Khat­tar gov­ern­ment to seek 7-month ex­ten­sion for DGP

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Htpunjab&haryana - Hi­ten­der Rao hrao@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

ALSO TO PE­TI­TION THE SUPREME COURT FOR MOD­I­FI­CA­TION OF DI­REC­TIONS

CHANDI­GARH : The Manohar Lal Khat­tar gov­ern­ment in Haryana has de­cided to seek seven-month ex­ten­sion in ser­vice for in­cum­bent di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice (DGP) BS Sandhu from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment. Sandhu re­tires from the ser­vice on Septem­ber 30.

The plea for a seven-month ex­ten­sion for Sandhu has been taken to “ful­fill” the Supreme Court di­rec­tions re­gard­ing the two-year ten­ure ir­re­spec­tive of the date of su­per­an­nu­a­tion for the DGP.

The state gov­ern­ment has also de­cided to ap­proach the apex court by fil­ing an in­ter­locu­tory ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the court’s July 3 or­ders. The SC had asked the state gov­ern­ments to send pro­pos­als with re­gard to ap­point­ment of the next DGP to the Union Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (UPSC), di­rect­ing that the DGP shall be se­lected by the state gov­ern­ment from among the three se­nior­most of­fi­cers who have been em­pan­elled for pro­mo­tion to that rank by the UPSC.

“Sandhu was ap­pointed as the DGP on April 27, 2018, so we are ask­ing for a seven-month ex­ten­sion till April 2019 to cover the two-year ten­ure stip­u­la­tion. A com­mu­ni­ca­tion in this re­gard is be­ing sent to the Union home min­istry by the ad­di­tional chief sec­re­tary, home, Haryana,’’ said a top of­fi­cial, fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ments

WON’T CUT ICE WITH CEN­TRE, SC: LE­GAL EX­PERTS

The plea, le­gal ex­perts say, would not cut much ice ei­ther with the Cen­tre or the Supreme Court.

The BJP gov­ern­ment in Haryana, how­ever, will be con­tent if the Cen­tre gives Sandhu’s ex­ten­sion at par with the Ma­ha­rash­tra and Punjab DGPS. The Ap­point­ments Com­mit­tee of the Cab­i­net (ACC) of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment had re­cently granted three­month ex­ten­sion in ser­vice to Ma­ha­rash­tra DGP DD Pad­sal­gikar and Punjab po­lice chief Suresh Arora af­ter re­lax­ing section 16 (1) of the All In­dia Ser­vice (death-cum-re­tire­ment ben­e­fit) Rules.

The ex­ten­sion or­ders of both the of­fi­cers said that they were be­ing given ex­ten­sion in pub­lic in­ter­est.

Le­gal ex­perts, how­ever, said the ACC de­ci­sion on grant­ing ex­ten­sion to Ma­ha­rash­tra and Punjab DGP was con­trary to the Supreme Court’s di­rec­tions.

The apex court had said any leg­is­la­tion or rule framed by any of the states or the cen­tral gov­ern­ment run­ning counter to the di­rec­tions shall re­main in abeyance to the afore­said ex­tent.

Prashant Bhushan, coun­sel for Prakash Singh, the pe­ti­tioner in the SC case, had said that what cen­tral gov­ern­ment and Ma­ha­rash­tra did by grant­ing ex­ten­sion to the DGP was con­trary to the Supreme Court or­ders. Bhushan had said that if other state gov­ern­ments also try to seek such ex­ten­sions, this would be clearly an at­tempt to cir­cum­vent the apex court’s or­ders.

The di­rec­tions is­sued by the Supreme Court with re­gards to se­lec­tion and ap­point­ment of the DGP were in­tended to in­su­late the po­lice and the DGP from the con­trol of the po­lit­i­cal ex­ec­u­tive,’’ Bhushan had said.

State gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials deal­ing with the mat­ter were also of the view that there was no pro­vi­sion in the All In­dia Ser­vice (death cum re­tire­ment ben­e­fit) Rules to grant ex­ten­sion in ser­vice to a state DGP.

The Cen­tre granted ex­ten­sion to Ma­ha­rash­tra and Punjab DGPS in re­lax­ation of the All In­dia Ser­vice rules. “Re­lax­ations can’t be a rou­tine. Also, the rules which are be­ing put in play to grant ex­ten­sion in ser­vice are in abeyance since they run counter to the SC di­rec­tions,’’ an of­fi­cial said.

HARYANA’S COUNTER AR­GU­MENT

The state gov­ern­ment is ready­ing to ar­gue be­fore the apex court that 2006 Supreme Court di­rec­tions with re­gards to the ap­point­ment of the DGP were to re­main op­er­a­tive till the time the state gov­ern­ment did not en­act a new model Po­lice Act.

“The Haryana gov­ern­ment en­acted a new po­lice law in 2007. Its section 6 pro­vides for the se­lec­tion and ten­ure of the DGP,’’ said the le­gal opin­ion ten­dered by ad­di­tional ad­vo­cate gen­eral, Lokesh Sin­hal.

“While fram­ing the Haryana Po­lice Act, con­sul­ta­tion with the UPSC was not found fea­si­ble by the state leg­is­la­ture. The state leg­is­la­ture in its wis­dom deemed it ap­pro­pri­ate to fix one-year min­i­mum ten­ure for the DGP,’’ the le­gal opin­ion reads.

Haryana DGP Bs.sandhu

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