Saturday, December 8, 2018

HC: BSF can dismiss its jawan without inquiry

The Punjab and Haryana high court has upheld dismissal of a Border Security Force (BSF) constable, Binder Singh of Fazilka for passing sensitive information to a Pakistan spy about the BSF deployment in the border areas of Punjab.
While serving with 41-Battalion of BSF in Abohar sector, Binder had on November 3-4, 2012 communicated some highly-sensitive information about BSF deployment to the Pakistan spy and the information included the names of the commandants, strength of troops and location by using code words. He used words like “haveli” for battalion headquarters and “kutte” (dogs) for BSF personnel to communicate with the spy.

The division bench, headed by Chief Justice Krishna Murari has also held that if it was impractical for the BSF to hold an inquiry inasmuch as it would have been prejudicial to national interest, it can dismiss the services of its personnel without holding a court of inquiry. Finding Binder’s action not only against the BSF rules but also contrary to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act and prejudicial to national interest, the BSF had invoked Rule 22 (2) of the 1969 Rules and dismissed him from service without holding a court of inquiry. The aggrieved man had challenged his dismissal orders on the grounds that his order of dismissal was a nonspeaking order and the commandant was not the competent authority to dismiss him from the service.
Contesting the petition, the BSF had submitted that looking into the seriousness of the charges and as it was impractical to hold an inquiry, the petitioner was duly communicated the reasons for the same and thereafter the order of dismissal was passed in accordance with Rule 22 of the 1969 Rules.
“The test of law to inform him of the reasons as to why it was impractical to hold an inquiry stands fulfilled in the facts and circumstances of the case and, thus, no illegality can be found in the impugned order dismissing him from service,” the BSF had told the high court.
Hearing both the parties, the division bench of the high court upheld the decision passed by the BSF authorities after finding no illegality in the dismissal orders.

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