Hours after the Border Security Force (BSF) sacked constable Tej Bahadur Yadav after a three-month long proceeding at a summary court martial held in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district, he said he will now appeal in the High Court.
According to a BSF press release, Bahadur has the option to appeal against the verdict within three months.
"Hope I get justice. I have full faith in the judiciary. This is what happens when you say the truth. This has been happening for years now," Tej Bahadur said while speaking to ANI.
Yadav was dismissed by the Summary Security Force Court (SSFC), a court of inquiry which found that he had damaged the "image of the BSF" when he uploaded a video clip on the "substandard food" on social media, triggering an uproar.
COMMANDANT BACK TO HOLDING SENIOR POST
The trooper was facing the inquiry on various charges under provision of BSF Act and rules, including indiscipline. His plea for voluntary retirement was also rejected by the BSF authorities.
The constable had made the video after seeking for voluntary retirement, which was put on hold pending enquiry. The BSF, which had transferred Tej Bahadur's supervising officer Pravin Kumar from 29 Battalion in Poonch to a remote location in Tripura managed to get command of a unit near Kolkata few days ago. The officer was put on staff job as commandant under the supervision of a senior officer at Bagafa in sector Udaipur of Tripura for barely three months.
According to a highly-placed source, while Bahadur's services have been dismissed, the commandant is back to holding a senior post.
As reported earlier, a DIG-level officer had given an adverse report on Kumar in the officer's annual confidential report but, according to a high-level source, he managed to get away allegedly because of political clout.
In the BSF release, there is no mention of Kumar. The release states, "the enquiry conducted by Special Security Force Command (SSFC) commenced on April 13 and concluded today, where the soldier was given enough opportunity to defend himself."
STATEMENTS FROM THE BSF PRESS RELEASE
(a) An act prejudicial to good order and discipline of the force in which he made false allegations on social media regarding quality of food and did not adhere to formal grievance redressal mechanism of the force.
(b) Neglect to obey general orders of the force in which he carried two mobile phones while on operational duty against the SOP and also posted photographs in uniform on social media in contravention of instructions.
Meanwhile, Bahadur's wife Sharmila Devi said, "The whistleblower was paying the price of exposing corruption." Crying foul over what she called an unfair trial and dismissal, Sharmila said," In the future, no one would want to send her husband or son to the paramilitary force."
In the video, Bahadur had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into "corruption" in force, prompting the PMO to demand a report.
While the MHA said it received a report from BSF DG, it had no mention that the constable was being dismissed from service. It however backed the force saying, "if so, the dismissal would be on valid grounds." The court of inquiry conducted by the DIG-level officer also mentioned that no other soldier made claims of poor quality food served to them.