NEW DELHI: The Centre is likely to challenge a Delhi High Court order which said there should be uniformity in the retirement age of all paramilitary forces, such as BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB, CISF and Assam Rifles, sources told this newspaper.
The Delhi High Court had termed the difference in the retirement age among paramilitary forces as “discriminatory”, and had asked CAPF to fix 60 as the retirement age for all the forces.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is likely to file an appeal against the order, sources said, adding that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had raised serious concerns about the court’s decision.
Currently, only the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Assam Rifles (AR) have fixed the retirement age at 60 years. For the remaining four forces - CRPF, Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) - personnel in the ranks of constable to commandant (senior superintendent of police) retire at the age of 57, while those above them retire at 60.
The CRPF, India’s largest paramilitary force, has told MHA that 80 per cent of its personnel are deployed in difficult areas, and they need a younger profile.
The force is at the forefront of anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and is fighting militants in Kashmir. The CRPF, which has a sanctioned strength of 3,24,093, has also conveyed to MHA that an increase in retirement age would lead to stagnation in the force because there won’t be any promotions for three to four years, and that could cause frustration among the ranks.
Sources said the CRPF had also told MHA that if the retirement age was increased, the force should be given more static duties. The court order came in January when it gave four months to MHA to take all consequential steps for implementing the court’s judgement.
While the CRPF has expressed reservations on the issue, the other paramilitary forces have agreed with the court’s view. The BSF has said the personnel retiring at the age of 57 are fit and alert.