Millennium Post

DGP appointment: Punjab & Haryana HC stays CAT order

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday granted stay on the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order that had set aside the appointment of senior IPS officer Dinkar Gupta as the state police chief.

The petition challenging the CAT order was taken up by a division bench of justices Jaswant Singh and Sant Prakash here on Tuesday.

The state of Punjab as well as DGP Gupta on Monday had approached the high court, challenging the CAT order.

The court stayed the CAT order, senior advocate Puneet Bali, the counsel for DGP Gupta, said. The next date for hearing has been fixed for February 26. The arguments during the court proceedings went on for two hours, Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda said.

On January 17, the CAT had set aside the appointment of Gupta as the state police chief that had come as a big blow to the Congress-led Punjab government.

A two-member bench of CAT chairman L Narsimha Reddy and M Jamshed had pronounced the order on an appeal by senior IPS officers Mohammad Mustafa and Siddhharth Chattopadhyaya, who had challenged Gupta's appointment on the grounds that they were "ignored" despite being senior to Gupta.

The police officers also opposed the contention of the empanelment committee, which had sent a report to the UPSC saying the officers lacked experience in core policing areas.

While Mustafa is a 1985-batch officer, Chattopadhyaya is a 1986-batch officer. Gupta is a 1987-batch officer.

Gupta was appointed the DGP in 2019. He superseded five senior officers, including Mustafa and Chattopadhyaya. In his previous stint, Gupta was posted as the director general of police, (intelligence) Punjab.

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