Home States Maharashtra DGP appointments: AP provocation takes MHA to SC

DGP appointments: AP provocation takes MHA to SC

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(G.N.S., Rakesh Ranjan) Dt. 27
New Delhi
Union Home Ministry, IPS Authority, State Government, DGP, Prakash Singh case, Ministry of Home Affairs, MHA, N. Sambasiva Rao IPS, Naidu Administration, All India Services Act 1951, Trinamool Congress government, Surajit Kar Purkayastha IPS, Jayalalithaa, Ashok Kumar IPS
The Union Home Ministry, which is the cadre-controlling authority for IPS officers, has been seriously disturbed over the increasing tendency of state governments to appoint such officers as DGP whose service tenure may be ending. The modus operandi is simple: pick up a retiring favorite and exploit the 2006 SC verdict in the famous Prakash Singh case to give a fixed two-year year term to your favorite as the DGP.
The matter has turned so serious that the MHA was constrained to take the matter to the SC earlier this month to seek clarity on the order that ensures a two-year fixed term for the DGPs.
The immediate provocation for this may have come from the Andhra Pradesh government after it forwarded a panel of seven officers for selection as DGP. The list included three officers who were to retire shortly. The State had kept the post vacant for months and issued an order on November 24 to appoint N. Sambasiva Rao, an IPS officer of the 1984 batch, who was to retire on December 31.
Further, reports indicate that the Naidu administration wants to usurp the power to appoint a DGP through an ordinance, making the all India service rules redundant in the process.
The All India Services Act, 1951, bars any officer from remaining in office after retirement unless cleared by the Centre.
Since AP’s like behavior has become new normal, the MHA wants a clear SC direction on the issue so that no loopholes are left open for exploitation by states.
It is pointed out that in 2016, the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal issued an order allowing IPS officer Surajit Kar Purkayastha to stay in office for two years, though he attained superannuation on December 31 of that year.
Similarly, late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had exploited the loophole to appoint Ashok Kumar, an IPS officer of the 1982 batch, as the DGP in November 2014 for a fixed term of two years, though he was to attain superannuation in June 2015.
It is argued that apart from being politically motivated, such precedents send out a wrong message to IPS officers down the line, let alone disturbing the normal promotional avenues.

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