In 26-year fight for pension under ‘Rule 19’, retired BSF jawans seek President’s help

Outfit representing jawans who retired in 1996-97 says they were supposed to get ₹1,250 per month

September 25, 2023 08:42 pm | Updated 08:43 pm IST - New Delhi

Members of the ‘Association of BSF Rule 19 Victims 96-97’ who held a protest at Jantar Mantar here earlier this month.

Members of the ‘Association of BSF Rule 19 Victims 96-97’ who held a protest at Jantar Mantar here earlier this month. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

A group of 136 Border Security Force (BSF) jawans, who retired nearly 26 years ago after serving at least 10 years, has knocked on the doors of President Droupadi Murmu, requesting that the government give them pension.

During a protest at Jantar Mantar here on September 20, the ‘Association of BSF Rule 19 Victims 96-97’ said it has knocked on every door to get justice, but in vain. Many protesters said they have no other jobs and are finding it difficult to sustain their families.

The president of the association, P.K. Ganesh Babu, said that all its members had taken voluntary retirement in 1996-97 as there was a provision which made them eligible for the minimum pension if they left service after 10 years due to personal reasons.

Under Chapter-IV of The BSF Rules, 1969, which pertains to ‘Termination of Service’, Rule 19 on ‘Resignation’ states that the Central government may, under special circumstances, permit any officer to resign before attaining the retirement age or before serving the necessary number of years.

The association, which is registered in Kerala, has sought an appointment with the President “as a last resort” to discuss their situation. It also said that servicemen of similar ranks in other forces have been getting pension after 10 years.

“We were supposed to get a pension of ₹1,250 per month back then, but only some of us got it. About 23 people from our group got the pension for five and a half years, but even that was stopped in 2001,” Mr. Babu said.

He added that many people who resigned under this provision have been getting pension after they individually moved the court and won their respective cases.

Call to rejoin duty

Mr. Babu also said that as over 2,000 people had left the BSF after 10 years of service under Rule 19 in 1996-97 alone, the force in 2001 tried to call most of them to rejoin duty instead of giving them pension.

“However, many of us were not in a position to join due to personal reasons. We also had to get medical and other clearances again. Since then, we have been knocking on all doors to get our pension,” Mr. Babu said.

Asked for a comment on the matter, the BSF did not give a response. However, a source said that the issue had already been settled by an Supreme Court ruling.

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