The state government on Tuesday verbally assured the Gujarat High Court that it is considering appointment of a full-time police chief. The high court has directed the state to file an affidavit by November 1. During the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL), filed by former IPS officer Rahul Sharma, seeking appointment of a regular Director General of Police (DGP), the government pleader told the court that “appointment of a regular DGP is under serious consideration.”
The PIL has claimed that having an in-charge DGP “conveys…that the government… wants to keep the police force of the state as a pawn in its hands” and that such an appointment is contrary to the existing laws. “The non-appointment of a regular, full-time DGP leads to the growth of indiscipline in the force.
It is not uncommon to hear of police officers meeting their political bosses in secrecy…,” the PIL reads. The PIL adds that appointment of an in-charge to the post is contrary to the provisions of the Bombay Police (Gujarat Amendment) Act, 2007 and Supreme Court directions. The 2007 Act makes it mandatory for the state to appoint a full-time police chief with a minimum tenure of two years.
The Act says that non-compliance is impermissible, especially when officers of required seniority are available.
Sharma has said in the petition that the state has not seen a regular DGP since April 15, 2016 after P C Thakur was transferred. He was replaced by P P Pandey as in-charge DGP. After Pandey resigned in April 2017 following a petition in the Supreme Court, the state government appointed Geetha Johri as in-charge DGP. Johri is scheduled to retire in November.