Challenging CAT decision Ex DGP Bhawra moves Punjab and Haryana High Court

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IPS officer VK Bhawra
The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notices to the Central Government, the Punjab  Government and the current Punjab Police Chief Gaurav Yadav on a petition filed by former Punjab Director General of Police VK Bhawra.
IPS VK Bhawra had challenged the appointment of IPS  Gaurav Yadav  as Police Chief in a petition filed at  Central Administrative Tribunal but CAT rejected it in its may 6th  order.
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) had rejected the petition of IPS VK Bhawra in which he had asked for directions to reinstate him at  the post of Chief of Punjab Police. CAT had cited ‘delay in filing the petition and technical grounds’ as the reason for rejecting the petition.

VK Bhavra has demanded that,  keeping in mind the recommendations of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and his appointment for two years on January 8, 2022,  the court should direct the state government to reinstate him on the post of DGP for two years,  The petition states that under the guise of transfer, he has been removed from the post of DGP (Chief of Police) as a “punitive action”. Therefore, the Government should be directed to allow him to continue as DGP till the completion of his actual two-year tenure.

VK Bhawra had approached CAT in November 2023.On May 6, the CAT had rejected his application, in which he had sought condonation of the delay in approaching the tribunal ‘along the lines’. Bhawra had challenged the appointment of DGP Gaurav Yadav.
The bench of Justice Deepak Sibal and Justice Deepak Manchanda heard the petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The bench has fixed July 4 for the next hearing.

1987-batch IPS officer VK Bhavra was appointed as DGP on January 8, 2022 during the Congress’s Charanjit Singh Channi government in Punjab. On the same day, the model code of conduct for the assembly elections came into force in the state. Bhawra went on leave in July 2022 and Gaurav Yadav was appointed acting DGP. Even before returning from leave in September, Bhawra was transferred and posted as Chairman of Punjab Police Housing Corporation and the charge  of DGP was given to Gaurav Yadav.

The petition filed by VK Bhavra states, “When the present government took charge, the petitioner was pressured to give up the charge of the post of DGP (Chief of Police Force) as it was believed that he was a person appointed  under the previous government. This was baseless as the petitioner was appointed in pursuance of the legitimate process conducted by UPSC.”

He claims that he was pressured in June 2022 to give in writing that he does not want to continue on the post of DGP.   and was later asked to apply for long leave. The petition states that at this point he had requested for 60 days leave in July 2022.

The petition said that immediately after assuming charge (by the present government), the petitioner was being asked to take part in various illegal activities, including filing cases against various public figures, providing Punjab Police security to  persons living outside the state to Punjab,but the petitioner prohibited doing so and refused to indulge in any such activity.