High court stays CAT order quashing appointment of Dinkar Gupta as Punjab DGP
Central Administrative Tribunal had on Friday set aside the February 2019 appointment of Gupta as police chief, observing the procedure adopted by empanelment committee and UPSC for preparing panel violated SC judgment in Prakash Singh case. A 1987-batch IPS officer, Gupta superseded five officersUpdated: Jan 21, 2020 12:57 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday stayed the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order that quashed the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as the Punjab police chief.
The court fixed February 6 as the next date of hearing.
Punjab had argued that having no chief will jeopardise peace and security in the border state. It will have serious repercussions on the law and order, the government had reasoned.
The petition challenging the CAT order was taken up by the division bench of Justices Jaswant Singh and Sant Prakash.
Dinkar Gupta had also appealed against the order. Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers Mohammad Mustafa and Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, who had challenged Gupta’s appointment in CAT, had filed caveats.
The CAT on Friday had quashed the February 2019 appointment of Gupta as police force chief, observing that the procedure adopted by the empanelment committee and the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for preparing the panel violated the Supreme Court judgment in the Prakash Singh case.
A 1987-batch IPS officer, Gupta had superseded five senior officers for the post of the police chief on February 7, 2019.
The CAT had given four weeks to the UPSC and the empanelment committee to make fresh recommendations of three officers for consideration of the DGP’s appointment.
The government had argued that the CAT judgment found fault with the guidelines followed by the empanelment committee, despite the same having been approved by the apex court.
It said CAT ‘erroneously’ gave undue importance to the criterion of seniority, whereas the apex court has made it clear that it has to be taken note of along with other criteria. “It is the prerogative of the empanelment committee to select the core policing areas. The policing challenges in Punjab are different from those in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh,” the government said in the plea, stressing that CAT was right in selecting five areas of policing out of 20.
Gupta too has made similar arguments, saying the guidelines, which CAT stated that UPSC should not have considered for appointment have been used in 21 Empanelment Committee meetings held for the purpose of the recommendations of the state’s police chiefs since November 2010.