BHUBANESWAR: Over 250 newly-recruited constables, belonging to reserved categories, were in a state of confusion after they were turned away on the day of their joining at the Commissionerate Police here.
At least 407 new recruits were issued call letters, but on their arrival here on Thursday, only 139 general category candidates were allowed to join. While this initially created confusion, it later transpired that an order by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) restraining reservation beyond 50 per cent had led to the chaos.
As part of the Statewide constable recruitment process, Commissionerate Police had appointed 407 candidates with the existing reservation ceiling of 67 per cent for SC, ST and socially and economically backward classes (SEBC) taken together.
However, basing on a petition filed on January 27, the SAT ordered that the reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent. Since the order restrained the Commissionerate Police from taking in more than 50 per cent from the reserved categories, it chose not to create any confusion among the candidates and allowed only unreserved category candidates, 139 in number, to join duty.
“Had we allowed 50 per cent out of 67 per cent who were recruited, it would have created confusion among the rest because the advertisement had clearly outlined the reservation ratio,” Police Commissioner Bijay Kumar Sharma said.
Recruitment for constables across all the districts was conducted in January. Since verification takes time and the panchayat polls were held in February, the recruits were asked to join on Thursday. While the joining went on smoothly in other districts, Commissionerate Police was in a quandary after the tribunal order.
The Commissionerate Police on Friday wrote to the State Government seeking permission to defend its existing reservation ratio before the tribunal on the next date of hearing later this month.
Meanwhile, it has decided not to start training of the constables from the unreserved categories since it would wait for the outcome of the case.