The Maharashtra government has contended that it is not delaying the appointment of the permanent Director General of Police (DGP), but the delay was on account of the “indecisive approach of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)”.
The government filed a two-page written note before the Bombay HC on Thursday which is hearing a PIL seeking direction to the state government to appoint permanent DGP as per SC order.
IPS officer Sanjay Pandey was made the acting DGP after Subodh Jaiswal transferred to head the CISF at the Centre mid-term. According to the SC judgment, there cannot be an “acting” DGP. The post has to be permanent with a tenure of two years.
The government has contended that it was an “Error apparent on the face of the record, committed by UPSC, in not considering the relevant DOPT guidelines, which have been approved by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, while empanelling the three officers.”
The government has contended that keeping out of consideration the senior-most police officer, by “ex-facie manifestly arbitrary and complete incorrect application of DOPT guidelines/rules”.
By “depriving” the State Government of even ‘considering’ one of the deserving candidates, in the larger public interest, for the appointment to the highest post, the UPSC is “causing grave injustice” to the concerned individual, its own officer, who has served efficiently the State for more than three decades.
On November 1, 2021, the then chief secretary Sitaram Kunte, as a part of the selection committee, signed off on the three names - IPS officers Hemant Nagrale, Rajnish Seth, and K Venkatesham - recommended by the committee for the post of Maharashtra DGP. However, on November 8, Kunte sent another letter to the UPSC saying that the selection committee had erred and asked it to reconsider Pandey’s name.
The note reads, “There is nothing on record to doubt the correctness of the factual contents of this communication (dated November 8). Therefore, it certainly makes out a case enough to direct the UPSC to take a decision in that regard” so that the government can take necessary steps thereafter.