Decided on March 07,2006

STATE OF J AND K Respondents


J.P.SINGH, J. - (1.) SURESH Kumar, petitioner, seeks the issuance of a direction in the nature of certiorari for quashing order No. 1443 of 2000 dated 12.10.2000 issued by Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, whereby his services as Constable in Jammu and Kashmir Police have been terminated. Reinstatement and consequential benefits, including pecuniary and otherwise, in the event of reinstatement too have been sought by the petitioner in SWP No, 1594/2001. The petitioner submits that he was selected vide DPO Order No. 337 of 1999 dated 24.02.1999 as a Constable in District Police, Jammu, and was willing and prepared to undergo basic training. He submits that Constables - Devinder Singh, Jatinder Singh and Jagdev Singh, were also selected by the same recruitment board, which selected him. They too are stated to have absented rather than joining the training. Their services are still intact and they continue to serve as Constables whereas the petitioner has been singled out for hostile discrimination. The petitioner submits that his discharge under Rule 187 of the Police Rules contained in J&K; Police Manual Volume 1, is unwarranted. He submits that the order impugned is stigmatic having been passed without holding any inquiry and following the principles of natural justice.
(2.) SH . R. S. Thakur, learned Counsel appearing for petitioner, while reiterating the factual basis laid by the petitioner in his petition submits that the absence being the ground of discharge, necessarily required an inquiry under Rule 359 of the Police Rules. He adds that omission of the respondents to hold inquiry renders the impugned order illegal besides being unconstitutional. Sh. Thakur refers to 'Major Singh v. State of Punjab and Ors.' reported as 2001 AIR SCW 2272; 'Prithipal Singh v. State of Punjab and Ors.' reported as 2001 AIR SCW 2287; 'State of Punjab and Ors. v. Sukhwinder Singh' reported as 2005 AIR SCW 3477; 'State of Kerala and Anr. v. P.V. Neelakandan Nair and Ors.' reported as 2005 AIR SCW 3489; 'Punjab National Bank v. R.L. Vaid and Ors.' reported as 2004 AIR SCW 4708; and 'ICICI Bank Ltd. and Anr. v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay and Ors.' reported as 2005 AIR SCW 4031, in support of his submission. Ms. Safina Beigh, learned Assistant Advocate General appearing on behalf of respondents, vehemently argued that the petitioner having refused to undergo basic training and instead remaining absent has proved him to be unfit for retention in service and this finding of the Superintendent of Police, during the period of probation of the petitioner, did not require the holding of any inquiry, for, holding of inquiry or following of principles of natural justice in such a case, is neither contemplated by law nor warranted in respect of the members of a belt force, whose primary object is to train their cadre in such a way that they prove effective and meaningful in discharging their duties. She submits that the State of J&K;, which has been fighting militancy since long, can ill afford to retain those persons in service in the belt force who are not even prepared to take their basic training, thereby disproving their worth for being retained in the service. Learned Counsel, while distinguishing 'State of Punjab and Ors. v. Sukhwinder Singh' reported as 2005 AIR SCW 3477 relied upon by Sh. Thakur, submits that in view of the law reiterated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the judgment, there was no need for holding any inquiry in the present case because no inquiry is contemplated when a probationer constable is discharged under Rule 187 of the Police Rules. She submits that Sukhwinder Singh's case is on all fours and supports the validity of the impugned order.
(3.) I have considered the submissions of learned Counsel for the parties and gone through the judgments cited by learned Counsel for the petitioner. Rule 187 of the Police Rules, gives jurisdiction and authority to a Superintendent of Police to discharge a Constable who is found unlikely to prove an efficient police officer at any time within three years of enrolment. Rule 187 reads, thus: 187. DISCHARGE OF INEFFICIENTS: - A constable who is found unlikely to prove an efficient police officer may be discharged by the Superintendent at any time within three years of enrolment.;

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