SC dismisses PIL challenging IPS rule giving Centre power to override state govt decisions in transfer and deputation of IPS officers

THE Supreme Court Monday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a West Bengal-based lawyer challenging Rule 6(1) of Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 which confers powers on the Central government to override the decision of the state government when it comes to transferring and deputing IPS cadres officials.

A two-judge bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat ordered the dismissal of the plea right at the outset.

Petitioner Abu Sohel had prayed that Rule 6(1) be struck down for violating the Constitution of India and public policy.

Rule 6(1) inter-alia provides that in case of any disagreement, the matter will be decided by the Central government, and the state government or governments concerned will defer to the decision of the Central government.

It was contended by the petitioner that this rule, giving primacy to the Centre’s decision was unconstitutional and threatened the federal structure of the Constitution.

The petition was filed in the wake of the Union Home Ministry directing the West Bengal government to relieve three IPS officers from state government work for central deputation in view of their alleged dereliction of duties following the attack on a convoy of the BJP president J P Nadda in December 2019. This led to a face-off between the Centre and the Mamata Banerji-led state government.

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