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news details
Division Bench upholds selection of 698 SIs
7/30/2021 11:36:32 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, July 30: Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court today upheld the selection of 698 Sub Inspectors in J&K Police (Executive Police, Armed Police and Telecommunication wing).
This significant judgement has been passed by Division Bench Comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar in an appeal filed against the judgment of Writ Court whereby Writ Court dismissed the bunch of petitions with the observations the contention of selection authority having allowed mass copying is imaginary with no support of any cogent evidence, therefore, not sustainable. The other limb of the argument of the counsel for the petitioners that a large number of candidates have been selected from a particular centre, thereby vitiating the selection is also untenable in view of the fact that each and every selection is required to be made on the basis of merit obtained by the competing candidates and, in law, there cannot be any impediment in the selection of a large number of candidates from a given centre, in case the candidates have made the grade. Moreover, on perusal of the original selection record, as produced by the respondents, there is nothing forthcoming which would suggest that any irregularity has been committed by the respondents in the process of selection. The respondents have, at every stage of the selection process, in fact, taken all the necessary steps so as to ensure that the process of selection is taken to its logical conclusion in a fair and transparent manner.
The Division Bench after hearing both the sides in length observed that in the instant case, there is no provision in the Rules of 2015 to even remotely suggest that the method of recruitment would even apply to those cases where any Statutory Rules provides for a special method of recruitment. In fact, the clarification of 2016 and amendment to Police Rules effected on 1st of July, 2021, suggest to the contrary.
DB is of the considered opinion that the official respondents have not committed any illegality or irregularity in undertaking the impugned selection process in accordance with the J&K Police Rules. Thus, it cannot be said that there has been any gross or glaring illegality in the process of selection.
So far as the contention of the writ petitioners that at certain centres biometric attendance was not resorted to and in certain other centres, the recruitment process was not covered by CCTV cameras, is concerned, Division Bench observed that the official respondents have clearly explained in their counter affidavit(s) that it was only in one of the centres that CCTV cameras could not be installed and even in that centre, the whole process was properly videographed. It has also been explained that due to heavy rush of candidates at certain centres, it was not possible to resort to marking of attendance through biometric appliances. However, the official respondents have stated on affidavit that it was ensured that identity of the candidates is properly verified before allowing them to sit in the examination. In any case, no material was placed on record by the writ petitioners before the Writ Court to even remotely suggest that on account of non-adherence of conditions relating to biometric attendance of candidates or CCTV surveillance, any case of cheating or impersonation or unfair means has taken place. No specific instances in this regard have been brought to the notice of the Court. Only general allegations in this regard have been made which cannot persuade the Court to conclude that there has been any unfairness or mala fides in the conduct of the examination/selection process. The learned Writ Court has rightly rejected the contention of the writ petitioners in this regard.
DB further observed that it has been contended that as per Rule 172 of the J&K Police Rules, the Selection Committee is to be constituted by the Director General of Police but in the instant case, the same has been constituted by the Government. According to the learned counsel for the writ petitioners, this has resulted into a glaring irregularity thereby vitiating the whole process of selection.
This ground has not been urged by the writ petitioners before the Writ Court, therefore, the same cannot be considered by this Court in appeal. Even otherwise, the Selection Committee in this case, as per the writ petitioners, was constituted by the Government which is the actual source of power. The said power stands delegated by the Government to the Director General of Police in terms of Rule 172 of the J&K Police Rules. Merely by delegation of power, the delegator is not divested of exercising his power. Delegation is defined in Black's Law Dictionary as an act of entrusting another with authority or empowering another to act as an agent or representative. As per P. Ramanathan Iyers's "The Law Lexicon", delegation is the act of making or commissioning a delegate. Delegation generally means parting of powers by the persons who grant the delegation but it also means conferring an authority to do things which otherwise that person would have to do himself.
DB said that it is clear that even after the delegation of power, the ultimate power always remains with the delegator and is never renounced. In the instant case, the Selection Committee, as contended by counsel for the writ petitioners,has been constituted by the Government in terms of Government Order No.289-Home of 2016 dated 28.05.2016. It bears reference to the letter of the Director General of Police. The Government being the source of power, which it has delegated to Director General of Police under Rule 172, was well within its power and jurisdiction to constitute a Selection Committee and, as such, no fault can be found with the procedure adopted by the Government in this regard.
Division Bench is of the considered opinion that there has been no gross or glaring illegality or irregularity in the process of selection of Sub Inspectors which is subject matter of these appeals. Having said so, it was not open to the writ petitioners to challenge the selection process after having participated in the same simply because they had failed to make the grade. The learned Writ Court has rightly observed that estoppel by conduct would apply with full force to the case of the writ petitioners and they are barred from challenging the selection process in the facts and circumstances of the case. With these observations, the Division Bench dismissed the appeal.
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