The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday set aside the Punjab director general of police's (DGP) 2010 circular directing that police officials convicted of criminal charges for an offence where the prescribed maximum punishment is less than three years must not be dismissed from service irrespective of the quantum of sentence awarded.
Pronouncing the judgment, the division bench headed by chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri also quashed another clause of the circular which envisages automatic dismissal of police officials convicted of offences for which the prescribed sentence is more than three years.
The judgment came on a public interest litigation filed by advocate HC Arora, challenging the DGP's circular issued on May 18, 2010.
The bench observed that the circular was against the provisions under Article 311 of the Constitution as well as Rule 13 of the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment & Appeal) Rules, 1970, which envisage considering the conduct which leads to conviction of the government servant, while taking action on the basis of conviction.
The judgment directs that in all cases of conviction, the appointing authorities have to independently consider the conduct of the police official concerned which led to conviction and then take the appropriate decision to retain the official in service by imposing punishment other than dismissal or removal. While taking such a decision, the circumstances have to be duly recorded and approval obtained from the next higher authority.