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Supreme Court rejects Bengal plea to appoint DGP without UPSC involvement

“Your argument was rejected earlier also... Please don't file repeated applications. This is an abuse of the process of law,” Justice L Nageswara Rao heading a three-judge bench told Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra, who appeared for the state.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 4, 2021 4:37:57 am
The Supreme Court of India. (File)

SUPREME COURT on Friday rejected West Bengal government’s plea to allow it to appoint the state Director General of Police without the involvement of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), saying it had already dealt with and dismissed similar prayer in the past and repeating it amounts to “abuse of process of law”.

“Your argument was rejected earlier also… Please don’t file repeated applications. This is an abuse of the process of law,” Justice L Nageswara Rao heading a three-judge bench told Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra, who appeared for the state.

The Mamata Banerjee government had moved the top court seeking modification of its 2018 order in the Prakash Singh case on reforms in the police which made it mandatory for states to appoint DGP from a panel of three most senior police officers drawn up by the UPSC.

The application said, “The Constitution of India does not vest UPSC with the power to assess the respective merit of the officers holding the rank of DGP in the state cadre for determining the fitness to be appointed as the DGP/Head of Police Force of the state, since it is the state government which can have the proximate opportunity to assess the fitness of officers of that rank who had rendered service to the state in the state cadre”.

It pointed out that police and public order are subjects that fall in the jurisdiction of the state that the involvement of the UPSC would curtail the state’s legislative power. “Each state has, therefore, exclusive power to legislate in regard to its police system and also have full administrative control over the police in the state… the direct involvement of the UPSC in the appointment process of the DGP of a state would tantamount to curtailment of the legislative powers of a state,” the plea said.

The application was filed in a pending plea seeking implementation of the Prakash Singh judgment.

The bench also comprising Justices B R Gavai and B V Ngaratna meanwhile allowed an impleadment application filed by the state in the petition seeking implementation of Prakash Singh guidelines.

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