In judicial review proceedings, the courts are concerned with the decision-making process and not with the decision itself: Supreme Court

In judicial review proceedings, courts are concerned with the decision-making process and not with the decision itself, the Supreme Court observed in a judgment delivered today. In this case, the appellant, a chief constable, applied to the High Court for a retroactive promotion with effect from 21.01.2004. His grievance was that he should have been promoted during 2004 itself and that the…

In judicial review proceedings, the courts are concerned with the decision-making process and not with the decision itself, the Supreme Court observed in a judgment delivered today.

In this case, the applicant, a Chief Constable, applied to the High Court for a retroactive promotion with effect from 21.01.2004. His grievance was that he should have been promoted during 2004 itself and that the delay in his appointment in 2008 is unlawful and arbitrary. The Single Judge dismissed the motion on the grounds that the selection is not a question of law. The appeal in brief was also dismissed by the divisional bench.

On appeal, it was argued that the Inspector General of Police (IG) does not have the authority to interfere with the recommendation of the Superintendent of Police (SP). That when the SP has transmitted the decision of the Departmental Promotion Commission (DPC), the IG does not act as an appeal authority and cannot substitute its decision for that of the DP.

The Apex Court bench including Judges KM Joseph and PS Narasimha noted that matters relating to the promotion of Constables to the rank of Chief Constable are governed by the Punjab Police Rules 1934 as applicable in the State of Haryana. Referring to the provisions contained therein, the bench said that the DPC’s recommendation does not give any indefinite right to be appointed chief of police.

“The Single Judge as well as the Divisional Bench for good reason refrained from entering into individual comparative merit. In judicial review proceedings, the courts are concerned with the decision-making process and not the decision itself. We are of the view that there is no illegality or arbitrariness in the selection process and for the reasons set out above we are not inclined to interfere with the judgment of the High Court.” , the court said while rejecting the appeal.

Case name

Sushil Kumar vs Haryana State

Quote

2022 LiveLaw (SC) 64

File number/Date

CA 401 FROM 2022 | Jan 19, 2022

Coram

Judges KM Joseph and PS Narasimha

advice

Adv Surender Kumar Gupta for Appellant, AAG Raj Singh Rana for State

Click here to read/download the judgment