RANADEB DAS Vs. STATE OF TRIPURA
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
STATE OF TRIPURA
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Akil Kureshi, J. -
(1.) These appeals are filed by the original private respondents as well as the State Government. They have challenged a common judgment of the learned Single Judge dated 24.05.2019 in WP(C) No.157 of 2013 and connected petitions filed by Sri Raju Ghosh and others. The issues pertain to promotion to the post of Tripura Police Service Grade-II from the feeder cadres of Police Inspectors of Tripura Police and Subedars of Tripura State Rifles. The original petitioners who were members of Tripura State Rifles and were holding the posts of Subedars and were also eligible for promotion to TPS Grade-II, were not promoted by the Government while granting promotions to as many as 76 officers belonging to the said two streams by a notification dated 05.06.2013 which was impugned in the writ petitions. This litigation has a long history. As briefly as possible, the same may be noted.
The Government of Tripura had framed the Tripura Police Service Rules, 1967 (hereinafter to be referred to as the said Rules of 1967) in exercise of powers under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution. Rule 3 of the said Rules pertains to constitution of the Tripura Police Service Grade-II and its classification. Sub-rule (1) of Rule 3 provides that there shall be a State Police Service known as the Tripura Police Service. As per sub-rule (2) of Rule 3 the said service would have two grades namely, Grade-I (Selection Grade) and Grade-II. Part III of the Rules pertains to method of recruitment. Rule 5 contained in the said chapter reads as under:
'5. Method of Recruitment:-
(1) Appointment to the Service shall be made by the following methods, namely:-
(a) not more than fifty per cent of the substantive vacancies which occur from time to time in the authorised permanent strength of the Service shall be filled by direct recruitment in the manner specified in Part IV of these rules; and
(b) The remaining such substantive vacancies shall be filled by selection in the manner specified in part- V of these rules, from amongst Officers who are substantively borne on the cadre of Inspectors of Police and Subedars of Tripura State Rifles Battalions in the State of Tripura.
Provided that 64% of the vacancies to be filled by selection shall be filled by eligible Inspectors of Police and the remaining 36% of the vacancies shall be filled by Subedars of Tripura State Rifles Battalions;
Provided further that in case of non-availability of eligible Inspectors of Police or Subedars of Tripura State Rifles Battalions, the unfilled vacancies in the quota of Inspectors of Police or Subedars of Tripura State Rifles Battalions may, in the exigencies of Public Service, be filled by Subedars of Tripura State Rifles Battalions or Inspectors of Police, as the case may be.
(2) If the exigencies of service so require, the State Government may, in consultation with the Commission, vary the percentage of vacancies to be filled by each method specified in sub-rule (1).'
(2.) Rule 14 pertains to conditions of eligibility and procedure for selection and reads as under:
'14. Conditions of eligibility and procedure for selection:-
(1) The Committee shall consider from time to time the cases of officers eligible under clause (b) of sub-rule (1) of rule 5, who have served in the cadre of Inspectors of Police and Subedars of Tripura State Rifles Battalions for not less than five years, and prepare a list of officers recommended taking into account the actual vacancies at the time of selection and those likely to occur during a year. The selection for inclusion in the list shall be on merit and suitability in all respects for appointment to the service with due regard to seniority.
(2) The names of persons included in the list shall be arranged in order of merit and forwarded to the State Government.
(3) Minimum educational qualification for promotion to Grade-II of the service shall be Graduation.
(4) The committee shall not consider the cases of the officers in the feeder posts who have attained the age of 53 years on the 1st day of January of the year in the which the Committee meets.'
(3.) As per Rule 15 the list to be prepared under Rule 14 by the Government would be in consultation with the Public Service Commission. Part XI of the rules pertains to relaxation. Rule 34 contained in the said part reads as under:
'34. Power to relax:-
Where the State Government is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do, it may, by order, for reasons to be recorded in writing and in consultation with the Commission, relax any of the provisions of these rules with respect of any class or category of persons or posts.' ;
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