A senior IPS officer has raised the banner of revolt against the new Bihar Police Act, 2007, which was passed by the State Legislature last month. The officer, Ajoy Kuamr Verma, DIG, Railways, Bihar, has sought permission from Governor RS Gavai to move the Supreme Court by becoming an intervener in WP (Civil) No. 310/1996.
Maintaining that the legislation is “bad in law and not sustainable, as it is an attempt to overstep the SC order”, Verma has urged the Governor to allow him to intervene in the matter. He has also listed the “legal infirmities” that make it inconsistent with the Central Act.
“Police act, 1861 is a Central Act, and thus no State can make any enactment, which is repugnant to any provision of the Central Act, as per the Articles 251 and 254 of the Constitution,” says the petition, raising objection to Sections 23, 24 and 25 of the new Act.
“These sections grant authority to the offices of the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, which are unknown to the 1861 Act. Again Section 30 provides ‘disciplinary authority’ to the district magistrate over all police officers, irrespective of their rank. It is not only bad, but also opposed to the Central Act,” says the petition, addressed to the DGP.
Copies of the petition have been forwarded to Advocate General PK Shahi, Principal Secretary, Raj Bhawan, RJM Pillai, Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah and Principal Secretary to the CM, RCP Singh.
Citing the case of Prakash Singh, wherein the SC intervened, Verma has also raised the issue of creation of a State Security Commission regarding the selection of DGP. “Bihar also created one, but an attempt was made to overstep the SC order, compelling the petitioner to submit a petition for reconsideration,” Verma has highlighted.
“Section 6(1) of the Act provides for a committee to decide fitness of individuals for promotion to the rank of DGP. It provides a negative authority. If the committee meeting does not take place, the individuals would not get promoted,” says the petition.
He has also cited the provision for creating a Police Establishment Board for recommending posting of officers of SP level and above. “The Board was also made responsible for DSP-level officers. It was to be a body of senior officers of the department,” Verma has pointed out.
“It clearly points out that the SC found it undesirable that any IAS officer should be a party to the decision-making process in relation to posting of police officers, except the DGP,” Verma adds, questioning Section 12(1) and (2), which provide authority to an SDO to pass ‘directory orders’ over police officers.
Similarly, he has termed Section 4 (Throughout the local jurisdiction of the DM there shall be a SP) as a violation of the express prohibition of a Central Act. “Section 20 grants authority to the DM office of controlling the Range DIG, AIG and the zonal IG in matter relating to appointment of special officers,” the petition says.