The Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to produce a chart detailing about process on candidates considered by it for the appointment of director general of police (DGP) in the last five years across India.
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This direction was given by High Court during the hearing of petition filed by Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta challenging Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order quashing his appointment.Dinkar Gupta, a 1987 batch officer was appointed as DGP by state government in February 2019, after his name was shortlisted by UPSC, in which he superseded five senior officers. Out of five, two senior officers subsequently moved to CAT to challenge Dinkar Gupta appointment.
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In January 2020, two member bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) quashed the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as Punjab DGP on ground that selection process has been defeated with impunity. CAT bench headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy held that entire appointment process followed was against the provisions outlined by Supreme Court.
“The selection process, which was galvanized, has been virtually ignored and defeated with impunity. A device procedure was evolved to choose the selection criteria in such a way that the desired candidates are selected. This exactly was the malady, which the Honorable Supreme Court wanted to eradicate,” the tribunal observed.
Tribunal said that that Punjab government tailored criteria to match Dinkar Gupta’s core area of expertise – “The easiest way for a state government to ensure… an officer of its choice and who is pliable as DGP, would be to continuously post him in any specific activity, howsoever inconsequential it may be, and then to make an effort to accord primacy to such activity in the process of selection,” the bench observed.
“There cannot be a better instance of arbitrariness and favoritism than this. The selection process would stand reduced to a mockery. Any aspiring officer would make endeavors in ensuring that he remains in the good books of administration and he is posted continuously in a particular activity.”
The CAT order added, “It is just un-understandable as to how the empanelment committee of the Punjab government felt free to adopt its own criteria when the entire exercise was circumscribed by the judgment and subsequent orders passed by the Honorable Supreme Court.”
Challenging the CAT order of quashing the appointment of Dinkar Gupta, government approached Punjab and Haryana High Court which allowed hearing and stayed the CAT order.
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On the request of DGP-rank officer, Mohammed Mustafa for early hearing of the matter, High Court bench of Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice Sant Prakash allowed the hearing of the matter and directedUPSC to submit the following:
- To produce the chart regarding the consideration made by it for the post of DGP of different states in the last five years depicting as to how many officers were eligible as per 2009guidelines for reach of such consideration and how many such officers were called for consideration/empanelment in each such consideration.
- Whether the zone of consideration was restricted/ regulated as per the relevant department of personnel and training guidelines and what was the inter-se seniority of the empanelled officers among the officers eligible as per 2009 guidelines.
- To submit the information with supporting documents and to compile the chart showing the comparative merit of all officers considered for the post of Punjab DGP on adopted criteria.
- To state about the number fixed for zone of consideration for the empanelment of eligible officers and if there is no number fixed for the zone of consideration as per 2009 guidelines then whether the DoPT guidelines were followed to regulate the zone of consideration
- To submit if the DoPT guidelines and instructions are not followed, then what is the process followed by UPSC for restricting/ regulating the zone of consideration, then whether the all officers eligible as per 2009 guidelines are required to be considered irrespective of their number.
- To state whether it asks for the forwarding of the list of all the officers eligible as per the guidelines or leaves it to the discretion of the state to forward and send the list of all eligible officers.
- UPSC has been told that the pan India practice regarding the number of officers in the zone of consideration for empanelmentas DGP be shared.
For case specific advice on Service matters related to Appointment Transfer and Stay on Transfer in service and administrative matters, one may contact top/best expert CAT Administrative Tribunal Advocate in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali Zirakpur Derabassi Kharar Mullanpur Baltana.
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Appoint of DGP, process disclosure report to be submitted by UPSC before Punjab and Haryana High Court