Millennium Post

SC questions delay in seeking change in its order on appointment of DGPs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the delay by a former UP police chief in seeking modification of its last year's order asking UPSC to consider only those IPS officers for appointing as DGP who have two years of service left.

The apex court reserved its order on the plea of a former Director General of Police of UP, Prakash Singh, alleging that the July 3, 2018 directive was being misused by state governments who were ignoring competent senior officers for appointing DGPs.

"The interim order was passed on July 3, last year. You are filing this (modification) application now," said a bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna.

The court had last July passed a slew of directions on police reforms and restrained all states and Union Territories from appointing any police officer as acting DGPs to avoid favouritism and nepotism in such high-level appointments.

It had taken note of the Centre's submission that some states have adopted a practice to appoint DGPs on the last date of retirement as a consequence of which the person continues for two years after his date of superannuation.

Besides giving due weightage to "merit and seniority", it had directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to consider those IPS officers "who have got clear two years of service" for appointment as DGPs.

Singh, on whose PIL the directions on police reforms were passed, has filed a fresh plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi alleging that the specific direction that IPS officers should have minimum two years of services left for being considered for the post of DGPs was being used to deny the promotion to "competent" and "honest" officers by states for their vested interest.

"Due to this, brilliant police officers have been overlooked just because they do not have two years of services left. UPSC says that it will not consider these officers," said lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the former DGP.

The consequences of the direction were coming to the fore now, Bhushan said and gave the example of Bihar DGP and said that he had resigned and had joined BJP and now, he was allowed to join police force and made the DGP.

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