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PM rescinds Limited Examination for IPS
Even though High Court does not entertain Petition

The Prime Minister has decided to overrule the Home Ministry and rescind its decision to conduct a Limited Examination for recruitment of 490 IPS officers. This was conveyed by the Minister of Minority Affairs Mr. Salman Khurshid to the ZFI President, Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood before the High Court delivered its verdict not to entertain this writ petition on technical grounds that it is the government’s prerogative how to select its staff.

ZFI President Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood had written to the Minister of Minority Affairs Mr. Salman Khurshid on 17 April inviting his attention to the major lacunae in the Government’s decision to conduct the Limited Examination. These include violation of Article 16 which gives right to equality of opportunity in public employment, insufficient availability of minority OBC candidates to fulfill the 4.5% sub quota, strong objections of the UPSC which could not be contraverted by the government and massive disagreement of the state governments. Hence the government reviewed its decision and the Prime Minister put a cap on the Limited Competitive Examination for IPS. The required official notification is expected shortly.

It would be recalled that Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) had challengedo the central Government's decision to select 490 IPS officers through a limited competitive examination (LCE). The well known national level charitable NGO echoes the strong country wide minority objection that the LCE kills their fundamental right under article 16 that guarantees equality of opportunity in public employment. This is because in the limited eligibility pool the availability of all minorities grouped together is less than four percent while their presence at the national level is nineteen percent.

The statistics of Muslims reflects much worse scenario. Their national presence is 13.4% while their availability in the limited eligibility pool of LCE is less than one percent. Also, the LCE shows that the UPA Government is really not interested in implementing it's own decision of 4.5% minority sub quota in public services that was announced with fanfare on the eve of the assembly elections for UP and four other states held in Feb-March 2012. Subsequently notification was issued by the central goveernment's department of personnel & training (DoPT) two days before the election commission's code of conduct came into force.

Earlier, ZFI collected under RTI Act numerous detailed documents from the PMO, Personnel Ministry and Home Ministry. It found that the UPSC and more than half of the state governments and central police organizations had strongly disagreed with the LCE proposal. According to UPSC there are one thousand candidates for each vacancy filled through its annual Civil Services Examination (CSE) while there would be only three candidates for each vacancy in LCE. Also there is existing acute shortage of middle level officers in the central police organizations. This was also stated by the MoS, Home in the Lok Sabha on 8 March 2012. The Law Ministry and National Police Academy too had expressed their apprehensions. The central IPS Officers Association has represented to the Home Minister against the LCE. Several state units of IPS association have filed writ petitions.

The LCE advertisement published in Employment News on 10 March 2012 inviting online applications omits one vital information that is of basic relevance for the prospective applicants. The Record of Discussion which the Home Minister had, through which the UPSC was over-ruled, says in para 9(ii) that the IPS officers selected during ant year through LCE shall be placed in seniority below their counterparts selected in the same year through the CSE. Had the applicants known about this step-motherly treatment is to be meted out to them many of them would have opted out.


1. The Central Government decided some time ago that out of the additional recruitment of IPS officers, 490 officers shall be selected through a Limited Competitive Examination. Only those persons will be able to apply for LCE who have been working for 5 years or more as major or captain in the Defence Forces, Assistant Commandant in Central Police Organizations or Deputy Superintendent of Police in the states.

2. The pool of such candidates has less than one per cent Muslims as against their census population of 13.4 per cent. Also all the minority communities together are not more than 4% in such limited pool of candidates against their national population share of 19%. All the more, through the LCE, the Government of India will never be able to implement its sub quota of 4.5% for minorities carved out of the 27% OBC reservation.

3. That is why Zakat Foundation of India collected necessary information from the PMO, the Ministry of Personnel and Home Ministry. It found that the LCE proposal was strongly opposed by the UPSC consulting whom for this purpose is the constitutional duty of the central government. Majority of the state governments also opposed the LCE while consulting them is the statutory duty of the government under the All India Services Act 1951. It was also opposed by most of the Central Police Organizations. The Law Ministry and the National Police Academy expressed their reservation. Yet, all these objections and apprehensions were over-ruled and the LCE was approved at the instance of the Home Ministry. The IPS Officers Association has represented to the Home Minister against implementing the LCE.

4. The UPSC argued that for each vacancy in the annual Civil Services Examination (CSE) there are one thousand candidates while under the LCE only three candidates are available for each vacancy. This puts the CSE selection quality at much higher pedestal than the LCE. There is acute shortage of middle level officers in the central police organizations. Taking out officers from there for IPS would exacerbate the shortage there. The IPS officers coming from two different streams - CSE & LCE - would always have mutual issues of comparative morale to the ultimate detriment of policing. Thus the UPSC strongly suggested that instead of LCE, the Government should enhance the number of IPS officers selected every year through CSE from 120 to 180-200. This has also been done recently in case of the IAS.

5. The UPSC advertisement dated 10 March 2012 inviting online applications for LCE did not mention that the IPS officers selected through LCE in a particular year shall be placed in seniority below their counterparts selected the same year through CSE. Having known this many candidates would have opted out of LCE.

6. Zakat Foundation of India, a Delhi based charitable Registered Trust filed a writ petition against the LCE in Delhi High Court. On the first hearing on 21 March 2012 Chief Justice A.K. Sikri & his associate Justice Rajiv Sahai ordered the Government of India to produce before the court the relevant record. On 28 March the relevant record was produced before the court which ordered that the record should be shown during the lunch time to Zakat Foundation of India who should ascertain whether, as claimed by the Additional Solicitor General, the UPSC had concurred with the Central Government about the utility of LCE for IPS recruitment. Such inspection was jointly done by the President, Zakat Foundation of India Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood and the NGO’s advocate Mr. Amber Qamaruddin. Rev. Fr. Packiam Samuel, General Secretary of Interfaith Coalition for Peace was also present in the court room.

7. After the inspection, the Zakat Foundation of India’s senior counsel advocate Mr. Neeraj Krishan Kaul informed the court in the afternoon session that there is nothing in the government record to show that UPSC ever concurred with the concept of LCE for recruiting IPS Officers. In fact, all the serious and substantial objections raised by the UPSC were overruled by the central government which decided to go ahead with the LCE route rather than enhancing the annual intake through the regular Civil Service Examination conducted by UPSC. After this unilateral decision was taken and conveyed to the UPSC the rules for such examination had been framed for which another series of correspondence took place between the Ministry of Personnel and UPSC. The Zakat Foundation of India clarified that the documents which were shown by the government side to the court before lunch were regarding the finalization of the LCE rules and these were not related to the UPSC’s views regarding the basic proposal to take the LCE route for IPS recruitment.

8. The Zakat Foundation of India’s counsel once again reminded the court that the basic purpose of the writ petition is its concern that the pool of available candidates for LCE has less than 4% candidates belonging to minority communities while their cumulative population is 19%. Hence hardly any minority candidate will be selected through the LCE. Also, the government will not be able to implement its 4.5% sub quota carved out of the 27% of the OBC reservation for minority communities.

9. After hearing these argument the Chief Justice conferred in low pitch for about 5-6 minutes with his associate judge and then announced in the court that the decision in the writ petition shall be given on 11 April 2012.

10. Today, on 11 April, Sri Ambar Qamaruddin, Advocate once again drew the attention of the High Court toward the trampling of basic minority rights under article 16 because of the LCE. He also re-argued that the UPSC's advice has constitutional significance and deserves to be respected. The strong disagreement against LCE expressed by more than half of the states under the All India Services Act 1951 has vital bearing on the country's federal edifice. Hence, the LCE needs to be quashed. Instead, the Government should enhance the number of IPS officers selected annually through the CSE from the existing 120 to an appropriate figure, say 190, like it has been done in the case of IAS.

Urdu Version