January 14, 2009 3:15:17 am
The Supreme Court,on Tuesday,refused to issue any direction to set aside the appointment of Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP),P C Pande,who had came under a cloud for his alleged role in the 2002 post-Godhra riots. An appointment of a government servant is the prerogative of the particular government,particularly,when it is a sensitive appointment of the DGP, the court observed.
Heading the bench,Justice Markandeya Katju said: We,under the doctrine of judicial review,would not upset such an appointment,more particularly,in the factual panorama,which is available today. We hold that the present writ petition has become redundant and we dispose it of as such.
The PIL filed in 2006 by Citizens for Justice and Peace,an NGO,had claimed that Pandey should not be appointed as DGP,as there were several complaints pending against him relating to his role in the riots. He was the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner then.
However,the Bench,also comprising Justice V S Sirpurkar,declined to issue any direction,saying it is for the concerned Government. We will not enter the fact finding exercise, he added.
The apex court rejected the NGOs argument that if Pandey continues in office,he may be in a position to influence the courts where the trial against the riot accused is in progress. We do not think that such a thing can be said either about Pandey or even the trial courts in Gujarat. We do not have any reason to believe that Pandey,in his remaining tenure of about three months,would take any such step. We do not think that the trial courts in Gujarat are capable of being pressured in the manner expressed in the writ petition, the apex court observed. Also,taking into account that Pandey was due to retire on March 31,2009,it felt the PIL had become redundant.
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