A promotee Indian Police Service (IPS) officer cannot claim seniority based on the length of his service and it will depend on the day of his induction in the All India Police Service, the Supreme Court has held.
The apex court said that a promotee officer getting a higher pay and grade pay on account of his long service will itself not give him the right to claim seniority over the direct recruits in the IPS getting a lesser pay band.
A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi set aside the order of Delhi High Court which had held that since the 6th Pay Commission Report has been accepted by the government in toto, the seniority of an officer will have to be re-fixed based on the grade pay.
“We clarify that the seniority in IPS will depend on the date of induction to IPS and it cannot be based on the length of service in any other service prior to the induction,” the bench said.
The Delhi High Court had on April 22, 2013, diected the Centre to amend the seniority rules in the IPS on a plea of two 1987 batch DANIPS cadre officers, Raj Kumar Jha and Suvashish Choudhary, challenging such rules and terming them arbitrary.
It had directed that Jha shall be inducted into the IPS on his submitting an unconditional willingness, as a junior officer cannot draw a higher grade pay than seniors.
The apex court in its verdict said, “to put it in clearer terms, merely because an officer in DANIPS working since 1987 is getting a higher pay and grade pay on account of his long service and that pay band being protected while induction to IPS, that by itself will not clothe him with a right to claim seniority above the entire direct recruits of several years who naturally would have been only on a lesser pay band having been in service only after direct recruitment.”
As carried in pti on 15/9/2017