Dismissal Of Pleas By SC Of 5 States Seeking Amendment Of Its Order On DGPs

Team SoOLEGAL 16 Jan 2019 3:30pm

Dismissal Of Pleas By SC Of 5 States Seeking Amendment Of Its Order On DGPs

The SC on 16 December, 2019 dismissed the pleas of five states seeking amendment of its order passed last year on the assortment and appointment of director generals of police (DGPs).

The apex court was hearing applications of various state governments, including Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana and Bihar, seeking implementation of their local laws regarding the selection and appointment of DGPs.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi headed a bench stating that earlier directions of the court on DGPs were issued in larger public interest and to protect the police officials from political interference. Last year on December 12, the apex court extended till January 31 the tenures of the present DGPs of Punjab and Haryana and agreed to hear the state’s pleas seeking to implement their local laws regarding the assortment and appointment of the police chief.

As according to the order of the apex court, DGPs Suresh Arora (Punjab) and B S Sandhu (Haryana) who were due to retire on December 31 last year and will now remain in office till January 31.

Several states were seeking implementation. The apex court's previous order was directing all the states to mandatorily take the assistance of the UPSC in short-listing the names for appointing DGPs.

On 3RD July, 2018 the top court passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country and chronicled the steps for appointment of regular DGPs. The court stated that the states will have to send a list of senior police officers to the UPSC at least prior to the three months prior of retirement of the incumbent. Afterwards, the commission will prepare a panel and intimate the states. Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Kerala and West Bengal said the court that they already framed a comprehensive law, dealing with the procedures to appoint the DGP, in pursuance of the 2006 apex court verdict on police reforms.

While deciding the PIL the apex court filed by former DGPs Prakash Singh and N K Singh in 2006, issued several directions, including the setting up of a state security commission to ensure the government does not exercise unwarranted influence on the police. The appointment of DGPs and police officers should be merit-based and transparent and officers like DGPs and superintendents of police (SPs) should have a minimum fixed tenure of two years, stated by them.

Earlier, the court passed directions on police reforms and restrained all states and Union Territories from appointing any police officer as acting DGP. The directions came on an application filed by the Centre. Therefore, directions claimed that certain states have been appointing acting DGPs and then making them permanent just before the date of their superannuation to enable them to get the benefit of an additional two-year tenure which was till the age of 62 years.

The apex court, in 2017, agreed to hear a hold of pleas observing that its historic 2006 verdict has not yet been implemented by states and Union territories.

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