Parity between salaries of police personnel and home guards not possible: Delhi High Court

Salaries and perks paid to police personnel cannot be equated with that of home guards as there is no parity between their service condition, the Delhi High Court has ruled.

Holding that home guards are engaged on temporary basis whereas the employment of the police personnel has a permanent feature, said a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar.

The two cadres are entirely different, it said.

“Neither the salary nor the perks being paid to the police personnel can be extended to the home guards working in Delhi. Moreover… it appears that enough and adequate care has been taken by the respondents for the home guards, e.g., Rule 18 of the Delhi Home Guards Rules prescribes compensation to be paid to the home guards,” the bench said in a recent order.

The remuneration paid to home guards was Rs 15,840 per month in 2016 and it was increased to Rs 20,820 from 2018, the high court noted.

“Thus, in a period of two years, the rise in remuneration is approximately 31 per cent. This rise in remuneration is too much. Enough is enough. Home Guards cannot expect more than this much rise in remuneration,” the bench said.

Referring to a Supreme Court judgement, the high court said the duties and responsibilities of the home guards and police personnel are entirely different.

“These two are entirely different cadres; one is temporary in nature and another is permanent in nature; one is a voluntary body whereas another is recruited under Delhi Police Act, 1978,” the bench noted.

“Thus, we see no reason to give any direction and much less to issue a writ for the facilities demanded by the petitioner. Nevertheless, the demand raised by the respondents may be taken care of by the respondents at an appropriate stage looking to the budgetary provisions available with the respondent and looking to their own priorities,” the high court said.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Legal Forum for Women Empowerment, seeking directions to formulate plan and policies for the welfare of home guards, both male and female, working in Delhi at different departments under different capacities.

The plea said that benefits like provident fund, pension, insurance, health schemes, medical coverage, sanitation facilities, medical check-up on monthly basis should be provided to the home guards at par with officials/officers of Delhi Police.

It was also submitted by the counsel for the petitioner that work performed by the home guards and police personnel are almost similar.

“The home guards have to work 24×7 and they are at the beck and call of their superior officers, sometimes they are engaged in VIP bandobast, sometimes for controlling the law and order,” the plea said.

“Thus, practically, there is no difference between work performed by the Home Guards and Police Personnel, hence, at least, Provident Fund/Pension, Insurance, Health Scheme benefits, medical coverage, sanitation facilities and medical checkup on monthly basis should be provided to the home guards at par with the police officials/officers,” it added.

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