The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the order of the Allahabad High Court which had dismissed the appeal filed by police constable drivers’ in Uttar Pradesh challenging the selection process for the post of Head Constable, Motor Transport.
The petitioners have basically challenged the rules modified by the state government for appointment to the post of head constable driver. According to the 2015 Rules, it shall be filled up by selection from among Head Constable Drivers and Constable Drivers.
A two-judge bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee said, the rules are neither discriminatory nor arbitrary. The constable drivers’ can be promoted on the basis of seniority to head constable drivers. If they desire to be appointed as head constable, then they have to go through the selection process.
“No interference with the judgment of the High Court is warranted,” said the Apex Court.
Senior Counsel V. Shekhar appearing for the petitioners submitted that vertical mobility of Constable Drivers is by promotion as Head Constable Motor Transport and thereafter, Sub-Inspector and Inspector Motor Transport on the basis of seniority. “The appellants who were initially recruited as police constables went through a selection process for being appointed as constable drivers. Introduction of another selection process for the purpose of being appointed as the head constable by making drivers and Head Constable Drivers eligible for consideration is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India,” he said.
The Counsel appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh vehemently opposed the arguments and submitted that the post of Constable Driver is a technical post and the posts of Head Constable Motor Transport, Sub-Inspector Motor Transport and Inspector Motor Transport are highly technical. She said appointment for the post of Head Constable Motor Transport only to be done through a process of Section. Thereafter, they will be entitled to be considered for promotion as Sub-Inspector Motor Transport and Inspector Motor Transport on the basis of Seniority.
She further argued that there are 12,000 posts of Constable Drivers at present. 2498 posts of Head Constable Drivers have been created to which Constable Drivers are eligible for promotion on the basis of seniority. There are only 283 posts of Head Constables Motor Transport which is a highly technical post which can be filled up by selection from Constable Drivers and Head Constable Drivers. To address the concern of the Head Constable Drivers and Constable Drivers who are not appointed to the post of Head Constable Motor Transport that there are no avenues for promotion, there is a proposal to create 1000 posts of Sub-Inspector Drivers. Head Constable Drivers shall be entitled to be promoted to the post of Sub- Inspector Drivers.
The Supreme Court said,
“It is clear from the structure of the cadre that there are only 283 posts of Head Constable Motor Transport which according to the Government is a highly technical post. Though the said post carries the same pay scale as Head Constable Drivers, lateral movement as Head Constable Motor Transport would provide an opportunity of vertical mobility as Sub-Inspector Motor Transport and Inspector Motor Transport. Addressing the concerns of Drivers, 1098 posts of Head Constable Drivers have been created and there is a proposal to create 1000 posts of Sub-Inspector Drivers. The posts of Head Constable Drivers and Sub-Inspector Drivers are filled up by promotion on the basis of seniority.”
The Supreme Court held, “Rule 5 and 10 of the 2015 Rules are primarily challenged on the ground that the Appellants are forced to undergo a selection process for appointment to the post of Head Constable Motor Transport. The selection process is mandated due to the posts of Head Constable Motor Transport being highly technical. The Rules are neither discriminatory nor arbitrary.”