PMO drops limited exam plan for IPS officers

New Delhi: Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has rejected the Delhi High Court’s verdict on limited examination for the appointment of IPS officers in response to a petition filed by Zakat Foundation of India that the government’s order of limited examination will be harmful for minorities, particularly for Muslims. It may be stated in this connection that last year, the Union home ministry’s Department of Personnel made a proposal that for the appointment of 490 new IPS officers during the course of the next seven years a limited or restricted examination should be held so that well-qualified, experienced and suitable IPS officers could be selected. The eligibility condition for this limited examination was that not everybody but only those persons could apply who are working for at least five years as majors, captains in the defence forces or as assistant commandants in central police units or as deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) in states police departments. The PMO had approved this proposal of the department of personnel. ZFI chairman Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood raised objection to the eligibility condition for limited examination on the ground that minorities, particularly Muslims’, representation in the army and police even at lower levels, not to talk of higher level, is already very low and hence no Muslim will be qualified for appearing in these examinations for IPS posts. Subsequently he filed a petition in the Delhi High Court pleading for rejection of this proposal.

Delhi High Court Bench pronounced its verdict on 25 April. While rejecting the petition on technical grounds, it said that the government has the discretion to appoint qualified persons in any posts and also lay down eligibility conditions and other requirements thereof. Hence it would not be proper for the court to interfere in government’s selection and appointment procedures. The court, however, did not say anything about the non-representation of Muslims and other minorities in the police department under the restricted conditions. Dr Zafar Mahmood had written a letter to the Union minister for minorities affairs on 17 April pointing out the above points. Minister Salman Khurshid informed Dr Zafar Mahmood verbally over the phone that the Prime Minister has decided even before the court’s verdict that whatever be the court’s verdict, the limited examinations as proposed by the home ministry’s personnel department will not be held. Accordingly, after Delhi High Court’s verdict on 25 April, PMO stayed, or rather cancelled the plan of holding limited examinations.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2012 on page no. 6

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