Supreme Court refuses to pass interim order on Punjab’s plea to stay orders on IGP Umaranangal’s reinstatement : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court refuses to pass interim order on Punjab’s plea to stay orders on IGP Umaranangal’s reinstatement

Bench allows Punjab to post Umaranangal anywhere after reinstatement

Supreme Court refuses to pass interim order on Punjab’s plea to stay orders on IGP Umaranangal’s reinstatement

Paramraj Singh Umaranangal. File photo



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, May 18

Just over three months after the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed multiple orders placing under suspension the services of Punjab Inspector-General of Police Paramraj Singh Umaranangal, the Supreme Court has expressed its disinclination to intervene in the matter at the current stage.

The Bench, at the same time, made it clear that the State of Punjab could give him a posting of its choice. Umaranangal was arrayed as an accused in an FIR registered in August 2018, related to Kotkapura police firing following sacrilege incidents.

Taking up an appeal filed by the State, Apex Court asserted it was not inclined to grant “any interim order” at this stage.

The Bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma added: “However, we only observe that the appellant after reinstating respondent- Umaranangal, as per the direction of the high court, would be at liberty to give him any posting of its choice, which shall remain subject to final outcome of this petition”.

Appearing on Umaranangal’s behalf, senior counsel P S Patwalia with advocates Gauravjit Singh Patwalia, Lagan Kaur Sidhu, Sangram Saron and Amit Verma stated that the police officer would withdraw his contempt petition as soon as he is reinstated.

Taking a note of the contentions, the Bench fixed the matter for further hearing on September 11.

Umaranangal had moved the high court for quashing impugned judgment and order dated February 1, 2023, passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, whereby his claim for reinstatement was rejected.

Rapping the State for not caring to follow the mandatory course of action, the high court in February quashed the orders before directing the State to allow him to join the services forthwith.

“The State cannot pick and choose the rules of their suitability and pass the orders without following the procedure as mentioned in the rules”, the high court had ruled.

Referring to a plethora of judgments, the Bench had also made it clear that the services of a person could not be kept under suspension for an indefinite period in the garb of pending inquiry/investigation in criminal proceedings.

The Bench had asserted the government did not bother to follow the mandatory procedure in the petitioner’s case for reasons best known to the State.

It was “very unfortunate” to observe that the petitioner, on the one hand, was awarded two gallantry awards for meritorious service in combating terrorism in the State of Punjab. On the other, the state government placed the petitioner under suspension since February 18, 2019, without following any procedure.

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