Dispute over promotions: Punjab and Haryana high court stays CAT order in two cops’ case
The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order asking the director-general of police (DGP), Chandigarh, to allow two constables, facing departmental inquiries to attend a lower school training programme, mandatory for promotion to the next level.
The high court bench of justice GS Sandhawalia acted on the plea from the city administration challenging CAT order of December 15.
The training programme is mandatory for the promotion of constables to the post of head constables. The CAT order had come on the plea from constables Jagjit Singh and Jagjinder Singh, who had challenged the decision of the authorities not to include their names for the programme.
In July 2019, a departmental enquiry was initiated against Jagjeet Singh on allegations of being absent from duties during the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. There are also two more probes pending against him. As of Jagjinder Singh, he was dismissed from service for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe in September 2020. He was re-instated in service in September 2020, but a departmental probe was ordered.
In November, a process was initiated for filling up posts through promotion, but their names were dropped in view of these enquiries. They approached CAT against the decision. The UT had argued that if they are exonerated, they would be eligible to be deputed in the course in the next batch. But CAT ordered in their favour.
The UT in the high court had argued that past record and performance of an employee and pendency of departmental enquiry is a crucial factor to determine the merit of the candidate. Their names had not been excluded from the list but kept in the sealed cover subject to the outcome of the departmental inquiries pending against them. In case they are exonerated in the departmental/criminal proceedings, they will be eligible to be deputed in the next batch, the UT had argued before the high court.
The court while seeking a response from the duo on February 8 ordered that the course has already started on December 13, which is for a period of one month. In such circumstances, the Tribunal shall not enforce the order till the next date of hearing, it added.
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