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Published On: Tue, Jul 3rd, 2018

Not to appoint “politically convenient” officers as DGPs: SC

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supreme-courtNEW DELHI : Putting an end to political favoritism in appointments of police chiefs, the Top Court on Tuesday ordered all states and union territories not to appoint a “politically convenient” police officer to the position of Director General of Police (DGP).

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra directed all states and UTs to send proposal of names for DGPs to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) three months before the post was likely to fall vacant.
The UPSC, in turn, will prepare a list of three most suitable officers and the states will be free to appoint one of them as police chief, the bench, also comprising A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said. The bench also said that endeavour should be made that a person, who had been selected and appointed as DGP, has reasonable period of service left.
The Supreme Court has directed States to “ensure that the Director-General of Police is appointed through a merit-based transparent process and secure a minimum tenure of two years”. File
The apex court also ruled that any rule or state law on the subject of appointment of police officers “will be kept at abeyance”.The bench, however, granted liberty to the states, which have made laws on police appointments, to move before it seeking modification of its order.
The directions came on a plea of the Centre seeking modification of the judgment rendered in the Prakash Singh case on police reforms.
The Centre wanted to dilute the 2006 Supreme Court judgment on police reforms as it pleaded that DGP should have a two-year tenure subject to superannuation, said Prakash Singh, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh who had moved the court on the subject.
Mr. Singh, who had first moved the petition in the court on police reforms, said distortions had crept in the appointment of DGPs as “political masters” wanted these posts to be filled with their choice.

The Home Ministry, through the Attorney-General, complained that the majority of States didn’t comply with the 2006 order and suggested a remedy that DGPs should have two-year tenures subject to superannuation. This was an excuse to modify the original order of two-year fixed tenure,” Mr. Singh said.
He said under SC directions, deserving officers should get time to frame policies and get them implemented during their tenure.

The Home Ministry filed an application in 2017 to modify the original judgment. The application itself was spurred by the decisions of the Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments to appoint police chiefs on their convenience.
The Ministry sent a terse letter to the Andhra Pradesh government last year as it sent names of seven DGP-rank officers to the UPSC, which included three officers on the verge of retirement. The State government had kept the post vacant for months and on November 24, issued an order to appoint N. Sambasiva Rao, an IPS officer of the 1984 batch who was to retire on December 31. Mr. Rao is likely to hold the post till the next general election in 2019.(With Agency Inputs ).

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