The Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday asked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to prepare and produce a chart regarding the consideration made by its Empanelment Committee while preparing a panel for the post of DGP in different states in the last five years.
The court was hearing a case in which Punjab government and DGP Dinkar Gupta have challenged a Central Administrative Tribunal verdict of January 17 quashing the latter’s appointment as state police chief.
The chart, according to the order, will depict how many officers were eligible as per the 2009 Draft Guidelines for such consideration, how many officers were called for or considered for empanelment, whether the zone of consideration was restricted or regulated as per the relevant Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) guidelines or what criteria whatsoever was followed, and what was the inter-se seniority of the empanelled officers among the officers eligible as per the draft guidelines. The UPSC has also been asked that if all officers eligible as per the guidelines are to be considered without any regulation or restriction of the zone of consideration, then would such practice not violate the “mischief” sought to curtailed or removed by Supreme Court judgment in Prakash Singh case.
The division bench of Justices Jaswant Singh and Sant Prakash in the order also asked the UPSC to apprise the court in general about the number fixed for zone of consideration for empanelment of eligible officers for the post of DGP or head of police force as per the 2009 Draft Guidelines. The court has also asked if no such number is fixed as per the guidelines, then whether the DoPT guidelines and instructions are followed. If no DoPT guidelines are followed either, the court has asked it to state what process is followed for regulating the zone of consideration among the officers eligible.
“If there is no restriction for the zone of consideration then whether all officers eligible as per the Draft Guidelines 2009 are required to be considered irrespective of their number vis a vis the number of post of DGP (HoPF) to be filed?” the court asked.
Further, the HC has asked whether UPSC asks for forwarding of the lists and dossiers of all the officers eligible or leaves it to the discretion of the state to send the lists. It has also asked about the pan India practice regarding the number of officers in the zone of consideration.
The UPSC has also been directed to compile a chart showing comparative merit of all officers considered for the post of DGP in Punjab and keep the same ready in a sealed cover for consideration of the court.
In an application filed by senior IPS officer Mohammad Mustafa for preponing the date of hearing from August 13, the court Thursday issued a notice to the parties for July 22 for hearing of the case.
In the case pending before the HC, the Punjab government and Gupta have challenged the CAT verdict quashing latter’s appointment as head of the Punjab Police force. The verdict was stayed by the HC on January 21. Mustafa, who is one of the main parties in the case along with another DGP-rank IPS officer Siddharth Chattopadhyaya are questioning the process followed in DGP’s appointment.
The HC, in an order in January, also had asked Punjab to explain the criteria followed in fixing the number of officers sent for consideration to the UPSC after the opposing counsel had argued that the number of officers sent by the state in consideration zone was in violation of the DoPT instructions. Punjab had sent a dozen names for consideration with Mustafa and Chattopadhyaya figuring ahead of Gupta in the list.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines