The Bombay High Court on Wednesday gave Maharashtra Government ten more days to appoint the new state police chief after the government submitted that it had sought confirmation of the new appointee from Election Commission, in view of the code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls.
The Court had on February 5 set aside the appointment of Anami Roy as Maharashtra's Director General of Police, saying that the selection process was "arbitrary", violative of constitutional principle of equality and the Supreme Court's guidelines.
A Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and SA Bobde had then directed the state government to find a new DGP within four weeks. However, the deadline expired on Wednesday.
Roy and the state government had challenged in the High Court, Central Administrative Tribunal's last year order of setting aside his appointment as DGP. The Court specified that its judgement did not reflect on merit of Roy or other officers in the fray.
Commenting on the noting by then Deputy Chief minister RR Patil on the file that Roy should be appointed as DGP "in order to maintain law and order", the Court had ruled that the "decision of the deputy chief minister shows non-application of mind ... This could hardly be a reason for the exclusion of other three officers".
When Roy was appointed, S S Virk (1970 IPS batch) was the senior most officer. Another IPS officer, Suprakash Chakravarti (now DG Anti-Corruption) challenged Roy's appointment before CAT, saying he superseded three senior officers (Virk, Chakravarti himself and J D Veerkar).
Roy and other two are 1972 batch officers.
Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday yesterday that all the four were in the 'zone of consideration' for the top police post in the state.
In the February 5 order, the High Court noted that the order of appointment did not say anything as to "how they (decision-makers) came to the conclusion that Roy is the most appropriate and befitting officer to hold the post."
"Decision-making process was taken in undue haste ... It was not in conformity with administrative norms. The order is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution," the Court ruled, adding there was "no effective and appropriate consideration of (other) eligible officers."