NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has rejected the appeal of a former CRPF sepoy against his dismissal from service for actively participating in the infamous 1979 paramilitary forces’ agitation when a large number of unruly Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans took control of the Jharoda Kalan CRPF camp in the Capital for three days.
A bench of justice Hima Kohli and justice Sunil Gaur declined to interfere with the decision of the Court of the Commandant, CRPF, dismissing Kumar Pal Singh from service without holding a disciplinary inquiry.
“Keeping in mind the scale of the agitation, the respondents (government) were justified in… adopting a common procedure by dispensing with the departmental inquiry and dismissing the petitioner and other delinquent members of the force outrightly,” the court said.
The bench took note of the Centre’s stand that Singh was an active participant in the rebellious group, was found to be absent from duty without authorisation and had indulged in various acts of indiscipline and misconduct.
The incident began on June 22, 1979, when about 1,700 CRPF jawans held an illegal meeting in the Jharoda Kalan CRPF camp and took out an unauthorised procession seeking various demands.
They abstained from work, paralysing the normal functioning of the group centre despite definite orders directing them to report.
The mob also rushed to the signal centre building, disrupted the system of communication and the staff working on the wireless sets was forced to join the them.
On the third day, the agitating jawans became grossly insubordinate and insolent towards the superior officers and compelled the commandant of the 1st Signal to come out of his residence after office hours and address the mob.
From June 22-24, the mob kept the main gate of the group centre locked and did not allow any other member of the force or superior officer to come in or go out in discharge of their duties.
On the fourth day, the army was called in. The agitators were told to disperse immediately and hand over their weapons and ammunitions to the army.
However, the mob adopted a violent posture of confrontation with the army and fired upon them. In the said melee, the army resorted to force and got the personnel to surrender. In the process, three members of the CRPF were killed and eight others were injured.
Of the 1,773 personnel whose services were terminated, 1,524 were reinstated. However, the remaining, including Singh, were not given a similar benefit as their role in the agitation was found to be far more grave.
The court also rejected similar appeals of two other former CRPF jawans — Mani Ram Gajraj and Mithlesh Kumar — who were also dismissed from service for actively participating in the agitation.