THE Chief Minister is the most powerful person in any state because he has complete control over appointment of Director General of Police and other police personnel. But this control has been punctured by the Supreme Court. The apex court has passed a slew of directions on police reforms and ordered all States and Union Territories to not appoint any police officer as acting Director General of Police (DGP). A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also directed all States to send the names of senior police officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to be appointed as DGPs or Police Commissioners as the case may be. The UPSC, in turn, will prepare a list of three most suitable officers and the States will then be free to appoint one of them as police chief. The directions came on a plea of the Centre seeking modification of the judgement rendered in the Prakash Singh case on police reforms. BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had sought urgent hearing on his interim plea saying the directions passed by the 2006 verdict have not been implemented by authorities concerned. The Supreme Court had ordered setting up of a Police Establishment Board to decide and make recommendations on transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters of police officers of and below the rank of DSPs; a Police Complaints Authority in each State to look into complaints against officers of and above the rank of SP; and a National Security Commission at the Union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of chiefs of the Central Police Organisations with a minimum tenure of two years. Chief Ministers should be ready for another onslaught as contempt pleas alleging non-implementation of these directions are still pending. Prakash Singh, a former DGP of UP, has been clamouring for police reforms for a long time. He is considered to be close to Rajnath Singh. This judgement will have far reaching impact on the federal management of states and in the 2019 elections. Read between the lines.
VOL. 12 | ISSUE 4 | JULY 2018