Apex court to hear Uttar Pradesh plea against contempt proceedings

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Thursday said it will hear Monday the Uttar Pradesh government’s plea against Allahabad High Court’s order threatening contempt of court proceedings on irregularities in recruitment in the police constabulary.

Uttar Pradesh Advocate General Jyotendra Mishra told a vacation bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Deepak Verma that the state government had dismissed all the 20,000-odd police constables, who had been recruited through an irregular process during the Mulayam Singh government regime in 2004-06.

On Dec 8 last year, a single-judge bench of the high court, acting on a joint lawsuit by over 600 dismissed recruits and constables, had asked the state government to segregate the genuine recruits, who had secured the job on merit, from those who had secured it through irregular means. It also ordered the government to take back genuine candidates.

Mishra told the apex court that the state government subsequently moved a division bench of the high court, challenging the order on the grounds that it was not feasible to segregate the genuine candidates from the spurious ones.

The division bench of the high court, however, on March 4 this year dismissed the state government’s lawsuit and asked it to implement the single-judge bench order.

Meanwhile, on a separate lawsuit by the dismissed police constables, the high court issued notices to former principal secretary (home) Kunwar Fateh Bahadur Singh, Director General of police Vikram Singh and several other senior police officers and the bureaucrats, seeking explanation as to why contempt to court proceedings should not be launched against them.

The high court, while issuing the notices, sought their personal presence in the court May 20.

The state government, however, on May 18 had rushed to the apex court challenging the high court’s order to recruit part of the dismissed police constables. But the apex court slated the hearing on their plea after the summer vacation.

The state government on May 18 had also apprised the apex court of the threat of contempt to court proceeding looming large over its head and had sought a stay on it. But the apex court had asked it to file a separate petition over the issue.

Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court on May 20 reiterated its earlier order to segregate the genuinely-recruited constables from the irregularly-recruited ones and take the former in service before May 27 or face the contempt of court proceedings.

It is following this development that the state government again rushed to the apex court seeking relief from the contempt to court proceedings. The apex court accordingly decided to hear the matter Monday.


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