Wednesday, March 29, 2023

IPS officer selection: Kerala High Court calls for files on decision

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The Kerala High Court directed the State Government to produce entire files regarding the assessment for 5 years for vacancies which arose in 2020.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Murali Purushothaman heard a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed for the following reliefs:  

– Issue a Writ of quo warranto against the 7th respondent (Private Respondent)  and set aside his selection and appointment to IPS. 

– Declare that the 7th respondent is not eligible to be selected and appointed to IPS in view of his criminal antecedents, lack of integrity and impeccable character and the dictum laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme court in State of M.P. & Ors. Vs. Parvez Khan 2015 SCC 591. 

-To issue a writ of Mandamus or any other To appropriate writ order or direction commanding the State of Kerala , Principal Secretary and State Police Chief that no posting shall be given to 7th respondent till the final disposal of this W.P. 

-Call for the entire records relating to the selection and appointment of the 7th respondent by respondents authorities and quash the same by the issuance of a writ of certiorari or other appropriate writ, order or direction. 

– Order a detailed investigation by an appropriate agency to find out how the 7th respondent was selected and appointed to IPS despite his serious criminal antecedents and in violation of the Supreme court judgment on the point and also to find out who are all behind this illegality and proceed against them in accordance with law. 

– Call for the records leading the grant of integrity certificate to the 7th respondents and issue a writ of certiorari quashing the integrity certificate given to the 7th respondent. 

-Call for the Assessment matrix in respect of the 7th respondent from the respondents and set aside the grading of ‘very good’ given to him by the Selection Committee for the year 2020 despite the fact that he was graded as ‘unfit’ for the year 2019.

The PIL is filed seeking writ of Quo warranto against the selection and appointment of the 7th respondent in Indian Police Service (IPS), Kerala Cadre. The 7th respondent is a retired police officer from Kerala Police and without considering his criminal background and in violation of the judgment of the Supreme Court in State of M.P. & Ors. Vs. Parvez Khan 2015 SCC 591, Union Territory, Chandigarh Administration & Ors. V. Pradeep Kumar (2018) 1 SCC 797, he was selected & appointed to IPS. He was in custody for more than 90 days for the allegation of an attempt to murder a journalist. Several petitions challenging his discharge from the criminal case is pending consideration of the High Court.

The  Supreme Court in the order dated 01/12/14 in Civil Appeal No.10613/14 State of M.P. & Ors. Vs. Parvez Khan 2015 SCC 591 held that “A candidate to be recruited to the police service must be worthy of confidence and must be a person of utmost rectitude and must have impeccable character and integrity. A person having criminal antecedents will not fit in this category. Even if he is acquitted or discharged, it cannot be presumed that he was completely exonerated. Persons who are likely to erode the credibility of the police ought not to enter the police force”.

Though the Central Administrative Tribunal declined to issue any positive order, the 7th respondent managed to get an integrity certificate from the State despite his case was rejected several times as unfit and on the basis of the same the respondents 2 (Union Public Service Commission)  and respondent 3 (The Selection Committee for Selection to Indian Police Service) have selected him and the 1st respondent (Union of India) has issued an appointment order to the 7th respondent into IPS ignoring his antecedents.   

While considering the petition, the Bench directed that counsel for the parties shall produce all necessary material documents for effective adjudication of the lis involved and the Union Public Service Commission or the State Government shall produce the entire files regarding the assessment for 5 years, for the vacancy which arose in 2020. The matter has been listed for 22.2.2023.

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