The Madras High Court on Friday directed the authorities to fill the vacancies of Additional Superintendents of Police (AdSP), giving temporary promotion to all Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs), who had been recruited in the force as Sub-Inspectors in 1979, 1981, 1987 and 1996, according to their inter se seniority and subject to their eligibility.

Passing interim orders on writ petitions, Justice N.Kirubakaran said if any directly recruited DSPs were interspersed within the said groups, they should also be considered for promotion. The accelerated promotees (personnel of the STF formed to nab the sandalwood smuggler, Veerappan) should also be temporarily promoted by creating supernumerary posts, provided they satisfied the regular seniority. The court made it clear that the promotions would be subject to the result of the writ petitions.

Considering the fact that many of the officials were to retire soon, the exercise should be completed within two weeks.

The matter would be posted after two weeks for reporting compliance.

The petitioners said they were recruited as Sub-Inspectors in 1979, 1981, 1987 and 1996. They were promoted as DSPs in 2004-2006. As per rules, they were eligible for promotion as AdSPs. There was a dispute between the accelerated promotees and officials recruited in 1987.

A Division Bench had held that accelerated promotees could not overlook their seniors to get accelerated seniority in the promoted posts.

Advocate-General A.L. Somayaji said STF personnel were given promotion in 2004 and they took the bottom-most promoted post. That apart, regular promotees did not seek cancellation of promotion given to the STF officials. He submitted that out of 97 AdSP posts available, 78 were vacant. He sought time to file counter affidavit.

Mr. Justice Kirubakaran said awaiting promotion, many of the 1979 batch officials had retired. Only 72 DSPs were in service and it was stated that some of them would be retiring in the coming months. Therefore, interest of justice required an interim order which would safeguard the interest of all the officials, pending disposal of the writ petitions.

No amount of money could compensate the petitioners’ promotion, the judge said.

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