The Delhi High Court has sought the response from the Cabinet Committee on Security on a plea seeking directions to remove the dual control of Assam Rifles and bring it under the Ministry of Defence.
Issue of Dual Control
- Assam Rifles which is also referred to as the Sentinels of North East is the oldest paramilitary force of India.
- The administrative control of Assam Rifles lies with the Home Ministry, while the operational control is with the Defence Ministry.
- The plea filed by the All India Assam Rifles Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association alleges the dual control as the violation of the rights of the troopers of Assam Rifles.
- The plea challenges 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
- The petition argues since the objective and functions of Assam Rifles were that of military and paramilitary force and its categorisation as a police force was arbitrary, unreasonable and in violation of the rights of its personnel.
- The petition seeks a grant of pay, allowances, pension (including arrears) and ex-servicemen facilities to Assam Rifles personnel at par with the Indian Army.
Acting on the earlier order which had asked 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 Ministry had stated that a note had been sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security on the issue. Therefore the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Cabinet Committee on Security to explain what decision it has taken on the note forwarded to it by the Ministry of Home Affairs