States can’t appoint acting DGP, rules SC

The Supreme Court, file photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared that no state government can appoint a senior police officer as the acting director general of police (DGP). It asked the states to nominate the police head for a fixed period of two years from a list prepared by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

“None of the states shall ever conceive of the idea of appointing any person to the post of director general of police on acting basis, for there is no concept of acting DGP,” a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud ordered.

The court restrained states from appointing their favourite police officer suiting their political choice as the acting chief, who would subsequently be made permanent.

The court said the concept of an acting DGP was not considered in the 2006 landmark judgement delivered on police reforms on a PIL by former DGP, Uttar Pradesh, Prakash Singh.

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted that out of 29 states, only Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan approached the UPSC for empanelment and the other states did not follow the direction.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing Singh, contended that the state governments were not making appointments based on the list of top officers empanelled by the UPSC. He said, instead, they were appointing acting DGPs, also disregarding another direction that a police chief would be appointed for a period of two years irrespective of the date of superannuation.

Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for intervenor Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, submitted that the UPSC and the states should ensure that candidates who come within the zone of consideration have two years to go so that there will be fair competition.

‘Send names in time’

The court said all the states should send their proposals to the UPSC well in time, at least three months prior to the date of retirement of the DGP.

The court said an endeavour has to be made to ensure that the person appointed as DGP continues despite his date of superannuation but not beyond a reasonable period.

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States can’t appoint acting DGP, rules SC

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