7 PM | DGP appointment: SC dismisses pleas |18 January, 2019


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Context

  • The Supreme Court rejected a plea filed by five states to appoint the DGP through an internal state committee rather than UPSC.
  • All five states (Punjab, West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar and Haryana)wanted modification in the apex court orders passed in 2006 which provided for directions pertaining police reforms, recommending steps like fixed tenures for DGPs and SPs.
  • However, despite SC order states are appointing an acting DGP, instead of following the 2006 judgment.

Supreme Court Guidelines on Appointment and Removal of DGP (Prakash Singh’s case)

  • All the States shall send their proposals in anticipation of the vacancies to the Union Public Service Commission, well in time at least three months prior to the date of retirement of the incumbent on the post of Director General of Police.
  • The Union Public Service Commission shall prepare the panel as per the directions of this Court in the judgment in Prakash Singh’s case and intimate to the States
  • The State shall immediately appoint one of the persons from the panel prepared by the Union Public Service Commission;
  • None of the States shall ever appoint any person as acting Director General of Police as per the decision in Prakash Singh’s case.
  • The person who was selected and appointed as the Director General of Police continues despite his date of superannuation. However, the extended term beyond the date of superannuation should be a reasonable period.
  • Merit and seniority should be given due weightage.
  • Any legislation/rule framed by any of the States or the Central Government running counter to the direction shall remain in abeyance to the aforesaid extent.
  • If any State Government/Union Territory has a grievance with regard to these directions, liberty is granted to them to approach this Court for modification of the instant order.
  • The top court’s direction had come on an application filed by the Centre in which it claimed that certain States have been appointing acting DGPs and then making them permanent just before the date of their superannuation to enable them get the benefit of an additional two-year tenure till the age of 62 years.
  • Removal Procedure:
    • State government can relieve DGP in consultation with the State Security Commission consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.
    • When he/she is convicted in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption

Issues with Supreme Court Judgement:

  • Police being an exclusive state subject under schedule VII of the constitution and the choice of appointment of DGP should be left to the states.
  • SC order is infringement on legislative and executive powers of the state, as well as the Parliament.
  • According to Constitution UPSC has very limited function in matter of suitability of candidate’s appointments, promotions or transfers of DGP and it does not empower the UPSC to determine the suitable candidates as is contemplated SC decision.
  • According to SC order, officers with less than 2 years of service left could not be appointed which could go against the established principal as junior becomes the DGP, the senior will retire as the IG.
  • Fixed tenure may not necessary ensure good performance, on the same line short tenure may not impact on efficient functioning either.
  • Now, the governments of Bihar and Punjab told the SC order needed to be modified as they have already come out with State laws to deal with the issue of appointment of DGP.

Way Forward:

  • All states/UTs must abide by the SC order. So far only five — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, AP and Rajasthan had approached the UPSC for empanelment and the others had not followed the direction.
  • Strong political will is required to ensure that compliance with the Courts directives brings about long-lasting reform in the selection and appointment of DGP.
  • UPSC should be given enough power to bring an effective mechanism to shortlist the incumbent officer in its panel.

 


Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dgp-appointment-sc-dismisses-pleas-of-five-states-seeking-modification-of-its-order/article26001509.ece

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