JAMMU, 28 September: The High Court has ruled that the deployment of armed forces under the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission cannot be equated with Formed Police Units as the two play a distinct role in accordance with the UN mandate and government policy decisions are not subject to judicial review.
This important judgment was rendered by Judge Wasim Sadiq Nargal in a motion filed by Rajender Singh Saini and others seeking the annulment of Order No. II-2701234/2005-PF.ICHD08/11/2003 of 08.11 .2006 issued by Indian government. , Ministry of the Interior, under which, sanction was granted the granting of an overseas allowance to the personnel of the ITBP deployed on the United Nations mission in the Congo at 2120 US dollars per month for officers, 1600 US dollars per month for junior officers and 925 US dollars. per month for other grades.
The Claimants also requested the Respondents to reimburse them for the overseas allowance in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of India and the United Nations for the Contribution of Formed Police Units I and II to MONUC by paying to the applicants the arrears of compensation with interest.
After hearing both sides, Justice Nargal observed that “the disputed order was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs which is under the policy decision of the Government of India under which the Government of India has the power to set overseas allowance according to the rank and work assigned to personnel deployed in the formed police unit with the United Nations peacekeeping mission”.
“Thus, the disputed order that was issued by the Ministry of Interior with respect to the overseas allowance for CPF personnel deployed in the United Nations Mission (MONUC) falls within the realm of political decision of the Government of India and is not subject to judicial review as no fault can be found with respect to the policy,” the High Court said, adding that “the petitioners failed to foresee how and in what circumstances they are adversely affected by the contested order”.
Justice Nargal further observed that “Since the United Nations, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has deployed formed police units from various member countries to keep the peace in Kosovo, Congo, Liberia, Sudan , etc., as per UN mandate, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Government of India and United Nations Peacekeeping Mission regarding payment to be made by UN to Government of India for deployment of two police units constituted on the basis of autonomy”.
“As such, the Government of India has the power to fix the amount of OSA to be paid to officers, junior officers and other ranks. Even in the army deployed with the United Nations peacekeeping mission, the amount to be paid to officers, junior officers and other ranks is fixed by the Indian government,” the High Court said.
Justice Nargal further said, “the policy, which was developed by the Government of India, has the reasonable classification with the purpose sought by the personnel of Formed Police Units cannot be equated in terms of payment of OSA and therefore no fault can be found with respect to the policy as all BSF/ITBP staff have been paid MSA at the prescribed rate for Officers/Junior Officers/Other Ranks as decided by the Government with the remuneration which is admissible to them, which by no stretch of the imagination, can be considered as unlawful enrichment of certain members of the formed police units, as the petitioners prayed”