UPSC in loop on recruiting 1400 IPS officers: govt tells HC

The Centre today told the Delhi High Court that the government has decided to recruit an extra 1,400 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers through a special examination after consulting Union Public Service Commission.

Appearing before a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A S Chandhiok submitted it the file pertaining to the decision to recruit the officers through Limited Competitive Examination (LCE) from this year.

The senior counsel argued after holding a meeting last September, the UPSC had communicated its consent to the Ministry of Home Affairs in November 2011. In its letter, the UPSC had said it had sorted out various issues including the reservation for minorities and other categories, the government's lawyer said.

After hearing the arguments, the bench said it would pass its order on April 11. The court was hearing a plea by Zakat Foundation of India, a civil society, which alleged that the Union Home Ministry has decided to conduct the LCE annually to recruit additional IPS officers, despite serious objection from the UPSC, mandated by the Constitution to hold the civil services examinations.

"The government amended the IPS Rules and the Ministry of Home and the PMO has unconstitutionally and arbitrarily taken resort to the LCE for recruitment of the IPS officers rather than increasing their intake through normal Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC," said the petition, filed through advocate Ambar Qamaruddin.

Claiming that it acquired the information on the issue through a plea under the transparency law, the civil society said LCE would be held annually for those serving as major or captain level officer in Army, Navy or Air Force or as deputy superintendent of police in a state or union territories or as assistant commandant in central police organisations for five years or more.

Appearing for the petitioner society Zakat Foundation of India, senior counsel N K Kaul said "the civil society is opposed to the new channel of recruiting IPS officers as it would further bring down the Muslim community share in the police service at the crucial level."

Referring to the Sachar Committee recommendations, the lawyer said, "There are not more than 2.5 percent Muslims in the civil services including IPS. All the minorities taken together merely constitute 7 percent in civil services while total minority share in the national population is 19 percent." "But in the proposed feeder cadre, Muslims are less than one percent and all minorities 4 percent. Hence, through the LCE the number of Muslims recruited will be either zero or just to be counted on fingertips," the lawyer said.

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