After the Central Administrative Tribunal Friday set aside the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as the Punjap police chief, senior IPS officer Mohd Mustafa, who was one of the aspirants for the post, said that “justice has prevailed and his honour restored.”
A two-member bench of CAT chairman L Narsimha Reddy and M Jamshed pronounced the order on an appeal by Mustafa and Siddhharth Chattopadhyaya, who had challenged Gupta’s appointment as Punjab DGP on the ground that they were “ignored” despite being senior to him.
“I am feeling relieved now. Justice has prevailed. My honour has been restored and my position has been vindicated. The CAT order has vindicated my stand that I was wronged. I was not against anyone being the DGP,” Mustafa told The Indian Express.
Stating that he would seek an appointment with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to request that “the injustice done” should be undone. “He was kept in the dark by the vested interests. Everybody has now seen the light of the day. Everything is crystal clear. At the moment, Dinkar Gupta is not the (Punjab) DGP. His appointment has been quashed by the CAT. The state is without a DGP today. Soon, I will try to meet the CM,” Mustafa added.
The senior IPS officer said that he had put in 34 years in the police. “And one morning, after 34 years you get to know that you are not fit for being the state police chief. This was rankling me. And this was behind my fight. I was not against anyone for being the DGP. It was not about anyone, but it was about me,” Mustafa said.
While Mustafa is a 1985-batch officer and Chattopadhyaya a 1986-batch officer, Gupta is a 1987-batch officer.
Mustafa said he had won four President’s Police Medals for gallantry. “Mohd Mustafa is the only officer in the country who has won the highest gallantry medal four times. I was decorated for my fight against terrorism. Dinkar Gupta had got two gallantry medals but they were police medals and not President’s Police Medals. Moreover, I was the only officer in Punjab cadre who had served in all the border districts of the state. Is it not an achievement? I started my career from Tarn Taran and after getting promoted I remained IG in all the border districts. I was made to serve in the border districts. And unfounded people told the CM that I was not fit for being the DGP,” the officer said.
Gupta was appointed DGP on February 7 last year.
He was selected by the UPSC out of a panel of three officers sent by the state government. Gupta had superseded five officers – Mustafa, Hardeep Dhillon, Jasminder Singh, Chattopadhyaya, and Samant Goel (on central deputation).
While Chattopadhyaya and Mustafa took the fight to the CAT, the others didn’t challenge Gupta’s appointment. Mustafa was earlier considered close to Amarinder Singh. His wife Razia Sultana is a minister in Punjab Cabinet. Mustafa did not have it easy during SAD-BJP tenure due to his “family’s Congress background”. He was hoping to become the DGP after Congress government took over.
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