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HC sets aside AN Roy's appointment as Maharashtra DGP

February 05, 2009 12:10 IST
Last Updated: February 05, 2009 17:47 IST

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The Bombay High Court on Thursday set aside the appointment of Anami Roy as Maharashtra's Director General of Police, saying that the selection process was "arbitrary", violative of constitutional principle of equality and the Supreme Court's guidelines.

A Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice S A Bobde also directed the state to find a new DGP within four weeks.

Roy, and the state, had challenged in the High Court, an order by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) setting aside his appointment as the DGP.

The court specified that its judgement did not reflect on merit of Roy or other officers in the fray.

The order of appointment did not say anything as to "how they (decision-makers) came to the conclusion that Roy is the most appropriate and befitting officer to hold the post," the court said.

When Roy, a 1972 batch officer, was appointed, the then Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil had noted on the file that Anami Roy should be appointed as DGP "in order to maintain law and order."

Commenting on this, the court said: "Decision of the deputy chief minister shows non-application of mind. This could hardly be a reason for the exclusion of other three officers."

The three officers were -- S S Virk, Suprakash Chakravarti and J D Veerkar. Of them, Virk, (1970 IPS batch) was the senior most officer. He was followed by Chakravarti and Veerkar, both 1972 batch officers.

Chakravarti (now DG Anti Corruption) had challenged Roy's appointment before CAT, saying he superseded the three officers.

In Thursday's order the high court noted, "Decision-making process was taken in undue haste. It was not in conformity with the administrative norms. The order is arbitrary, and violative of article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution."

There was no "effective and appropriate consideration of (other) eligible officers," the court held.

Virk is likely to succeed A N Roy as the Maharashtra police chief, following the high court's ruling.

However, the final decision on the issue would be taken only after the government makes up its mind on whether to approach the Supreme Court over the court ruling.

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