CHANDIGARH: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Friday set aside the appointment of
Dinkar Gupta as Director General of Police, Punjab.
The two-member bench of Justice L Narasimha Reddy who is the Chairman of CAT and Mohd. Jamshed in its order directed the Union Public Service Commission and the empanelment committee to form a new panel of three senior-most officers for appointment to the post of DGP and complete the
exercise within four weeks. The tribunal on January 8 had reserved the order after hearing the matter.
Two separate petitions were filed in the CAT by senior Punjab IPS officers, Mohammad Mustafa of the 1985 batch and Siddarth Chattopadhyaya of the 1986 batch in February last year, seeking the quashing of Gupta's appointment. The tribunal allowed both these applications.
Gupta, a 1987 batch IPS officer, had superseded five senior officers and was made the state DGP in February 2019 for a fixed tenure of at least two years. He has superseded Samant Goel of the 1984 batch who is presently serving on central deputation, Mohammad Mustafa of the 1985 batch (DGP Punjab State Human Right Commission) and Siddarth Chattopadhyaya of the 1986 batch (DGP Punjab State Power Corporation Limited), while Hardeep Dhillon of the 1985 batch and Jasminder Singh of the 1986 batch have retired.
Reacting to the CAT order, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder said the matter has to be sorted out between the CAT, UPSC and the officers. But he said that Dinkar will continue to be Punjab DGP.
Gupta had succeeded Suresh Arora.
Seeking directions to be issued to the UPSC to consider and frame a fresh panel of three senior-most eligible officers, Mustafa had pleaded to quash an order as per which Gupta has been appointed as DGP, given that he is more qualified and fulfilled all parameters as prescribed by the Supreme Court.
Also in his petition, Chattopadhyaya had pleaded that he is senior to Gupta and other officers of the 1987 batch and was promoted to the rank of DGP in July 2017 and had a wide range of experience. He had sought to summon records pertaining to the appointment before the CAT. Also, he said he had been awarded the President's police medal for gallantry, police medal for gallantry and police medal for meritorious services, while Gupta was only been awarded the police medal.
The state government has all along maintained that Gupta’s appointment was made in accordance with the directions passed by the Supreme Court and as per the guidelines of the Union Public Service Commission.