‘Seniority Not Sole Criterion to Appoint DGP of ‘Sensitive’ J&K’

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Srinagar—Seniority is not the sole criterion to appoint head of the police force of Jammu and Kashmir, ruling PDP-BJP government told Central Administrative Tribunal following which latter dismissed an application by S.K. Mishra (IPS), Director General of Police (Prisons), challenging appointment of S P Vaid as the top cop.

A division bench of CAT comprising Justice M.S. Sullar (judicial member) and MS. P. GOPINATH (administrative member) however restrained S P Vaid from exercising any administrative control or power over S K Mishra in any manner being senior to him.

In his plea, S K Mishra had challenged rejection of his representation to the government against the appointment SP Vaid as state’s top police officer.

In his plea, Mishra stated that he was the senior most Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer of J&K, belonging to 1985 batch, while as S.P. Vaid belongs to 1986 batch of IPS. Mishra claimed that he was illegally superseded Vaid and that his appointed by government on 28 November 2016 was contrary to law and by-passing the seniority.

Opposing it, the ruling PDP-BJP government through Chief secretary and Home Secretary refuted the claim, contending that the selection of DGP was a decision taken by the State Cabinet, after considering the entire service record, merits, eligibility, suitability and qualifications of the candidates falling in zone of consideration including Mishra and as such, decision was based on subjective satisfaction of the State Government. It said in its wisdom, after taking relevant factors into consideration, found SP Vaid as most eligible and suitable for the post of the DGP.

“There is no dispute that the post of DG&IGP is a selection post like the other DGPs. The post of DG&IGP being a post of very sensitive nature can only be filled by an incumbent in whom the State Government must necessarily have the highest confidence. We are, therefore unable to accept the contention of (Mishra) that deployment of an incumbent in such a post can go only by seniority,” the government said, adding, “It is the sole prerogative of the State Government to see, who is the most suitable and eligible person to man the post in question, more particularly in the State of J&K, in the present scenario, coupled with the fact that (SP Vaid) has already remained posted as Special DGP (Law & Order).”

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