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PIL Challenging Centre’s Power over Transfer of IPS Officers Dismissed by SC

PIL Challenging Centre’s Power over Transfer of IPS Officers Dismissed by SC
On Monday (March 1, 2021), a PIL was dismissed by the Supreme Court which challenged the constitutionality of Rule 6(1) of the Indian Police Services (Cadre) Rules, 1954. It grants the power to the Central Government to override the states in matters of deputation as well as transfer of IPS Cadre Officers. The PIL had been filed by Abu Sohel, a lawyer based in Bengal which was taken up by the SC bench headed by Justice Nageswara Rao. 

The rule 6(1) of the Indian Police Services (Cadre) Rules, 1954 states: 

"6. Deputation of Cadre Officers: 

6(1) A cadre Officer may, with the concurrence of the state government or the state governments concerned and the Central Government, be deputed for service under the Central Government or another State Government or under a company, association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the Central Government or by another State Government.

Provided that in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the State Government or State Governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government. 


It was urged by the petitioner Abu Sohel, "Such being the prevalent situation in the country, there have been several face offs between Centre and the State which ultimately threatened the federal structure of our constitution.” 

He also went on to contend that the intent of the makers behind this rule can be understood, which is to create harmony between the Centre and the State on overlap of power. However, the opposite scenario has been prevailing which raises questions on the establishment of the said impugned rule. 

In his contentions, Sohel pointed out, "That in 2001, the infamous and ugly spat took place between the Centre and the Government of Tamil Nadu when the Centre decided to call back three IPS from the state of Tamil Nadu. 

The petition highlighted various other instances of conflicts. One of the recent ones was of the calling back of three IPS officers from the State of West Bengal "with utmost political vendetta against the interest of State and State machineries.” 

Lastly, the petition alleged that there remains a contrariety between Rule 5(1) and Rule 6(1). Rule 5(1) empowers the Central Government for allocation of officers to various cadres in consultation with the State Government. 


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