DGP appointment: SC restricts State governments’ choice

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NEW DELHI, JULY 03,
A dozen years after introducing reforms to free the police from political influence, the Supreme Court on Tuesday restricted the choice of State governments in appointment of Directors General of Police (DGPs).
Instead, State governments should henceforth send their proposals for DGPs to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) three months before the incumbent is due to retire, said the court.
The UPSC will prepare a panel of officers fit to be DGP in the State concerned and send them back. The State shall “immediately” appoint one of the persons shortlisted by the UPSC.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra passed a series of directions on an application for the modification of a September 22, 2006 judgment pronounced by the court in a petition filed by former IPS officer Prakash Singh for reforms and transparency in the functioning and appointments in the State police forces.
The court had passed seven directives, primarily to “ensure that State governments do not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.”
Minimum tenure of two years
The court also directed the States to “ensure that DGP is appointed through a merit-based transparent process and secure a minimum tenure of two years.”
On Tuesday, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted that of 24 States only five — Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and Rajasthan — have implemented the 2006 directions.
Mr. Venugopal submitted that some State governments even go to the extent of appointing their “favourite” officers as DGP just before their superannuation so that they could continue in service after retirement date. He added that some States appointed “acting DGPs.”
The CJI said such “subterfuges” cannot be acceptable “by any analysis of the judgment” of 2006. “There is no concept of acting DGPs,” the court ordered.
The States shall appoint “a person as permanent DGP.” That person shall continue for two years despite the date of superannuation. The States shall “avoid” appointing a person as DGP just before his or her superannuation and let them continue for the next two years.

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