SC for sound order on police chiefs' appointment process

Supreme Court
New Delhi, Dec 17: The Supreme Court today decided to make a closer scrutiny of the process of appointing state police chiefs to evolve a system for it on a constitutional basis and not merely as a stop-gap arrangement while also factoring its limitation that it does not govern the country.

"We want to know if it is permissible for the court to interfere with the affairs concerning the federal structure of the country," said a bench a Chief Justice S H Kapadia while dealing with a plea for implementation of the court's various directions on police reform given in September 2006.

The bench made the remarks while examining if the states should have a decisive say in appointment of their police chiefs or they should pick them out of a list of three senior most, eligible officers, made by UPSC as per the court's September 2006 ruling on police reform.

"We should put it on a constitutional basis, otherwise it will be a temporary step, just to fill the gap," said the bench, which also included justices Aftab Alam and K S Radhakrishnan.

While expressing its intention to delve deep into the issue, the bench also reminded it of its limitations saying, "at the same time, we have to keep in mind that we are not governing the country."

While discussing the issue of appointment of state police chiefs, the bench also briefly dwelt on the issue of appointment of chiefs of various central police forces, including the Central Bureau of Investigation and asked the Centre to apprise it of the process adopted for appointing CBI Director.


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