The Delhi High Court has referred to a larger Bench the question whether Indian Police Service or other Officers can be appointed to the posts in the Railway Protection Force.
A Bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Navin Chawla referred the ratio of the decision in the case of P.S. Rawal and Others versus Union of India and Others, wherein a Division Bench of the Court had declared as illegal a plea for consideration of the names of IPS and other outside officials for the post.
The Bench noted that the decision in P.S. Rawal’s case had been rendered in ignorance of the confusion that had occurred due to certain mistakes in the notification of the Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Act, 1985.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by the Indian Railway Protection Force Association and U.S. Jha, challenging certain provisions of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1987, which permit appointment of officers in Railway Protection Force on deputation and subsequent absorption. It had also demanded prohibition of filling up the post of Director General and other posts below the rank of Director General through transfer of personnel from forces other than the Railway Protection Force.
On being informed of the decision in P.S. Rawal’s case, the Court directed, “The matter will be placed before the Hon’ble the Acting Chief Justice for constitution of a larger Bench to decide whether the ratio expounded in P.S. Rawal & Ors. (supra) that Section 19 of the Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Act, 1985 bars and prohibits a deputationist from being appointed to the said service is correct.”
It, however, did not allow the plea for stalling appointment of a deputationist at the post of Director General. “Leaving the said post vacant would not be in the interest of good administration and could cause irreparable harm and inconvenience,” it observed, while pointing out that the appointment so made would be subject to the final outcome of the Writ Petition.