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On DGP’s appointment, J&K govt seeks modification to SC order

By Madhuri Adnal
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    New Delhi, Sep 8: The Jammu and Kashmir government sought modification in the Supreme Court order which makes it mandatory for all states to send the list of three senior most IPS officers to the UPSC for clearance before appointing the DGP.

    The state government had yesterday appointed In-Charge Director General of Police (DGP) without following the procedure in view of "complex security concerns".

    On DGP’s appointment, J&K govt seeks modification to SC order

    A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of the state government that in view of the upcoming panchayat polls and security situations incumbent DGP S P Vaid has been replaced by in-charge DGP Dilbagh Singh.

    Also Read | SP Vaid removed as J&K police chief; Dilbag Singh to hold additional charge

    Lawyer Shoeb Alam, representing the state, said the government was seeking modification of the July 3 order by which a state government was required to send the names of three senior IPS officer well in advance to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for clearance before appointing an officer to the post of DGP.

    The bench agreed to hear the plea of the state government on September 10.

    The court had earlier passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country and had restrained all states and union territories from appointing any police officer as acting DGPs to avoid favouritism and nepotism.

    Also Read | From stamping out terror to enhancing security, new J&K top cop has his hands full

    It had said that all states were required to send their proposals in anticipation of the vacancies to the UPSC well in time, at least three months prior to the date of retirement of the incumbent on the post of DGP.

    The UPSC will then prepare a panel as per the earlier directions of the court and intimate to the states about the selected IPS officers, it had said.

    The state, in turn, will immediately appoint one of the persons as DGP, it had said.

    The state government, in its plea, said: "It may be pointed out that in view of the complex security concerns of the state, the peculiar ground situation prevailing therein, the upcoming panchayat and local body elections, insurgent and terror related activities, the unique law and order requirements, it is essential to have a head of the police force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir at all times.

    "As such, as a purely ad-interim measure, the State Government has been constrained to appoint the Director General, Prisons of State of Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbagh Singh... as the In-Charge Director General of Police 'till a regular arrangement is made.'"

    Also Read | Why was S P Vaid removed as J&K police chief

    The court guidelines, which envisaged the role of the UPSC prior to the appointment of the DGP in a state, could not be followed as the "present case is not that of an 'anticipated vacancy' which would have enabled the state to forward a panel to the UPSC and comply with the other rigors of the applicable procedure," it said.

    It said that in view of the guidelines, the state government has now already approached the UPSC and has forwarded a panel of senior most officers from the state.

    Earlier, the court had passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country.

    The top court's direction had come on an application filed by the Centre in which it claimed that certain states have been appointing acting DGPs and then making them permanent just before the date of their superannuation to enable them get the benefit of an additional two-year tenure till the age of 62 years.

    The court, while deciding the PIL filed by two former DGPs Prakash Singh and N K Singh in 2006, had issued several directions, including that state police chiefs will have a fixed tenure of two years.

    Also Read | Going out with a lot of good feelings, says outgoing J&K police chief S P Vaid

    It had also directed setting up of a state security commission, to ensure that the government does not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.

    It had said the appointment of DGPs and police officers should be merit-based and transparent and officers like DGPs and Superintendents of Police (SPs) should have a minimum fixed tenure of two years.

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