The Delhi High Court has sought the response of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on a plea seeking directions to remove the dual control of Assam Rifles and bring it under the Defence Ministry. The next hearing is slated for May 8.
At present, the administrative control of Assam Rifles lies with the Home Ministry, while the operational control is with the Defence Ministry leading to violation of the rights of the troopers of India's oldest paramilitary force, said the plea filed by the All India Assam Rifles Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association through advocate Neha Rathi.
On December 3 last year, the court ordered the Home and Defence Ministries to hold a meeting to resolve the matter and place before it the decision taken in an affidavit.
The Home Secretary informed the court that a note had been sent to the CCS on March 20 and both the Home and Defence Ministries will abide by the CCS' decision.
Unhappy with the response, the court said: "In effect the Ministry of Home Affairs has washed its hands off the issue and placed it at the CCS' doorstep. The court is therefore constrained now to issue a notice to the CCS to explain what decision it has taken on the note forwarded to it by the MHA on March 20."
The petitioner has challenged the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 saying that it places Assam Rifles under the head 'Police', which is arbitrary, unreasonable and violates the rights of Assam Rifles ex-servicemen guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The petitioner said that the objective and functions of Assam Rifles were that of a military and para military force and its categorisation as a police force was arbitrary, unreasonable and in violation of the rights of its personnel.
The petition also seeks grant of pay, allowances, pension (including arrears) and ex-servicemen facilities to Assam Rifles personnel at par with the Indian Army.
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