The Bombay High Court on Wednesday cleared the road for promotion of 595 policemen while vacating the stay granted on promotions of policemen by Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT).
A division bench of Justice FI Rebello and Justice RM Sawant cleared the way for promotion and appointment of 214 assistant police inspectors, 282 police inspectors and 99 deputy superintendents of police and assistant commissioner of police on a petition filed by Maharashtra government challenging the stay granted by MAT.
While reserving the petition for order on April 19, the bench made it clear that all the promotions and appointments will be subject to final orders in the petition.
Associate Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhkoni said that the dispute regarding promotions emerged when the state government decided to merge the two cadres, for women and men police officers, in 1994.
Kumbhkoni argued that state wanted to promote several officers who were due for promotion and the stay was hindering the promotions and urged the court to give permission for the promotions.
The dispute was regarding seniority in the common cadre which was prepared in 1998. The seniority level got disrupted as the woman cadres had to undergo only six months of training while the men had to undergo 18 months of training which means that woman police officers though appointed subsequently finished their training earlier while the male officers finished late thereby disputing the seniority level.
A police inspector Layakmiya Shaikh challenged this decision of the government in the MAT in 2005. MAT had directed the state government to workout seniority of the entire force from 1959 onwards while staying all the promotions till this exercise is completed.
This order was challenged by the state government in March 2007.