After the Delhi High Court’s intervention, the BSF on Friday agreed to allow the wife of “missing” BSF trooper Tej Bahadur Yadav, whose social media video clip on “substandard food” triggered an uproar, to meet him for two days.
A division bench of Justice G.S. Sistani and Justice Vinod Goel directed the BSF to let Yadav’s wife meet him at the battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and also to stay overnight for two days.
The court posted the matter for February 15.
Yadav’s wife Sharmila has filed a habeas corpus plea after she and other family members failed to contact the Border Security Force trooper for three days.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain appearing for BSF told the court that Yadav was “not missing” but just transferred to another battalion in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir.
“The wife’s apprehension was baseless and unfounded as she was in regular contact with him over the phone till February 7. We completely deny the allegation that Yadav is missing. He has been transferred to another battalion. Family is aware of this. He has been allowed to talk to his family. He was neither under arrest nor under confinement. He has not been put to any harassment,” the ASG told the bench.
Advocate Manish Tiwari appearing for Yadav’s wife told the court that the family had no information about his whereabouts and she last spoke to him on February 7 when Yadav told her that he was being taken to an unknown location.
“His family has been calling him on his mobile number but it goes unanswered. When they contact his official phone number, nobody tells us about his location or they keep the call on hold,” said the wife’s lawyer.
In January, Yadav posted a video clip on social media complaining about the quality of food served to BSF personnel and accused unnamed officers of illegally selling food supplies meant for troopers.
The ASG said that the BSF took Yadav’s personal mobile phone, and gave him a new phone with another SIM. It said his personal mobile, which was used by Yadav to upload the videos, was under investigation. Yadav’s wife said the family also sent two letters to the BSF Director General K.K. Sharma to find out about Yadav’s whereabouts but got no response.
The family earlier alleged that the trooper was being “threatened and tortured mentally”.
After Yadav’s video went viral, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Home Ministry sought details on the incident from the BSF. The trooper faces an inquiry on various charges, including indiscipline. His plea for voluntary retirement was rejected by the authorities.
A habeas corpus is a provision in law requiring a person under arrest or detention to be brought before a judge or court.