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High court rap for top paramilitary medical officer

The Delhi High Court has pulled up a top medical officer of the paramilitary forces for “misleading bureaucrats” of the home ministry to stay put in his job despite retiring in 2009.

The court passed the strictures against R.S. Rathore, the additional director general (ADG) (medical).

Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Suresh Kait asked the government why a list of officers from the paramilitary forces’ medical service could not be empanelled to appoint the next ADG (medical) in place of Rathore.

“It appears to us that R.S. Rathore has fished in troubled waters and has misled the bureaucrats in the ministry of home affairs,” said the order.

The ruling was passed Sep 6 on a petition from Border Security Force (BSF) officers that challenged a promotion policy that has hit seniority in the cadre above the post of deputy inspector general (DIG).

“We see no reason why DPC (department promotion committee) should not meet to empanel a candidate for promotion as ADG (Medical)… the process should be completed within 12 weeks from today (Sep 6),” the order read.

The adverse remarks on Rathore came in the wake of the government extending his reemployment as ADG (medical) on a contract basis in August-end — just a couple of days before a hearing on the petition.

The court said the extension of his reemployment was probably done because of the seniority dispute in the paramilitary forces on the basis of a promotion policy notified Feb 18, 2005 which was challenged by the BSF officers.

Despite several attempts to contact him, Rathore was not available for comment.

The 2005 policy had merged the medical services of all paramilitary forces at the post of DIG.

However, the problem arose while fixing seniority as the BSF had not, according to previous policy, promoted some of their officers to the post of chief medical officers (CMO) on completion of 10 years of service.

Some BSF officers were in fact promoted as CMO a few months to one year after they completed 10 years of service whereas other paramilitary forces promoted them immediately after they completed 10 years of service.

The BSF officers had not challenged the policy as it had not affected their seniority within the BSF, but had affected only their salaries by a few months.

But when the 2005 policy merged the services at the post of DIG, they lost out on seniority within their service batch and hence filed the petition challenging the seniority list.

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