The 4 February (2019) meeting of Union Public Services Commission’s (UPSC) empanelment committee is silent on why the names of two senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers were not mentioned in the list of DGP probables sent to the state government, reports Times Of India (TOI).
While UPSC had recommended names of three 1987-batch IPS officers – Dinkar Gupta, M K Tiwari, V K Bhawra – to the Punjab government for appointment as Punjab’s Police chief, the names of a 1985-batch officer Mohammad Mustafa and 1986-batch officer Siddharth Chattopadhyaya were omitted.
As per a Supreme Court judgement, a state government can only appoint police chiefs out of the panel of probables prepared by UPSC.
“The state government can pick whosoever it likes out of the three names. I have a problem with UPSC for leaving out my name of the panel of three it sent to the state government,” said Mustafa.
However, the empanelment committee’s minutes provide an insight into its decision-making process. “The committee also took note of... appreciation for the meritorious work done by the concerned officers. Only those officers who were assessed by the committee as at least 'Very Good' for each of the preceding 10 years were considered for inclusion in the panel.”
SC Firm On Its Stance
In its 15 January (2019) judgement, the SC squashed the pleas of five states - Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana and Bihar - to implement local laws to select and appoint police chiefs. The SC bench, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, noted that this decision was taken in larger public interest and to protect the police officials from political interference.
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