Sunday, May 19, 2013

HC upholds Centre's notification on recruitment of IPS officers

From The Times Of India
TNN | May 16, 2013

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati high court on Tuesday set aside the previous judgment of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Guwahati bench, and upheld the Centre's notification on the proposed recruitment of IPS officers from the army and central paramilitary forces through limited competitive exam across the country.

In September last year, the CAT had quashed the Centre's notification on the proposed recruitment after six officers of Assam Police challenged the amendments to the Indian Police Service (Recruitment) Rules, 1954. The petitioners argued that the inclusion of officers as feeder category for appointment to IPS under the amendment is devoid of any cogent nexus with the objectives sought to be achieved.

As per the proposed 'limited' competitive exam, an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police or equivalent in armed forces and central paramilitary forces with five years of experience and not more than the age of 35 years on August 1, 2012, can sit for the exam and be promoted as IPS officer.

To meet the mounting challenges on the internal security front due to the acute shortage of IPS officers, the proposal, which also got the nod of former home minister P Chidambaram, was brought about as a third option to recruit IPS officers in the country. Earlier, an IPS officer was recruited either via direct exams or by promoting an existing state police service officer.

"With the high court order, the third option remains open," said the Centre's counsel Naba Jyoti Dutta.

Last year, six petitioners from Assam police - Swapnaneel Deka, Amitava Sinha, Sanjib Saikia, Bedanta Rajkhowa, Devojyoti Mukherjee and Mantu Thakuria - challenged the proposed amendments, saying that state governments can fill up vacant posts of IPS officers if needed from the existing pool of qualified officers. In the appeal, the petitioners also stated that the Centre did not consult the Joint Cadre Authority of Assam and Meghalaya before making the amendments.

"We already have a pool of capable officers, who can be promoted as IPS officers. Moreover, if the department wants, they can also go for fresh recruitment rather than recruiting officers from other armed forces. It will create shortage in other forces too," Amitava Sinha, a petitioner, who is heading the crime branch, had said. All the six state police officers, who challenged the amendments are of the rank of deputy superintendent of police or above in Assam Police.

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