Thursday, January 17, 2019

SC reject states’ plea on control of DGP selection

States including West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Bihar and Haryana, the Supreme Court on 16/01/19 rejected their attempt to wrest control over the selection of the state police chief and ordered that directors general of police must continue to be selected from among senior police officers impanelled by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

To step around the SC’s 2006 judgment in Prakash Singh case which mandated selection of DGP from a panel of IPS officers drawn up by UPSC, some states had enacted laws allowing setting up of an internal committee headed by the chief secretary to empanel senior police officers, from whom the state could select one.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L N Rao and S K Kaul said attempts to usurp the process of impaneling police officers ran counter to the Prakash Singh judgment, which wanted to ensure that “commitment, devotion, and accountability of the police have to be only to rule of law”.
The bench said given the spirit behind the directions issued in Prakash Singh case, which were “wholesome”, it would serve the public interest “if the same are implemented until such time that the matter (challenge to state police Acts) is heard finally”.

SC stipulated a fixed tenure of 2 yrs for DGP

Attempting to free police force from noxious political-bureaucratic influences, an SC bench headed by then CJI Y K Sabharwal had said, “Supervision and control has to be such that it ensures that police serves people without any regard, whatsoever, to the status and position of any person while investigating a crime or taking preventive measures. Its approach has to be service oriented, its role has to be defined so that in appropriate cases, where on account of acts of omission and commission of police, the rule of law becomes a casualty, the guilty police officers are brought to book and appropriate action was taken without any delay.”
The SC had also stipulated a fixed tenure of two years for the DGP irrespective of his date of retirement. “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 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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