The Madras High Court has set aside a GO dated May 3, 2012, which restored consequential seniority to the accelerated promotees of the personnel of the Special Task Force, which successfully engaged in the elimination of brigand Veerappan in 2004.
A division bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and K Ravichandra Babu, which set aside the GO, also expressed its dismay and displeasure over the action of the government in hurriedly passing the GO without even waiting for the decision on the writ appeals to come. “Therefore, we are of the view that in all fairness, the May 3 2012 GO ought not to have been passed by the government. Consequently, we have no hesitation in holding that the GO as invalid and passed without any competency. Accordingly, the same is liable to be quashed,’’ bench observed.
Originally, by a GO dated October 29, 2004 the then government accorded accelerated promotions to 748 personnel engaged in killing Veerappan and his gang. By subsequent GOs, the government announced a cash award of Rs 3 lakh and other perks to each one of them.
A section of police officers, whose seniority and promotional opportunities were affected, moved the Madras High Court with writ petitions. The subsequent government also passed a GO dated October 3, 2007, deleting para 5(e) of the 2004 GO which granted consequential seniority to the accelerated promotees. Challenging this, another section moved the Madras HC. However, a single judge upheld the October 3, 2007 GO. Writ appeals were filed and a division bench on October 14, 2009, stayed the operation of the orders of single judge. Hence, the present writ petitions and writ appeals.