The state government will file an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court on Friday explaining its stand on the appointment of DGP P P Pandey as in-charge police chief. Pandey’s elevation for the top job has been challenged by the ex-DGP Julio Ribeiro in the HC. Ribeiro has sought interim relief by removing Pandey from the post.
During the second hearing of the PIL on Wednesday public prosecutor Manisha Lavkumar told the division bench led by Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy that the state will file an affidavit by Friday. The bench adjourned the hearing for a week. Last month when the PIL came up for hearing the Court had asked the public prosecutor to take instruction from the state.
The PIL has challenged Pandey’s appointment mainly on the ground that being a chargesheeted accused in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case Pandey should not have been given the job. “Such an additional charge is against the doctrine of public trust, is against the law and express guidelines of the Supreme Court,” the PIL has mentioned.
It further says, “…the police force of a state can’t be headed by a person accused of extremely serious offence of murder of four persons, especially, when the trials are yet to begin. In a sense, such an appointment is itself a breach of law, being arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”
In the brief hearing, Ribeiro’s lawyer I H Syed argued that according to the Supreme Court guidelines, only an impeccable officer should be appointed as a DGP of a state and not the one who is facing serious criminal charges. He said that Pandey has been chargesheeted for wrongful confinement, abduction and murder of four people.