Mr. Mustafa, a 1985-batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) Officer was aggrieved by the Punjab & Haryana High Court staying the order of the Chandigarh Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) setting aside the Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta's appointment as Punjab Police chief, Senior IPS officer Mohammad Mustafa has now approached the Supreme Court. In his plea, Mustafa has mainly questioned the "long date" given by the HC for hearing the appeal against the CAT order.
The petition stresses on the fact that he is due to retire in February 2021, and as per the Supreme Court judgment of Prakash Singh & Ors vs Union Of India And Ors dated 22 September, 2006, the candidate that is to be selected as Director General of Police (DGP) should have a minimum residual tenure of 6 months and not be on the verge of retirement.
Advocate Ejaz Maqbool, who filed the plea on the officer's behalf said the matter is expected to be taken up for hearing by the Supreme Court on February 7, 2020.
Mustafa’s petition says he may lose out due to delayed hearing and alleges, on the criterion of the continuity of dispute without having a final stand, that the selection of the petitioner might not be considered before August 2020 and as per the 6 months tenure that is necessary for the post of DGP, the petitioner might be left out of the entire selection process even though the petitioner succeeded before the tribunal. This is submitted in the appeal before the Supreme Court.
The High Court of Punjab & Haryana had granted more than one month's time to the State of Punjab and the Union Public Service Commision (UPSC) to file their replies despite the documents and facts been brought on the record before the CAT. The disposal of the matter should have already been procured earlier. The appeal also contends the complacency of the State Government and other parties who played a role in delaying the matter by seeking unnecessary adjournments when the matter was pending before CAT Chandigarh.
Facts of the entire matter:
- CAT’s decision came on an appeal filed by two IPS officers, Mohammad Mustafa and Siddhharth Chattopadhyaya. Both officers had separately moved the tribunal last year challenging Mr. Gupta’s appointment and seeking its quashing.
- On the January of 17th, 2020, the Chandigarh bench of the CAT had quashed the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as Punjab DGP observing that the entire process followed in his appointment went against provisions outlined by the Supreme court in Prakash Singh’s case. The order was passed by CAT on Mustafa’s application.
- Following this, the Punjab government & Gupta had approached the Punjab & Haryana High Court. (Mr. Gupta is a 1987-batch officer. Mr. Gupta was appointed DGP in 2019)
- Hearing their plea, a division bench headed by Justice Jaswant Singh of the High Court on January 21, 2020 had stayed the CAT order.
Author: Dyuti Pandya