Sushil Kumar, a constable was designated to this post in 1995. Later in 2004 due to his acts of bravery, the Superintendent of Police (SP) recommended his name for promotion for inclusion in the B-I List to the post of Head Constable under the 10% quota of outstanding performance but was rejected by the Inspector General of Police (IG). Again in 2007, his name was recommended by the SP, approval was given by the IG, his name was forwarded to the Central Department Promotional Committee and he was made Officiating Head Constable in the year 2008. Believing himself to be more meritorious than other constables who were promoted in 2004 he filed a writ petition seeking retrospective promotion with effect from 21.01.2004. The appeal through writ to the High Court of Haryana was dismissed by the learned single judge bench as well as the additional division bench on the grounds that selection was not subject to the fundamental rights of an individual. Unsatisfied with the decision pronounced another civil appeal was filed in the Supreme court of India by Sushil Kumar.
Whether IG is vested with the power to interfere or substitute its decision to that of DPC?
Referring to Chapter 13 which lays down the rule for the selection of candidates:
List B shall be maintained by each Superintendent of Police wherein:
• The IG/DIG will undertake and examine its correctness.
• The IG/DIG if considers being necessary shall seek clarifications from the DPC
• The IG/DIG has the authorization to refer the list back to the SP for correction of any error or omission thereafter giving his approval.
• The List shall not be final until it is approved by the IG/DIG.
• IG/DIG shall send its recommendations on behalf of each unit to the CDPC.
The 10% quota is allocated out of a State Level Comparative Merit List which would be prepared on the basis of the list sent by the IG from every unit.
According to the rule, the position of any candidate recommended by SP shall not be finalized until it is approved by the IG. The names recommended by the SP to the CDPC are only provisional and subject to ratification by the IG, mere forwarding of the name of any candidate by the SP does not create any right of promotion in his favour.
Sub-rule 14 of Rule 13.7 empowers the IG to grant approval. This power extends to not granting approval if the IG is not satisfied.
• Writ Petition
A writ petition can be filed by any citizen of India for the enforcement of fundamental rights, the judiciary has been armed with the power to issue writs to the Supreme Court under Art. 32 & High Court under Art 226 of the Indian Constitution.
• Rules for Appointment of Head Constable (for aforementioned 10% quota) According to the rules the district shall comprise of a Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC), the SP/Commandant, and two Deputy Superintendent of Police where the DPC shall prepare a list called List B-I prepared from among the eligible candidates to be appointed on the basis of outstanding performance in job or display of bravery during the course of performance of official duty, the age limit for same is below 40 years and have completed two years of service on the first day of January of the year in which selection is made.
The Supreme Court, in this case, Sushil Kumar v. State of Haryana stated that in any judicial review proceedings, the Courts are concerned with the decision-making process and not the decision itself relying on which the decision for the promotion to the post of Head Constable must best be left to the discretion of the said authorities. The learned court addressed the judgments made by the Single Judge as well as the Division Bench to be complying and suffice, also focused on the fact that the merits and accolades of the candidates recommended for promotion vary from year to year on a comparative merit scale. The competitive environment differs from year to year. The scrutiny is dynamic and cannot be adjudged on the basis of a previous year's performance, keeping in mind all the rules for the selection and promotion, stated no illegality or arbitrariness in the process of selection. Hence the appeal in the present court was dismissed.
This article is written by Sneha Chandran of Amity University Jaipur.