Mumbai: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking direction to the Maharashtra government to appoint a permanent Director General of Police (DGP), as per the recommendation made by the empanelment committee of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
The PIL filed by advocate Datta Mane prays that the government should also place all records with respect to their inordinate delay in not following the directions of the Supreme Court, which had said that the appointment of a permanent DGP should be made from the list of three officers recommended by the UPSC.
The PIL has made the state government, chief minister and the home minister respondents to the PIL along with the UPSC.
The UPSC had recommended a panel of three IPS officers for the appointment of the DGP -- Hemant Nagrale, Rajnish Seth and K Venkatesham. The name of the present DGP, Sanjay Pandey, did not figure in the list recommended by the panel.
According to the PIL, it was reported in the media that the government planned to continue with DGP Sanjay Pandey till his retirement in June 2022.
However, this is against the SC order which states that the DGP of a state should be appointed from amongst the three seniormost officers of the department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the UPSC on the basis of their length of service, good record and range of experience in heading the police force. Besides, the SC order says that the incumbent should have a minimum tenure of at least two years, irrespective of his date of superannuation.
In June 2019, Subodh Jaiswal was appointed as the DGP following the recommendation of the UPSC. Later, he was appointed as DG, CISF, by the Central government and hence, was relieved as DGP by Maharashtra as on January 7, 2021.
Following a request from the state government, the UPSC formed another panel for the appointment of a DGP. At its meeting on November 1, 2021, the then chief secretary, Sitaram Kunte, too was present and hence the decision or recommendation of the empanelment committee of the UPSC is binding on the government, reads the plea.
In the interim, Sanjay Pandey, who was the DG of Maharashtra State Security Corporation, was given additional charge of the DGP and till date, holds charge as Addl./ Acting DGP, Maharashtra, states the plea.
However, for the last two months, conveniently, the respondents with their ‘wilful omission’ are ‘deliberately’ not taking steps to appoint the DGP from the recommended list by the UPSC. “This demonstrates that the Respondents No. 1 to 3 with malicious intention, consciously, thoughtfully have been disobeying the Honourable Supreme Court’s Judgment and directions,” reads the PIL.
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