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SC rejects plea challenging Centre’s power on transfer of IPS officers

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New Delhi, March 1, 2021-
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea which sought quashing Rule 6(1) of the Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, which confers powers on the Centre to override decisions of state governments on transfer and deputation of IPS officers.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat dismissed the plea filed by West Bengal-based Supreme Court lawyer Abu Sohel, who prayed that this rule was violative of different fundamental rights and against the interests of public policy and Centre-state relationship.

According to the plea, Rule 6(1) says: “A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the state government or the state governments concerned and the central government, be deputed for service under the central government or another state government or under a company, association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the central government or by another state government.”

The rule provided that in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the central government and the state government or state governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the central government.

Citing the rule, the petitioner stressed that the unique dichotomy in the prevalent laws is itself self-contradictory and violative of Article 14. “That such being the prevalent situation in the country, there have been several face-offs between the Centre and states, which ultimately threatened the federal structure of our Constitution,” said the plea.

The petitioner argued that the Constitution is plural with an egalitarian framework, which does not permit the introduction of such narrow and arbitrary parameters where interests of the sate is taken for granted.

The petitioner also said that this rule has created havoc in the law and order situation and in the administrative structure of the concerned state governments.

“Because the impugned rule and ancillary notifications are exclusionary and discriminatory and violative of other fundamental rights as guaranteed under Article 16 and 21 of the Constitution,” added the plea. (Agency)

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