Delhi

Plea in Delhi HC for declaring system of awarding gallantry medals to armed forces 'arbitrary'

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh presenting Fire Service Medal for gallantry to the wife of leading fireman Simhachalam Boni of Andhra Pradesh. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking that the current system of awarding gallantry medals to armed forces personnel be declared arbitrary and against the principles of fairness due to the alleged opaque selection process.

The petition, which is likely to come up for hearing next week, alleged that there have been instances where acts of gallantry worthy of high recognition have been ignored by the system.

The absence of a mechanism to review a decision has led to "serious cases of injustice being meted out to deserving personnel of the armed forces", it said.

The petition, which has been filed by a retired defence personnel, said gallantry awards are generally given for conspicuous acts of valour done by armed forces personnel during peacetime or wartime.

It said all these gallantry medals are regulated vide various notifications issued by the office of the President of India from time to time, as to its form, selection criteria and benefits that will be given to the awardees.

It sought that the current system be declared arbitrary and unconstitutional on the grounds of opacity in functioning.

"The extant mechanism that considers each act of bravery by armed forces personnel individually for award of a gallantry medal is undefined and opaque in its functioning... Coupled with the absence of any mechanism for review of a wrong decision, it has led to serious cases of injustice being meted out to deserving personnel of the armed forces," the plea said.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 2:24:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/plea-in-delhi-hc-for-declaring-system-of-awarding-gallantry-medals-to-armed-forces-arbitrary/article36301662.ece

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