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Picking new police chiefs: Haryana to move SC for ‘right to appoint DGP’

CHANDIGARH, SEP 4 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 9/4/2018 11:35:11 AM IST

Seeking right to appoint the Director General of Police to the state government, the Haryana government has decided to approach the Supreme Court. A senior officer told The Indian Express that the state government had accepted the opinion of Haryana Advocate General Baldev Mahajan, who has suggested that the government to file an application to the apex court to seek modifications in SC’s order of July 3.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Mahajan confirmed the development. “In my opinion, UPSC’s involvement is not justified in the appointment of Director General of Police,” said Mahajan.

The SC on July 3 had directed the states to notify the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at least three months prior to the retirement of the incumbent DGP and appoint new one from a panel of officers drawn up by the Commission. However, the apex court had made it clear that “if any State Government/ Union Territory has a grievance with regard to these directions, liberty is granted to them to approach this court for modification of the instant order”.

Mahajan said the state should be permitted to appoint the DGP in federal structure because “law and order is a state subject following the division of powers in our constitution”.

“Those states which have formulated statutory rules after introducing Acts should be allowed to appoint DGP as per the rules concerned. 

The Haryana government had already drafted rules after an Act was enacted in 2008 following the original SC order of 2006 into the matter,” said Mahajan. According to the AG, there is no requirement of UPSC’s intervention after formulation of rules by the states through their Acts and the states should have liberty to follow their laws concerned.

Apart from approaching the Supreme Court, official sources say, the Haryana government will also examine possibility of a new legislation or amendment in its 2008 Act to empower itself for appointment of the DGP.

“We have already examined the recent amendments made by the Punjab Assembly in its law which empowers the state to appointment the DGP on its own,” said an official.

Government officials say its plan to give extension to incumbent DGP BS Sandhu is also in line with the 2006 SC order regarding the appointments of state police chiefs.

In 2006 order, the SC had stated, “… once (DGP) has been selected for the job, he should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his date of superannuation…”

A 1984-batch IPS officer, Sandhu was appointed Haryana DGP in April 2017 and is due to retire on September 30 this year. “If the state government gives extension to Sandhu till he completes two years as the DGP, it won’t violate the SC order,” said an official.

In its July 3 judgment, the SC had dealt with the issue of two years of fixed tenure for the DGPs and extension to them.

 

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