(2.)The irksome issue as regards the criterion of selection though placed before the Court on occasions innumerable but the debate is still on. The matters presently before this Court pertain to the promotion of police officers from Sub-Inspector to Inspector in the State of U.P. in 1997 for vacancies for the period between 1992 and 1996 and said to be upon due completion of elaborate selection process - it is however, this process which stands scrutiny before this Court. Whereas, the learned Single Judge negated the selections and allowed the grievance of the writ petitioners upon recording of a categorical finding that the selection has caused great injustice to the senior Sub-Inspectors who had a totally unblemish service record - the appellate Bench in a very detailed judgment recorded an affirmation to the judgment of the learned Single Judge though for different set of reasons to wit, that the criteria for selection "seniority subject to the rejection of the unfit" as laid down in the Rules was not followed and secondly that Selection Committee failed to prepare the list for each year, keeping in view the number of vacancies in that year after considering the Sub-Inspectors of police who were eligible and fell within the zone of consideration for selection that year.
(3.)The records depict that the select list of 1996-97 stood challenged both at Allahabad and at Lucknow under various writ petitions and as against the orders of the learned Single Judge there were pending a large number of appeals. The learned Single Judge who was in seisin of the matters at Lucknow, however, thought it fit to refer the matters to a larger Bench and scripted the following questions:
1. Whether the Departmental Selection Committee constituted for the purpose of selection of Sub Inspectors, Civil Police for promotion to the rank of Inspector, Civil Police, having adopted the criterion of 'merit' alone for selection, has not contravened the provisions of "The Uttar Pradesh Govt. Services Criteria for Recruitment by Promotion Rules, 1994" which lays down that posts for all services (excepting the post of Head of Department and Officer immediately below him) to be filled up by promotions, shall be made on the basis of seniority subject to rejection of the unfit?
2. Whether the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Government Services Criteria for Recruitment by Promotion Rules, 1994 do not apply to the police personnel?
3. Whether in case the answer to question No. 1 is in the affirmative the selection/select list contained in Annexure No. 1 in some writ petitions and Annexure Nos.1 and 2 in others is not bad in law and liable to be quashed?