Supreme Court seeks Jharkhand and UPSC response on DGP appointment | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought responses from Jharkhand and Union Public Service Commission on a contempt petition accusing the state of flouting the SC judgment fixing two year tenure for Director General of Police and the UPSC failing to form a panel for selection of a new DGP.
A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy initially wondered as to why petitioner Rajesh Kumar has chosen to file contempt petition instead of a writ petition but senior advocate Sidharth Luthra convinced the bench that there was clear violation of the SC orders providing for minimum two year tenure for DGPs.
The PIL, filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva who is also a standing counsel for Chhattisgarh government in SC, stated that the Jharkhand government headed by Hemant Soren, which took charge on December 29, 2019, removed incumbent DGP K N Chaubey though he was appointed on May 31, 2019 and as per the SC judgment in Prakash Singh case would have had a tenure till May 30, 2021.
The petitioner said the Jharkhand government appointed M V Rao as ad hoc DGP on March 16, 2020, which was impermissible under the process of DGP appointments laid down by the SC in its 2006 Prakash Singh judgment. Kumar further alleged that the state has aggravated contempt by appointing Neeraj Sinha as DGP on February 11 this year as successor of Rao.
As per the SC judgment, a state is to request the UPSC to give a panel of senior officers names to the state much prior to the retirement of a DGP. The state had on July 21 last year requested the UPSC to form a panel of officers from whom the DGP could be chosen by the government. UPSC declined saying the state must adhere to the law laid down by the court. It is not clear from the petition what the UPSC meant – whether it meant Jharkhand should have given Chaubey two years or the state’s request not in accordance with SC judgment.
A reiteration of request by the Jharkhand government met with a similar response from the UPSC. When Jharkhan wrote another letter last year demanding UPSC to form a panel of senior police officers for DGP post, the UPSC said it could not accept the state’s request without a direction from the SC.
In Prakash Singh judgment, the SC had said, “TheDGPs 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 Union Public Service Commission on the basis of their length of service, very good record and range of experience for heading the police force. And, once he has been selected for the job, he should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his date of superannuation.”
“The DGP may, however, be relieved of his responsibilities by the State Government acting in consultation with the State Security Commission consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services(Discipline and Appeal) Rules or following his conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption, or if he is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his duties,” it had said.

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