The Supreme Court today refused to stay the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order to the state to hold a fresh selection process to appoint a new police chief for it in place of serving Director General of Police (DGP) V Dinesh Reddy.
Reddy’s appointment to the top post has been held illegal by the high court on the grounds of violation of the apex court guidelines for appointment of the state police chiefs. It has come under cloud due to alleged superseding of five senior officers by the government in catapulting him to the top post.
While refusing to stay the concurrent rulings of the CAT and the high court, a bench of justices Altamas Kabir and J Chelameshwar, however, said the UPSC is not barred from considering Reddy’s candidature during the fresh selection.
While senior counsel Gopal Subramanium and TR Andhiarujina appeared for the state and Dinesh Reddy respectively, senior counsel L Nageswara Rao appeared for another IPS officer Gautam Kumar, who has since taken voluntary retirement.
The high court and the CAT had held Reddy’s appointment as illegal saying it was contrary to the apex court norms in the Prakash Singh case that the state police chief’s post should be filled only out of a UPSC-approved panel of senior most officers, so as to insulate the force from political and other extraneous influences.
The CAT and the high court had given their orders on plea by a 1975 batch officer Gautam Kumar, who had challenged Reddy’s appointment saying that he was just a 1977 batch officer.
While holding Reddy’s appointment as improper, the high court had said the state “has consciously and consistently disregarded and violated the specific, unambiguous directives of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh Vs. UOI.”
The high court took the view as the appointment of two other DGsP – Girish Kumar and K Arvind Rao both predecessor of Reddy were also struck down by the CAT as the apex court guidelines were not followed by the state.