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Whether mere recommendation of the superintendent of police gives the right to be promoted ?


This Civil appeal arises out of the final judgement dated 29.07.2015 of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh passed in LPA No. 1910 of 2011. 

Facts: The appellant, Sushil Kumar was appointed as a constable in 1995. His name was recommended by the Superintendent of Police (SP) for promotion under the 10% quota for outstanding performance for inclusion in B-I list for promotion to the post of Head Constable in the year 21-01-2004. But his name was dropped down by the Inspector General of Police (IG) when 7 out of the 9 names were forwarded to the Central Departmental Promotion Committee (CDPC). After three years, his name was again forwarded by the SP and passed by the SP and the appellant was made the Officiating Head Constable from 26.10.2008. He filed a writ petition, seeking retrospective promotion, stating that he should have been promoted in 2004 and the delay in his appointment is illegal and arbitrary. The Single Judge and division bench dismissed the petition and his appeal.

Appellant’s Contention: The learned counsel Shri Surender Kumar Gupta has argued that the IG has no power to interfere in the recommendation of the SP. It was also contended that when the SP forwarded the decision, the IG does not act as the appellate authority and cannot substitute his decision to that of the Department Promotion Committee (DPC). He further submits that the IG has not given any reasons nor the appellant was given any opportunity of hearing. He alleges that he was more meritorious than those who were recommended by the SP in 2004 and the same credentials enabled him to be selected in 2007. He prayed that the decision is arbitrary and for retrospective promotion from the year 2004.

Respondent’s Contention: The learned Additional Advocate General, Shri Raj Singh Rana, has submitted that the names recommended by the SP to the CDPC are provisional and subject to ratification by the IG. Mere forwarding of the name of the Appellant will not create any right of promotion in favour. The word “through” in Rule 13.7(9) of the Punjab Police Rules, 1934 calls for application of the mind by the IG. The respondents alleged that the seven constables appointed were more qualified that the appellant.

Observation: In view of the clear procedure laid down under the Rule 13.7, the contention of the appellant must fail for the following reasons:

  1. The assumption that the recommendation of the DPC headed by the SP is final and that IG has now power to review or substitute the decision is misconceived. The rule clarifies that the recommendations of the SP is not final until it is approved by the IG. 
  2. In rule 13.7(14), it is stated that the ‘approval’ is by the Cadre Controlling Authority of the SP. The scope of power vested in the IG is also indicated in the rule which provides that he can seek clarifications from the DPC and refer the List back to the SP for correction if he thinks it is necessary.
  3. The recommendation of the DPC does not give any indefinite right to be appointed as Head Constable.
  4. The third stage requires the candidate to be sufficiently high in the state level to be selected under the 10% quota. It can never be contended that mere recommendation of the SP at the initial stage is sufficient to claim a right for promotion.
  5. The merits and accolades of the candidates recommended for promotion vary from year to year on a comparative merit scale. 
  6. The appellant’s accolades may not have made a fit case to be recommended in 2004 but the same could fit case to be recommended in the subsequent year. 

Decision: The Single Judge and the Division Bench reasons refrained from going into the individual comparative merit. In the Judicial review proceedings, the courts are concerned with the decision-making process and not the decision itself. It was held that there is no illegality or arbitrariness in the process of selection and the judgement of the High Court is not interfered for the reasons stated above. The appeal hereby is dismissed.     


Name: S. Harishri

College: SASTRA Deemed to be University.

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