New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the decision of the Central government to scrap the process of recruiting IPS officers through the Limited Competitive Exams (LCE).
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Deepak Gupta said the government’s decision cannot be termed “arbitrary, discriminatory or capricious” and it was a “reasonable” decision in the facts and circumstances of the case.
Owing to severe shortage of IPS officers, in 2012, the UPA government introduced LCE through which junior-level state police, paramilitary and armed forces officers were supposed to be inducted into the IPS laterally.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) held the exams in 2012 in which approximately 240 candidates appeared and as many as 80 were to be selected through the exams envisaged for two straight years.
The UPSC, however, held back the results citing the numerous litigations challenging the scheme.
The aspirants had approached the apex court seeking a direction to the UPSC to declare the result. They had contended that the declaration of results was first delayed and now the whole scheme is being scuttled at the behest of the IPS lobby, which, they alleged, does not want their “elite service to be diluted”.
However, the Home Ministry intervened in the matter and filed an affidavit stating that a policy decision on the issue has been taken of not inducting LCE aspirants into the IPS, and their induction could lead to litigation from IPS officers recruited directly, as the current seniority structure will be destabilised.
Deciding the case, the bench said it is well settled that merely because a person has been selected it does not give that person an indefeasible right of claiming appointment.
“As far as the present cases are concerned, results have not been declared and even the selection process is not complete. As such, there is no manner of doubt that the petitioners (aspirants) have no enforceable right to claim that the result should be declared or that they should be appointed if found meritorious,” the court said.
The bench said there was no doubt that the decision to scrap the LCE recruitment has been taken in the “larger public interest” and the decision is “definitely not mala fide”.
“It is not actuated by extraneous reasons. It cannot be said that the decision is arbitrary.
“In view of the foregoing reasons, the decision of the government to scrap the process of recruitment to the IPS through the LCE cannot be termed to be arbitrary, discriminatory or capricious. The decision is a reasonable one in the facts and circumstances of the case,” it said while rejecting the pleas of the aspirants.