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The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the plea by five states which wanted to appoint DGPs through an internal state committee rather than by the Union Public Service Commission.

A bench headed by the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that earlier directions of the court on selection and appointment of DGPs were issued in larger public interest and to protect the police officials from political interference. Saying so, it dismissed the pleas of five States—– such as Punjab, West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar & Haryana seeking modification of its order issued last year on selection and appointment of DGPs. The states wanted implementation of their local laws regarding selection and appointment of DGPs.The states said since police is an exclusive jurisdiction, the DGP’s appointment should also vest with the state government.

In the 2006 judgment, the Supreme Court said the DGP of the state “shall be selected by the State government from amongst the three senior most officers of the department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the UPSC on the basis of their length of service, very good record and range of experience for heading the police force”. The court also said that once the DGP was selected, he should have a minimum tenure of two years.”

The court also said that the states should send their proposals with regard to the appointment of the next DGP to the UPSC at least three months before the date of retirement of the incumbent.

In its order, the Supreme Court had also laid down the guidelines for the removal of the DGPs saying that a state government may remove a DGP after consultation with the “State Security Commission consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules” or if the DGP has been convicted in a court of law in a criminal offence or for corruption.

In its September 2018 order, the court had directed the UPSC to prepare the panel as per the court’s directions and inform the states. The Court also directed the states to immediately appoint one person from the panel.

The court also cautioned the states against conceiving of the “idea of appointing any person on the post of DGP on acting basis for there is no concept of acting Director General of Police”.

–India Legal Bureau

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