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High Court of Punjab

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Appointment of Special police officers from ex-service men = whether this court can compel the State of Punjab to create posts and absorb the appellants into the services of the State on a permanent basis consistent with the Constitution Bench decision of this court in Umadevi’s case. = The appellants herein assert that all the appellants are ex- servicemen and registered with the employment exchange. They were recruited as Special Police Officers.[2] = i) That it will not be possible to provide police guard to banks unless the Banks were willing to pay for the same and additional force could be arranged on that basis, it was decided that police guards should be requisitioned by the Banks for their biggest branches located at the Distt. and Sub Divisional towns. They should place the requisition with the Distt. SSPs endorsing a copy of IG CID. In the requisition, they should clearly state that the costs of guard would be met by them. It will then be for the police department to get additional force sanctioned. This task should be done on a top priority. In the meantime depending upon the urgency of the need of any particular branch, police Deptt. may provide from police strength for its protection. ii) For all other branches guards will be provided by Distt. SSP after selecting suitable ex-servicemen or other able bodied persons who will be appointed as Special Police Officer in terms of Section 17 of the Police Act. Preference may be given to persons who may already be in possession of licence weapons. All persons appointed as SPO for this purpose will be given a brief training for about 7 days in the Police Lines in the handling of weapons taking suitable position for protection of branches. These SPOs will work under the discipline and control and as per Police Act, they will have the same powers, privileges and protection and shall be amenable to same penalty as an ordinary police personnel.”= The other factor which the State is required to keep in mind while creating or abolishing posts is the financial implications involved in such a decision. The creation of posts necessarily means additional financial burden on the exchequer of the State. Depending upon the priorities of the State, the allocation of the finances is no doubt exclusively within the domain of the Legislature. However in the instant case creation of new posts would not create any additional financial burden to the State as the various banks at whose disposal the services of each of the appellants is made available have agreed to bear the burden. If absorbing the appellants into the services of the State and providing benefits at par with the police officers of similar rank employed by the State results in further financial commitment it is always open for the State to demand the banks to meet such additional burden. Apparently no such demand has ever been made by the State. The result is – the various banks which avail the services of these appellants enjoy the supply of cheap labour over a period of decades. It is also pertinent to notice that these banks are public sector banks. We are of the opinion that neither the Government of Punjab nor these public sector banks can continue such a practice consistent with their obligation to function in accordance with the Constitution. Umadevi’s judgment cannot become a licence for exploitation by the State and its instrumentalities. For all the abovementioned reasons, we are of the opinion that the appellants are entitled to be absorbed in the services of the State. The appeals are accordingly allowed. The judgments under appeal are set aside. We direct the State of Punjab to regularise the services of the appellants by creating necessary posts within a period of three months from today. Upon such regularisation, the appellants would be entitled to all the benefits of services attached to the post which are similar in nature already in the cadre of the police services of the State. We are of the opinion that the appellants are entitled to the costs throughout. In the circumstances, we quantify the costs to Rs.10,000/- to be paid to each of the appellants.

published in       http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40625   Reportable IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1059 OF 2005 Nihal Singh & Others …Appellants Versus State of Punjab & Others …Respondents WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6315 OF 2013 [Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 12448 of 2009) Bhupinder Singh & Others …Appellants Versus … Continue reading

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