Rajasthan HC refuses to stay constable promotion event
The Rajasthan high court has refused to stay a state government-organised ceremony to mark the promotion of 6,000 constables on Wednesday, but directed the Vasundhara Raje-led government to keep an account of the expenditure.
On Tuesday, a division bench headed by chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL)?filed by a city-based advocate, Pramod Singh, seeking to halt the alleged “misuse of public funds and government machinery” to gain political mileage. Constables will be promoted to the rank of head constable during the event at Rajasthan Police Academy in Jaipur.
The high order will provide a major boost to the chief minister, ahead of the Assembly elections due later this year. In another PIL , the court, on September 5, asked the state government to not club any government events with the chief minister’s Gaurav Yatra, a 40-day state-wide political roadshow.
The government was represented by a team of lawyers led by advocate general RM Lodha and additional advocate general G S Gill. According to Gill, the court passed a judgment favourable to the government after taking note of delays in promotions.
The petition, among other things, claimed that “the Rajasthan government will make arrangements for boarding and lodging of relatives of the constables/head constables, who will come to attend the event. The government is also using public funds for organising the event, and this is misuse of public funds and government machinery.”
A special team of 10 senior police officials, under the chairmanship of director general police (DGP) OP Galhotra, was set up to organise the event. On Sunday, Galhotra said: “Many candidates who join the department as constables retire without getting any promotion. Understanding the pain and mental condition of such constables, the state government and police headquarters have taken a decision to promote them.”
In her 2018-19 budget speech, Raje announced that constables who had served 18 years or more in the department would be promoted. She and state home minister Gulab Chand Kataria will attend the event.
The next hearing is scheduled for September 24.