The Delhi high court on Tuesday sought response of the Ministry of Home Affairs on a plea seeking its status report on alleged poor quality food being served along the Line of Control as claimed by Border Security Force jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav on social media.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal also issued notice to the BSF, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Sashastra Seema Bal and Assam Rifles seeking their stand on the allegation of poor quality food being given to jawans.
It also directed the BSF to produce before it the investigation report and the steps it has taken with regard to allegations levelled by Yadav.
“The steps have already been taken by respondent 2 (the BSF) in this regard. However, we would like to see their report. Whatever report you have, place before the court on next date of hearing, February 27,” the bench said.
The direction came after advocate Gaurang Kanth, appearing for the BSF, informed the court that the BSF has already done on the spot inspection after the incident.
“Things are in order. We have found nothing as was alleged by Yadav. However, we are further looking into the issue,” Kanth submitted.
The bench, meanwhile, refused to issue any direction with regard to not taking any action against Yadav, as was sought by the petitioner, saying, “Sorry we will not go into it.”
The petition was filed by Puran Chand Arya, a former central government employee, in the wake of a video posted on Facebook by Yadav, claiming corruption among officers and poor working conditions.
The public interest litigation sought direction to MHA to submit a status report with respect to all paramilitary forces in India over allegations of the BSF jawan in his video which went viral on social media.
Citing the fundamental Right to Equality (Article 14) and Life (Article 21), the PIL filed through advocate Abhishek Kumar Choudhary highlights the allegations about insufficient and bad quality of food provided to jawans.
It seeks action on the incident so that the morale of the force is not affected and also asks for clarity on ration procurement, food preparation and servings to various categories of officers.
On January 9, Yadav posted a video on Facebook which showed a meal box comprising a watery soup-like dal, which he said had only turmeric and salt and a burnt chapatti.
He said this is what jawans were served at mealtime on duty. He said jawans often went to bed on an empty stomach.
The Union home ministry has now taken cognisance of the video and ordered an immediate investigation into the matter.
The PIL has sought direction to depute higher officers to supervise cooking of proper healthy food and its distribution.