Apex court to hear Centre's plea seeking modification of order
New Delhi: The Supreme Court would hear on April 2 the Centre's plea seeking modification of one of its directions, which were part of its historic 2006 verdict on police reforms, recommending steps like a fixed two-year tenure for DGPs.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also said it would hear other pleas, including those filed by former DGP Prakash Singh seeking contempt action against various states for alleged non-compliance of the 2006 verdict on police reforms.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said the direction that a state police chief (DGP) must have a fixed tenure of two years irrespective of their date of superannuation was needed to be modified as the IAS officers, who are appointed as the Chief Secretaries, may also seek similar relief.
Venugopal said the direction on fixed tenure of Directors General of Police (DGPs) was prone to misuse as the police officers, who are due to retire, may be appointed to such a post.
The bench also pointed out that the plea seeking review of the 2006 verdict had also been dismissed and in view of that, how could a plea for modification be entertained.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Prakash Singh on whose PIL several directions were passed, submitted that the contempt and other applications seeking enforcement of the judgement were pending adjudication.
Earlier, the apex court, on September 8 last year, had agreed to hear a clutch of pleas claiming that its historic 2006 verdict on police reforms, recommending steps like fixed tenures for DGPs and SPs, has not yet been implemented by states and union territories.
BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had sought urgent hearing on his interim plea saying the directions passed by the 2006 verdict have not been implemented by authorities.
Upadhyay has also sought the implementation of the Model Police Bill, 2006, which was drafted by a panel headed by former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee.
The apex court, deciding the PIL filed by two former DGPs Prakash Singh and N K Singh in 2006, had given a slew of directions, including setting up of a state security commission to ensure that the government does not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.
It had said the appointment of DGPs and police officers should be merit-based and transparent and officers like DGPs and Superintendent of Police (SP) should have a minimum fixed tenure of two years.
The court had recommended separation of police functions of investigation and maintaining law and order.
It had ordered setting up of a Police Establishment Board to decide and make recommendations on transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters of police officers of and below the rank of DSPs.
It had also ordered setting up of a Police Complaints Authority in each state to look into complaints against officers of and above the rank of SP in cases of serious misconduct, including custodial death, grievous hurt or rape in police custody.
A National Security Commission needed to be set up at the union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of chiefs of the Central Police Organisations with a minimum tenure of two years, the apex court had ordered.
Contempt pleas alleging non-implementation of these directions are still pending.
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