The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought Attorney General KK Venugopal’s assistance on a plea filed by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, seeking the Court’s approval for its decision to appoint Dilbagh Singh as the Acting Director General of Police (DGP).
The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud also directed a copy of the application to be served on Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran. It, however, did not disturb Mr. Singh’s appointment.
The State has petitioned the Court seeking an exemption from adherence to the guidelines laid down by the Apex Court in Prakash Singh’s case, which had inter alia prescribed a minimum tenure of at least two years for the DGP, irrespective of his date of superannuation.
Applying the judgment, the Supreme Court had, in July this year, restrained all states from appointing DGPs in acting capacity, noting that such a concept is not perceptible on an analysis of its 2006 judgment.
“None of the States shall ever conceive of the idea of appointing any person on the post of Director General of Police on acting basis for there is no concept of acting Director General of Police as per the decision in Prakash Singh’s case(supra),” the Bench comprising CJI Misra, Justice Khanwilkar and Justice Chandrachud had ruled.
The State now seeks approval of the appointment, submitting that DGP SP Vaid had to be transferred due to “certain emergent circumstances”, and asserting that the police force in the State must have a head at all times, 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 etc.”
It further contends that the court’s guidelines envisage the role of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) prior to the appointment of a DGP, and points out that the same could not be done in the present case as it was not an “anticipated vacancy” that it faced.
It explains, “Created by a pressing urgency, the decision to relieve the incumbent Director General of Police and to appoint an In-charge Director General of Police was imperative, which decision had to be taken on an emergent basis in the peculiar facts of the case, thereby obviating any room to approach the Union Public Service Commission, beforehand.”
Represented by Advocate Shoeb Alam, the State finally submits that Mr. Singh’s appointment was purely an ad-interim measure till a regular appointment is made in consultation with UPSC. It has in fact submitted that in furtherance of the guidelines, the State has already approached the UPSC for making a regular appointment.