SC dismisses plea challenging Dinkar Gupta’s appointment as Punjab DGP

Decision a setback for Sidharth Chattopadhaya, a frontrunner for the Punjab Police chief’s post, and the Navjot Singh Sidhu camp backing him
Dinkar Gupta with then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh after his appointment as the Punjab Police chief in Chandigarh in 2019. (HT file photo)
Dinkar Gupta with then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh after his appointment as the Punjab Police chief in Chandigarh in 2019. (HT file photo)
Published on Nov 16, 2021 01:08 PM IST
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ByHT Correspondent

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the petitions filed by DGPs Sidharth Chattopadhyaya and Mohd Mustafa (now retired) challenging the appointment of 1987-batch Indian Police Service officer Dinkar Gupta as the Punjab Police chief by the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government.

Also read: 12 firms booked for hoarding, overpricing of DAP fertiliser in Punjab

The development is seen as a setback to Chattopadhaya, considered a frontrunner for the post of Punjab DGP, the appointment of which is expected in the next few days.

The camp led by Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu has been strongly backing Chattopadhyaya’s candidature for the post.

It was under the Sidhu faction’s pressure that Chattopadhaya was appointed chief director, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Punjab, last month.

A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao dismissed the appeals filed by Chattopadhyay and Mustafa. The court had reserved judgment in the case on September 15.

Gupta had superseded five officers

Dinkar Gupta was appointed the Punjab director general of police (DGP) in 2019. Both Mustafa, a 1985-batch IPS officer, and Chattopadhyaya, 1986-batch IPS officer, had challenged Gupta’s appointment with claims that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had tailor-made rules to include Gupta in the panel sent to it by it to the Punjab government.

Gupta had superseded five senior officers, including Mustafa and Chattopadhyaya.

After both the officers challenged the appointment in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), this court had quashed Gupta’a appointment. However, the Punjab and Haryana high court in January 2020 stayed the CAT orders.

The UPSC is said to have taken a strong stand while backing Gupta, citing two factors, the length and range of service in the previous 10 years.

The detailed judgment in the case is awaited.

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