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Punjab

Posted at: Dec 7, 2018, 1:33 AM; last updated: Dec 7, 2018, 1:33 AM (IST)

SC to hear states’ plea on DGP’s post today

Punjab, Bihar seek nod to appoint top cop on own

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 6

The Supreme Court will on Friday hear an urgent application moved by the governments of Punjab and Bihar seeking permission to appoint the state DGP on their own instead of the Union Public Service Commission as was directed by the apex court.

Punjab had moved the application on November 30 along with Bihar. It has mentioned urgency in the matter as the incumbent police chief, DGP Suresh Arora, retires on December 31 after a three month-extension.

Punjab may have to appoint a DGP within a few days depending on the court hearing tomorrow. Haryana and three other states are also likely to move similar applications. Haryana’s DGP BS Sandhu also retires on December 31, while Bihar DGP KS Dwivedi a month later.

Top lawyer P Chidambram represents Punjab, while Abhishek Manu Singhvi represents Bihar. Punjab has contended that it had amended the Punjab Police Rules in September and made a provision that a committee of three persons — the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and one nominee of the Police Department — will form the panel of candidates for the DGP’s post on seniority-cum-merit basis. It said the empowerment of the committee ended the politicisation of the appointment.

Till July, the states appointed the DGP on their own, but the Supreme Court, acting on several petitions seeking reforms in policing, directed that the DGP should be chosen from a panel of officers shortlisted by the Union Public Service Commission.

The court hearing on the issue assumes significance as it has become a major confrontation between the state and Central governments given the fact that policing has always been a state subject matter.

Meanwhile, hectic lobbying is on in the state government for another three-month extension to DGP Arora. DGP Mohd Mustafa and DGP Dinkar Gupta are the top contenders to succeed him.

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