New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed an NGO's petition challenging the government's decision to recruit an additional 1,400 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers through a special examination and refused to interfere with a policy decision.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw dismissed the petition filed by NGO Zakat Foundation of India and said: "Once a policy decision is taken based on expert advice and all the aspects are thrashed out, it cannot be treated as without application of mind or arbitrary. Such functions are best left for the executive and courts should not interfere with the same."
The petition alleged that despite objections from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which holds civil services examinations for recruiting IPS officers, the union home ministry had decided to conduct a "limited competitive examination" (LCE) annually for appointing police officers.
Opting not to comment on the newly introduced method of recruiting IPS officers, the court said: "The court cannot comment as to whether the system introduced now is impeccable or there could be better alternatives."
The NGO said the LCE would be held annually and those people who have served for five years or more as major or captain-level officers in the armed forces, or as deputy superintendent of police in a state/union territory, or as assistant commandant in any central police organisation shall be eligible to apply.
The petition said the central government had decided that in addition to the normal annual intake of new officers in IPS, an additional 70 IPS officers shall be freshly recruited every year over the next seven years, beginning 2012, and such recruitment will be done through the LCE.
The government had earlier shown an emergent need to deploy trained personnel. The UPSC had initially suggested that it could recruit the additional candidates (70 per year) through its regular civil services examination by increasing its IPS vacancies.
"As per the government, it lacks the infrastructure to train a batch of 200 IPS recruits and, therefore, the initial suggestion of the UPSC was not viable. The matter was ultimately discussed at all levels and the UPSC and ministry of law have fallen in line," the court said, accepting the government's contentions.
Referring to the Justice (retd) Rajindar Sachar Committee on social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community, the NGO said that there were not more than 2.5 percent Muslims in the civil services, including the IPS.
All the minorities taken together constituted seven percent in the civil services while the total share of minorities in the national population was 19 percent, said the petitioner.
The petitioner said through the LCE, the number of Muslims recruited as IPS officers will be very low.
The proposed exam violated the constitutional right to equality of opportunity in public employment guaranteed in Article 16 of the constitution, said the NGO.
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