No ‘martyr’ status to paramilitary personnel: Government tells Delhi High Court

The status of ‘martyr’ is not accorded to armed forces personnel who sacrifice their lives on the line of duty and hence cannot be given to the paramilitary forces, government has told the Delhi High Court, terming a plea on the matter as “misconceived”.

“The prayer… to grant ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) at par with army, navy and air force is misconceived as the very same status is not actually being granted to the personnel of Army, Navy and Air Force,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and Deepa Sharma was informed.

In an affidavit, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and other ministries said the word ‘martyr’ was not used in the three services and “no such order/notification has been issued by the MoD to call martyr, (those) who are killed during duty. Similarly, no such notification has been issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the CAPF and Assam Rifle (AR) personnel”.

The government’s response came on a PIL by advocates Abhishek Choudhary and Harsh Ahuja to grant equal status to paramilitary and police forces like the armed forces in granting ‘martyr’ status to the deceased personnel.

The response was sought after the government informed the court that it had no such scheme, as sought in the PIL. The government said that “in army/navy/air force, the nomenclature for the word ‘martyr’ is battle casuality and physical casuality. The word ‘martyr’ is not used in the three services.”

“Therefore, the prayer of the petitioner that the status of ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ be given to the deceased Paramilitary Armed Forces personnel at par with army, navy and air force is misconceived and unfounded. It is denied CAPF personnel are being deprived of the honour they deserve,” the MHA, MoD and Department of Personnel and Training and Ministry have said in the affidavit filed jointly by them.

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