SC orders provisional reinstatment of 22,000 sacked UP cops
The Mayawati government on Monday suffered a setback with the Supreme Court directing the state to issue provisional appointments to nearly 22,000 sacked constables who were allegedly appointed "illegally" during the previous Samajwadi Party rule.
It rapped the state government for dragging its feet on the reinstatement of the policemen for over five months, following which the Allahabad High Court had issued a contempt notice to the authorities.
A vacation bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Deepak Verma ordered the provisional appointment while refusing to entertain an application moved by the state government seeking a stay on the contempt proceedings sought to be initiated by the Allahahabad High Court.
"That (contempt) is the only sword. Otherwise, you will not implement it. Wait till July otherwise face the contempt," the apex court observed while refusing to stay the contempt notice issued by the high court to the State if it failed to implement the earlier directions for reinstatement of the sacked constables.
The apex court, however, made it clear that the provisional appointment orders to be issued by the state are subject to the final outcome of the Special Leave Petition pending in the apex court on the issue.
The apex court felt that Uttar Pradesh would not face much loss on account of the reinstatement as it would be only paying them salaries until the dispute relating to the geniuneness of their appointments was decided by the apex court in July after the vacation.
On May 20, the Allahabad High Court had warned Uttar Pradesh government that it will face contempt proceedings if its order for reinstating the sacked police personnel was not complied by the Mayawati government before May 27.
Holding that non-compliance with the order was prima facie tantamount to contempt of court, Justice Vikram Nath of the Allahabad High Court directed the Principal Secretary (Home), the Director General of Police and other top officials to appear before the court on May 27.
The high court had ordered reinstatement on a petition filed by Pawan Kumar Singh and other sacked constables after taking a view that all the 22,000-odd cannot be deemed to have been appointed illegally.
It had directed the state to segregate the genuine appointees from among the sacked constables and reinstate them.
According to the Mayawati government, since the entire recruitment process conducted in 2005 by the Mulayam Singh Yadav government was "vitiated", it would not be appropriate to segregate the candidates for their reinstatement.
The constables were sacked in 2007 by Mayawati government after it came to power.