18 July 2023 2:25 PM GMT
Deprecating the conduct of a Commandant posted in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police for acting with “extreme bias and vindictiveness” towards an Assistant Commandant, the Delhi High Court has said that it will not hesitate to take action against any erring superior officer it such orders are challenged. Circulating a copy of the judgment to the Director General of Police in all the CAPFs...
Deprecating the conduct of a Commandant posted in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police for acting with “extreme bias and vindictiveness” towards an Assistant Commandant, the Delhi High Court has said that it will not hesitate to take action against any erring superior officer it such orders are challenged.
Circulating a copy of the judgment to the Director General of Police in all the CAPFs for information and advice, a division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna said:
“Before concluding, we hereby advise all the concerned that while taking action against any subordinate officer/personnel, it has to be borne in mind that no one is above law and if such orders are challenged before the Court, the Court certainly will not hesitate to take action against the erring officer.”
The court was hearing the plea moved by the Assistant Commandant seeking quashing of the Annual Performance Assessment Report (APAR) for the period between 19.06.2014 to 08.11.2014, and a review for his promotion to the rank of Deputy Commandant with all consequential benefits.
It was his case that despite having an outstanding career graph, his entire professional enterprise and initiative was marginalised and his career profile or record was downgraded without any cause when he was posted under the Commandant during 19.06.2014 to 08.11.2014.
He contended that as per the APAR, his overall numerical or numeral grading was given zero, despite having earned the appreciations of the appraisal officers.
It was also his case that had filed a written complaint against the Commandant to Director General of ITBP in April 2015 mentioning some corruption charges and requested for an enquiry against him, which had annoyed the superior officer due to which he became prejudiced and inimical towards him.
Allowing the petition, the bench said that it found no justification in the adverse remarks for the period between June and November 2014 against the Assistant Commandant and directed that they be expunged.
“A direction is also issued to the respondents to conduct a review DPC to consider the case of the Petitioner for promotion to the rank of the Deputy Commandant and if so found fit to grant him the promotion from the date his immediate juniors were promoted, with all consequential benefits,” the bench added.
The court said that the Commandant had acted with extreme bias and did not even stop from preparing documents or memos with the sole objective to ruin the Assistant Commandant’s career who was deprived of the promotion that he deserved.
“The superior Officers are expected to demonstrate leadership and should be a Guide and a mentor for the subordinate Officers. The conduct of Mr. Rajesh Tomar reeks of vindictiveness and malice towards the petitioner. However, we refrain ourselves from recommending any action against Mr. Rajesh Tomar considering that he has already been dismissed from the service,” the bench said.
It added that while the significance of APAR in the career progression can never be over emphasized, however, “whimsical conduct” from those who are members of disciplined Force is difficult to comprehend.
“The Members of the Force face extreme challenging situations in the face of extreme adversity and their survival is only in there camaraderie and being together. Such hierarchical personal animosity as evident from this intermediate APAR of five months, is not only morale dampener for a competent Officer but is detrimental to the entire Force,” the court said.
Title: MANUDEV DAHIYA v. UNION OF INDIA THROUGH DG ITBP
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 603
Click Here To Read Order