Breaking News Supreme Court dismisses plea by West Bengal Govt alleging...

Supreme Court dismisses plea by West Bengal Govt alleging UPSC has no jurisdiction or expertise in DGP appointment

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New Delhi Sept 3(ILNS): The Supreme Court today dismissed the application filed by the State of West Bengal alleging that Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has neither the jurisdiction nor the expertise to consider and appoint the director-general of police (DGP) of a state as the same is not in consonance with the Indian Federal System of governance. 

A three-judge bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Justice BR Gavai & Justice BV Nagarathna said such applications are an abuse of the process of law, questions the State why such applications are being filed. However, the Court has allowed the impleadment of the State of West Bengal in a matter seeking implementation of Prakash Singh ruling on police reforms.

Arguments Raised 

During the hearing today, Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra has apprised the Court that the present application has been filed in the petition filed by Senior Advocate Harish Salve (Amicus Curiae) in 2018, challenging the constitutional validity of laws passed by states to overcome the Supreme Court’s directions in the 1996 Prakash Singh Case on Police Reforms. 

This is an abuse of process of law, says the Apex Court 

Justice L Nageswara Rao said, these applications have already been rejected and this is “An abuse of the process of law, you cannot do this.”

“You have to withdraw and argue when the matter will be heard,” said the Court. 

Luthra replied, “I have to be impleaded.” 

We allow your impleadment and dismiss the IA for directions, why are you wasting so much time in these applications? Our pain is this there are petitions which should not be filed and what will happen when states start doing this?, the Bench retorted. 

The Court has allowed the impleadment application but dismissed the IA for directions and list the matter for hearing in October 2021. 

The IA for directions was moved before the Apex Court after the Mamata Banerjee government nominated a 1986-batch IPS officer as the state’s acting DGP, amid the tussle between the state and the UPSC over the selection of a new top cop. 

Background 

Delivered in September 2006, Prakash Singh’s judgment issued specific directions pertaining to the selection and minimum tenure of DGP of the states. According to the ruling, the DGP of the state shall be selected by the state, from among the three senior-most officers of the department impaneled for promotion to that rank by the UPSC.

Salve, in his petition, claimed the state enactments (to overcome the Prakash Singh guidelines) diluted the directions issued in the matter. Subsequent to this application, the court modified its directions in the Prakash Singh judgment, saying the states shall send their proposals in anticipation of the vacancies to the UPSC at least three months prior to the date of recruitment.

However, according to West Bengal, these directions were to remain operative till it decides the petition filed by Salve. The state had requested the Supreme Court to take up the matter, which was last heard in early January 2019./ILNS/KR/SNG

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