The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Nagaland government for extending the tenure of the Director General of Police after his superannuation.
A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli noted that incumbent IPS officer, T.J. Longkumer participated in a meeting of the State Police Establishment Board, headed by the Chief Secretary, which recommended his 6-months extension.
The top court said the state government should put its house in order, and asked it to provide fresh names of eligible officers from the state cadre to the UPSC for new police chief’s appointment.
It told the state government counsel to inform the Chief Secretary that the court has taken a very grim view that the DGP was part of the meeting, where a proposal for extension of tenure was passed.
Advocates Kaveetha Wadia and Astha Sharma, representing Nagaland Law Students Federation and others, sought a direction to Nagaland to recall its order dated August 31, granting six-month extension to Longkumer.
Counsel argued that it is nothing but a subversion of the apex court’s judgment and order passed in July 2018, where it said that there should not be any acting DGP and the DGP should have a two years fixed tenure. Citing Longkumer’s extension, the counsel added that his staying in office is subversion of rule of law.
The bench said Nagaland must immediately send a list of empanelled officers for the post of the DGP, drawn as per law, to the UPSC, taking into consideration deficiencies pointed by the UPSC by October 31. The UPSC will take a decision on the names suggested on the panel by November 30.
The Nagaland government counsel argued that the state government did not favour any particular person for the top position in the police establishment and there are no senior officers available to succeed Longkumer.
The apex court, in July 2018, had passed directions on police reforms in the country. It restrained all state governments and union territories from appointing any police officer as acting DGPs to avoid favouritism and nepotism.