The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday told the Gujarat High Court that it cannot direct the state government to appoint a regular DGP considering the model code of conduct and added that “steps should have been taken much in advance”.
The division bench of high court led by chief justice R Subhash Reddy had directed the ECI to file an affidavit on a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought appointment of full-time DGP.
The EC in its affidavit stated, “The commission in their communication to chief electoral officer, Gujarat, observed that the post had been lying vacant for quite sometime and steps should have been taken much in advance for appointment of a regular DGP so that this kind of situation could not have arisen.”
The EC was referring to its communication with the Gujarat chief electoral officer over choosing the next in-charge DGP after IPS officer Geetha Johri, who was holding the charge, retired on November 30. According to the EC’s affidavit to the High Court, it received a list of names of the IPS officers who could replace Johri from the state government on November 30. The EC took a call on appointing new in-charge DGP on the basis of seniority and therefore nominated Pramod Kumar as the replacement for Johri.
The bench has reserved the verdict which is likely to be pronounced on Tuesday.