SC Order on Appointment of DGPs

The Supreme Court has passed an interim order allowing the Punjab and Haryana DGPs to continue in office till January 31. The Supreme Court was hearing the petition filed by the two states seeking modification of the SC order which had made it mandatory for states and UTs to take the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) assistance in short listing the names of senior IPS officers for selection of DGP.

SC Order on appointing DGP’s

  • In July 2018, Supreme Court had ordered all states and Union territories to stop appointing any police officer as an acting Director General of Police (DGP) and gave a slew of directions to states and UTs on police reforms.
  • As per the order of the Supreme Court, the states are now required to send names of senior police officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for being considered as probable candidates for the post of DGPs or police commissioners (as per applicability)
  • The UPSC would then prepare a list of three most suitable candidates out of the list of names sent by states and UTs.
  • The states are free to appoint any one of them as the police chief.
  • It is mandatory for the states to send the list of senior police officers to the UPSC at least three months prior to the retirement of the incumbent.
  • The UPSC would then form a committee and intimate the state concerned, which in turn will immediately appoint one of the persons from among that list.
  • The Supreme Court granting liberty to states which already had laws on police appointments had asked them to move before it, seeking modification of the order.
  • The Supreme Court had even directed the states to ensure that a reasonable period of service is left before appointing DGPs.

Since the states of Punjab and Haryana their own laws for appointment of DGPs, they had approached the Supreme Court for the modification of the order. The Supreme Court would take up this matter in January 2019.

Why the Supreme Court had interfered?

It was pointed before the Supreme Court that many states were appointing acting DGPs and then making them permanent just before their superannuation to extend them the benefit of additional two-year tenure. To curb this practice Supreme Court had directed all states and UTs not to appoint any police officer as acting DGP and issued certain other directions on police reforms to check favoritism and nepotism in appointments.

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