Acting Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh to continue in office, says SC
The Supreme Court asked the UPSC to take a decision within four weeks on the suitability of senior police officers who can be appointed as the police chief in Jammu and Kashmir.Updated: Sep 20, 2018 22:44 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to put on hold the appointment of the acting director general of police (DGP) of Jammu and Kashmir but fixed a five-week deadline for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to take a decision on the suitability of senior police officers who can be appointed as the police chief in the state.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said acting DGP Dilbagh Singh, who has replaced SP Vaid, shall continue to operate until the UPSC gives its final view.
The J&K government has been given five days to provide all the information to the commission, after which it will take another four weeks to finalise the name.
The court’s order came on an application filed by the J&K government seeking modification of an apex court order by which prior permission of the UPSC is required before appointing a police chief from among short-listed candidates.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had filed an application in the case, assailed Singh’s selection as acting police chief on the ground that he was fifth in seniority, which was against the orders of the top court.
“This is a very serious violation of your Lordships’ order. They’ve appointed somebody who is number five in seniority as acting DGP. We’ve filed a contempt application. How can the state be allowed to do this? Your Lordships’ order has no meaning?” he said.
Bhushan’s argument was rebutted by attorney general KK Venugopal, who said the procedure as laid out by the SC had been followed. J&K counsel Shoeb Alam pointed out that the state had already sent names to the UPSC for its approval.
On September 6 — days after the release of militants’ relatives in exchange for kidnapped family members of policemen — the J&K government had appointed Singh as the acting police chief. Singh replaced Vaid, who was posted as transport commissioner.
The state then moved a modification application. Earlier, on September 11, the court had refused to interfere with the decision of the state.
The SC had on July 3 directed all states and Union territories not to appoint any police officer as acting DGP and issued a slew of directions on police reforms. The guidelines were issued on a petition filed by two former DGPs, Prakash Singh and NK Singh.