The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued notice to the Punjab government among others on a petition filed by promotee Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers who have challenged the single-judge order of vacating the stay on the notification of the empanelment of PPS officers to the Indian Police Service (IPS).
The single-judge bench had vacated the stay on January 19, on the application of the opposite party in an ongoing seniority row among the PPS officers. The petitioners had submitted that the single-judge bench order was on “personal perception and predilection” purely and the expressions employed in the judgment reflected the “latent anger, anguish and hostility” towards the coordinate bench that had stayed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) notification on December 29, 2014 during winter vacation.
They have further submitted that while considering the application for vacation of stay in January, the single-judge bench did not take any notice of the averments made in the application by opposite party, which had termed the obtaining of stay orders as “abuse or misuse of process of law or by way of bench hunting and forum shopping”.
Based on the petition, the division bench headed by justice Surya Kant issued notices to the Punjab government and the UPSC among others. It has also recorded why the case be not shifted from the single-judge bench to a division bench upon approval from the acting chief justice.
On March 12, a single-judge bench had recused from hearing the main case related to the seniority dispute. The case was listed on March 16 before another bench, which has adjourned the hearing for May. The bench has recused from the case stating that the one of the parties had “misrepresented” facts before the division bench.
In 2013, the Punjab government forwarded to the UPSC the names of 15 officers for empanelment as IPS officers, of which five are to be promoted. However, promotee officers have challenged it, stating that the names be notified only after the seniority row is settled.