A single-judge bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday recused itself from hearing the Punjab Police Services (PPS) officers’ seniority dispute case.
During the resumed hearing on Thursday, justice RK Jain in an open court took exception to the submissions recorded in a division bench order of March 4, wherein it was recorded that counsels informed the division bench that a single-judge bench was “inclined” to hear the case on priority. The counsels of opposite parties also pointed out that such a submission was not recorded in the previous order of the single-judge bench.
The appeal in the division bench was filed by one of the promottee officers challenging the stay vacated by the single-judge bench on notification of the PPS officers’ empanelment to the IPS cadre. As various counsels kept on arguing on merits related to the case, the bench ordered to recuse from hearing the case and directed that the matter be posted for further hearing on March 16 before some other bench after obtaining orders from the acting chief justice. The case of dispute over seniority between directly-recruited officers and promotee officers is before the high court for around two years now. The promotee officers have challenged it, claiming that direct recruits who joined the service after them have been shown senior to them on the list.
In 2013, the Punjab government forwarded the names of 15 officers for empanelment as IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), of which five are to be promoted.
The promottee officers have been challenging it, stating that the names be notified only after the seniority row is settled.