Row over Nagaland DGP: How are state police chiefs appointed?

Source: The post is based on the article “Row over Nagaland DGP: How are state police chiefs appointed?” published in Indian Express on 7th February 2023.

What is the News?

The Nagaland government has issued an order appointing Rupin Sharma as Director General of the state police.

The order was passed after Nagaland challenged the Union Public Service Commission’s (UPSC) recommendation of Sharma as the only candidate for the post.

How are State Police Chiefs appointed?

Appointments of DGPs are now made on the basis of the Supreme Court judgment on police reforms in Prakash Singh vs Union of India 17 years ago. 

Based on the judgment, the UPSC issued its own guidelines in 2009 on the appointment of police chiefs of states. 

According to these guidelines, states are supposed to draw up and send to the UPSC a list of eligible officers with at least 30 years of service behind them, along with these officers’ service records, performance appraisal and vigilance clearance.

These officers are to be of the rank of ADG or the rank of police chief (and one below) stipulated for that state. The list is supposed to be given to UPSC six months before the incumbent DGP is to retire.

Then, an empanelment committee headed by the UPSC chairman and with the union home secretary, state chief secretary, state DGP, and the chief of a central police organization in it is supposed to select a panel of three officers “based on merit”. This list is then sent back to States.

The State, in turn, shall “immediately” appoint one of the persons shortlisted by the UPSC.

Note: Under the rules, the consent of an officer is not required for his/her posting. Also, the Centre has the power to not relieve an officer for posting in the state.

– Moreover, the SC in several of its judgements has also stipulated that the UPSC shall not put in the panel any officer with less than six months to retirement.

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