The Bombay High Court's order on quashing the appointment of AN Roy as police chief will certainly have an impact on the appointments on top posts in future, say political observers.
The remarks passed by the high court will force the government to be cautious for the appointment of new chief secretary when the incumbent Johny Joseph retires in May.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan may find it difficult to supersede a lot of officers while finding a successor to Joseph. Former Chief Secretary V Ranganathan opined that it would be difficult for the government to go out of the way to make certain big appointments. “There has been a precedent in a Karnataka case where the apex court has ruled that while considering post of the chief secretary, officers from within that particular pay grade should be considered.”
However, he also said that the court’s ruling is on “technical grounds” and the government’s appointment was a “procedural lapse”.
The problem is that there are no clear norms governing such appointments but court precedents, which are now considered as law of the land.
Some political observers say that the court ruling is unlikely to work as a huge deterrent for political appointees.
Former IPS official-turned-lawyer Y.P. Singh said political appointments could be weeded out only if violations like these by the government were punished or there were clearly laid out transparent norms for appointments.