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.
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.
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.
“The government amended the IPS rules and the ministry and the PMO (prime minister’s office) have arbitrarily and unconstitutionally taken resort to a limited competitive examination for recruitment of IPS officers rather than increasing the intake of IPS officers through the normal course of civil services examinations conducted by the UPSC,” the petition said.
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, said the petitioner.
The petition said that 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.
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.