“Centre must have a reasonable discretion to choose its officer” – Delhi HC

Source: This post is based on the article “Centre must have a reasonable discretion to choose its officer” published in Indian Express on 13th October 2021.

What is the news?

The Delhi High Court recently dismissed the PIL challenging the appointment of an IPS officer as the Commissioner of the Delhi Police.

About the case

A Gujarat cadre officer was deputed to the AGMUT cadre and granted an extension of service for a period of one year beyond his date of retirement. So, a PIL has been filed questioning the inter-cadre deputation, and extension of service.

In a written reply to the PIL, the centre said that as the AGMUT cadre comprises Union Territories and small North-eastern states, the requisite experience was found lacking in the present pool of available officers.

What are the observations of the Delhi High Court while dismissing the PIL?

The bench observed that Delhi, being the capital of India, has a unique, special and specific requirement.

The court also held that the Prakash Singh case directions on the appointment of DGPs are applicable only to states and have no application for Union Territories falling under the AGMUT cadre.

Note: In the Prakash Singh case, the SC held that DGP should be appointed through a merit-based transparent process and secure a minimum tenure of two years.

The court agreed to the Centre’s view on the AGMUT cadre. Further, the court also said that there is a power vested in the central government to grant relaxation on inter-cadre deputations.

Apart from that, the court also said that the government followed the statutory procedure prescribed under the Delhi Police Act, 1978 and Transaction of Business of GNCTD Rules, 1993 during the appointment.

So, the court dismissed the PIL that questioned the inter-cadre deputation and extension of service.

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