTC, SSB, Srinagar Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand issued an order relieving Satish from Government service. 

The 1 April order signed by Deputy Commandant Vijay Dixit and delivered to Satish at 5.15 pm that day said:

Consequent upon acceptance of notice under Rule-48  (A)  of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 for Voluntary Retirement from Government Service by the Competent Authority. CTC, SSB, Srinagar vide this office order no. 08/SNR/Estt/PF/S/2017/936-42 dated 27 January 2021, UIN-15050028 ASI (GD), Satish of CTC, SSB, Srinagar (Uttarakhand) is hereby relieved from Government service in the forenoon of 01-04-2021.

Accordingly, he has been struck off from the strength of CTC SSB Srinagar (Uttarakhand) from the same date i.e. 01-04-2021 (F/N)

Obviously the manner in which the order relieving Satish from Government service in the forenoon of 1 April was handed to him at the end of the working day smacks of vendetta on the part of the competent Authority. Its an open and shut case pointing to inhuman handling of this matter at the concerned level and is a poor commentary on the situation prevailing in the paramilitary force where repeated requests for withdrawal of voluntary retirement notice by an ASI were thrown into the dustbin and he was sent packing home and relieved from Government service in the most inhuman manner.

For the Ministry of Home affairs and the Union Home Minister Satish’s case should be an eye opener. It would serve a monumental purpose and instil faith and confidence among the rank and file of security personnel across the board in India if there is intervention from the highest level to correct the wrong done to Satish. Decision to revoke the relieving order issued by the DIG CTC, SSB, Srinagar will send the right message down the line that the paramilitary troops serving the nation will not be treated in such an inhuman manner in future. The Government of India should, playing the role of paterfamilias, ensure justice with fairness in this case.

Updated: 0800 hrs 3 April 2021

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