In the first of its kind action, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) inspector general SS Sandhu has been demoted as deputy inspector general after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court upheld a decision of the union home ministry which found discrepancies in his physical fitness record.
The order for his demotion was issued by the CRPF directorate on Tuesday evening and Sandhu, who is a direct recruit officer of the paramilitary force, was sent to Silchar in Assam with immediate effect.
Last week, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had upheld a decision of the home ministry, which had ordered demotion of Sandhu. However, he challenged the move in the court which had granted an interim stay.
According to a CRPF official, it is for the first time in the history of 74-year-old three-lakh strong CRPF that a top rung officer has been demoted.
In its order, the Srinagar bench of the High Court had dismissed Sandhu's allegation of "mala fides and malice" being perpetrated against him in this case.
Sandhu had approached the High Court for relief after the home ministry, when R K Singh was the home secretary, had declared him unfit and hence ineligible to be promoted as an inspector general.
"Though the learned counsel for the petitioner (Sandhu) has sought to rake the issue of malice and mala fide, but, given the demeanour of the petitioner that he has not only misled the home secretary, but has suppressed and concealed material facts from this Court, the plea of mala fides and malice has to be taken with a pinch of salt," the court said.