Update: Under HC orders BSF jawan Tej Bahadur’s wife will be allowed to meet him over the weekend in Samba (J&K).Next hearing on Feb 15
New Delhi: The Delhi High on Friday agreed to give an urgent hearing on a habeas corpus plea filed by the wife of a BSF jawan, who had posted video on social media alleging that poor quality food was being served to soldiers.
The woman has claimed that her husband, Tej Bahadur Yadav, is untraceable and the family has been unable to contact him for last three days.
The plea for urgent hearing was mentioned before a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar, who listed it for hearing this afternoon.
Advocate Manish Tewari, appearing for the jawan’s wife, submitted that the soldier whereabouts are not known for last few days, so the court should look into the issue.
Accepting the urgency, the bench said, “All right it (the petition) will be heard today”.
Yadav had on January 9 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 had said this is what jawans were served at mealtime on duty at places including the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and that they often went to bed on empty stomach.
Pursuant to the video going viral on the social media, the Prime Minister’s Office had sought a detailed factual report on it from the Union Home Ministry and BSF.
A PIL was also filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the government to depute higher officers to supervise cooking of proper healthy food and its distribution.
It sought a status report regarding the quality of food served to soldiers along the LoC.
The high court had issued notice on the petition to various paramilitary forces, including the Border Security Force (BSF), seeking their stand on the allegation of poor quality food being served to the troops.
It had also directed BSF to produce before it the investigation report and the steps taken with regard to the allegations levelled by the BSF jawan.
Now, less than a month after the PIL was filed, Yadav’s wife, Sharmila, and his family are claiming that the soldier is untraceable and that they have not been able to reach him.
She has sought a high-level inquiry into his disappearance as well as the recent rejection of his plea for voluntary retirement.
Yadav’s wife Sharmila, through her counsel, told the court that she and her elder brother had met the BSF director general who had assured them that a “fair inquiry as per procedure” will be conducted in the case.
The counsel also said that the BSF DG told them that the jawan was hospitalised.
Earlier, BSF had said that Yadav’s plea under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) was cancelled as a Court of Inquiry (CoI) was pending against him.