Khattar government to seek 7-month extension for DGP
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