Madras HC sets aside TN order appointing DGP

Madras HC on Friday set aside the appointment of senior woman IPS officer Letika Saran as state Director General of Police of Tamil Nadu on the ground that guidelines of Supreme Court had been bypassed in the appointment order.

Updated: Oct 08, 2010, 20:50 PM IST

Chennai: Madras High Court on Friday set aside
the appointment of senior woman IPS officer Letika Saran as
state Director General of Police of Tamil Nadu on the ground
that guidelines of the Supreme Court had been bypassed in the
appointment order.

The ruling was given by the court on a petition filed
by R Nataraj, DGP and Director of the state Fire and Rescue
Services challenging the appointment of Saran and to consider
him for the post of state police chief. He had claimed that
his seniority was overlooked in the appointment of DGP.
A Division Bench comprising Justices F K Ibrahim
Kallifulla and M M Sundresh, however, allowed Saran, the first
woman DGP of the state, to continue in office till a new DGP
was appointed.

The Judges said a perusal of the records showed that
the directions of the Supreme Court were not followed in the
appointment of Saran as DGP. Tamil Nadu government had passed
the appointment order on January 8.

"There is total inaction on the part of the government
to carry out the directions of the Apex Court in letter and
spirit," the Bench held.

It directed the government to forward the names of all
eligible officers in the rank of DGP in the cadre of HAG plus
a basic salary of not less than Rs 75,000 to the Union Public
Service Commission (UPSC) with a necessary requisition for
preparing a panel.

Directing the government to furnish all particulars on
or before October 26, the Judges made it clear that they had
not expressed any opinion on the merits or demerits of the
parties to the writ petition.

The Judges said if the UPSC required any further
clarification or particulars as regards the names forwarded,
the government should do so as expeditiously as possible on or
before November 26.

Directing the government to positively appoint by
December 7, one of the officers selected by the UPSC and
forwarded to it, the Bench also directed the government to
file compliance report December 14.

"There is nothing in the files which will indicate the
consideration or relative merits or demerits of the officers
considered except a typed note prepared by some unknown
official," the Judges said in an 80-page order.
The file did not disclose any selective process that
had taken place. Further there was no reason assigned anywhere
in the file about the choice of selection or the preference
over the others, it said.

Even the service records of the officers eligible for
appointment as DGP had not been placed while selecting Saran
as DGP.

Stating that the court was constrained to point out
that the stand of the government could not be accepted, the
Bench held "there is total inaction on the part of the
government to carry out the directions of the Apex Court in
letter and spirit." The government had no other option except
to scrupulously follow the Supreme Court`s orders in making
the appointment.

On the claim of recently appointed CRPF Director
General K Vijay Kumar that he had a right to be considered for
the post of Tamil Nadu DGP, the Judges said proceeding on
deputation did not disrupt the service of the deputationist,
irrespective whether the person worked in a `foreign
department`.
"His right and lien will continue to remain in the
parent department and he will be entitled for the benefits
available in the parent service by virtue of seniority," the
Bench held.

Taking into consideration that Vijay Kumar, by virtue
of his induction into the state police service in 1975 held
the rank of DGP from September 9,2008 on par with Nataraj and
higher placed than Saran as DGP, he should have been
considered for the post of the state DGP, the Judges said.

"Since it was not done on this ground also the
appointment has to be set aside," they said.

Referring to the Central Administrative Tribunal order
of March eight last upholding the appointment of Saran as DGP,
the Bench said the order was made without application of mind
and the law laid down by the highest court.

"The CAT has miserably failed to deal with the issue
in proper perspective and has not considered any of the
relevant issues. We therefore have no hesitation in setting
the order aside for various reasons," the Judges said.

PTI