Plea Against Vaid’s Appointment:HC Gives MHA, State 4-Weeks More For Reply 

Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday granted Indian Ministry of Home Affairs as well as state government four more weeks to respond to a petition, challenging appointment of S P Vaid as Director General of Police.

A division bench of Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also made it clear to that if the response to the petition was not filed, then the matter will be considered without the reply on next date of hearing on December 26.

The petition has been filed by incumbent DG Prisons SK Mishra who has Central Administrative Tribunal’s dismissal of his application against appointment of Vaid as head of the police force of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mishra has claimed that the authorities, more particularly Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary Home have committed wilful breach of law laid down by Supreme Court in Prakash Singh’s case as such contempt proceedings shall be initiated against them.

Mishra has also submitted that CAT not only erred in holding that his case along with present DGP was considered by the cabinet but has also gone wrong in holding that the directions passed by apex court were of discretionary in nature and not mandatory.

In September this year, the CAT had rejected Mishra plea against appoint of SP Vaid as the DGP after the ruling PDP-BJP government contented that seniority was not the sole criterion to appoint DGP.

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

In the plea, Mishra had 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 Mishra claimed that he was illegally superseded by Vaid and that his appointed by government on 28 November 2016 was contrary to law and by-passing the seniority.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 had 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 had 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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