Friday, December 4, 2009

Caught between Air Force and CRPF

Delhi High Court orders IAF to relieve an airman who has been selected for a job with the paramilitary force

Delhi High Court came as the final saviour for Praveen Kumar, who was caught between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Employed with the IAF, Kumar had officially applied for a job with the CRPF. He was selected, offered a higher rank but then IAF refused to relieve him. On Thursday, the High Court ordered the IAF to relieve Kumar.

Kumar, who was employed as an airman with the IAF was denied the relieving letter by the organisation even though his seniors were aware he had been selected for the post of Assistant Commandant in the CRPF.

Interestingly, in the absence of the relieving letter from the IAF, the Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the CRPF to treat its judgement as sufficient authorisation for Kumar's joining the security force.

The court directed the IAF to issue a relieving letter to Kumar who is waiting to join the CRPF Academy at Gurgaon for training.

The order, delivered by a bench comprising Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Suresh Kait, termed the indecisiveness of the Air Force as "unfortunate".

Meanwhile, the government counsel justified the IAF's decision on the basis that a person employed under the force can opt for civilian employment only after completing seven years of service.

The court refuted the statement by citing a previous order in a similar case and observed: "a mandatory service of seven years means seven years service before being entitled to be relieved and not seven years service when application is made for a civilian appointment."

The court also said Kumar had informed the IAF in advance that he was applying for the post of Assistant Commandant in the CRPF. Interestingly, the employment application of all men employed with the defence forces are signed by their commanding officers as government permission is required to apply for any other government job.

The case
Praveen Kumar joined the IAF in 2002. In 2009, he applied for a job with CRPF through the prescribed official channel and was offered appointment as an Assistant Commandant. He was also directed to report at the CRPF Academy. But IAF didn't relieve him. Aggrieved by the dilly dallying tactics of IAF, Kumar approached the court.

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