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Punjab government’s decision to appoint the former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s grandson as DSP in the police department came under judicial scrutiny on Tuesday as the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to the government for its response on a petition challenging the compassionate appointment. The petition has been filed by a member of the Amritsar-based Khalra Mission Organisation in the High Court seeking directions to set aside the compassionate appointment order of Guriqbal Singh. Punjab government, as a special case in May, had absorbed the former CM’s grandson and Congress MP Ravneet Singh’s younger brother as DSP in the police department against a direct quota post.
Stating that the compassionate appointment cannot be claimed as right, Praveen Kumar, a resident of Tarn Taran district and the petitioner in the case before the High Court has said the direct appointment is a violation of the Punjab Police Service Rules as Guriqbal has crossed the eligible age and his family’s economic status does not warrant his appointment under the compassionate norms.
“The objective of compassionate appointment is to give succor to the family which has been suddenly plunged into penury due to the untimely death of its sole bread winner. However, Guriqbal and his family members are having high political status as almost all family members are in politics as MPs and MLCs,” Kumar’s counsel Rajvinder Singh Bains has said in the petition.
Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain has sought a response from the government and the Punjab Police Service Commission by the next date of hearing on December 5. The petitioner has said Guriqbal’s family could have avoided pressing the claim as its “not morally right” to claim the job.
The petitioner in the case has further said that rather than helping the families of those people who were “victims of fake encounters and police brutality” during the regime of the former Chief Minister, the state government has “completely gone berserk in conferring public office on such undeserving grandchildren of affluent families who would not even feel ashamed at such begging of public office against the law”.
The state Cabinet had approved the appointment in May and a press release after the meeting had said, “In recognition of the supreme sacrifice made by former CM Beant Singh to end terrorism and maintain peace and harmony in the state, the Cabinet has approved the appointment of his grandson. The service rules have been relaxed to enable the appointment as a special case.”