A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha asked the UPSC not “to play ball” in the delaying game despite specific directions issued by it on October 17 for preparation of the panel of senior police officers. UPSC had sought 60 days to prepare the panel of officers for DGP post in Nagaland.
The court took serious objections to UPSC’s stand that 60 days would not violate the SC’s direction as the incumbent DGP’s tenure has been extended till February-end next year. The CJI-led bench said the stand of the UPSC is unfortunate as the selection body was aware of the SC’s serious objection to the manner in which incumbent DGP T John Longkumer was granted extension.
“In view of the October 17 order, we are of the considered view that UPSC had no justification to cite the extended tenure of Longkumer till February-end 2023 and argue that no dislocation of administrative machinery would be caused. The UPSC is duty-bound to comply with the SC order,” it said.
The bench directed the UPSC to prepare the panel of three senior officers eligible to head by December 19 after carrying out requisite consultations with the ministry of home affairs and the Nagaland government. “We are constrained to put the UPSC to notice that any lapse in compliance of this order would force the SC to invoke the coercive arm of the law,” it warned.
Appearing for the petitioner who had alleged irregularities in the extensions granted to Longkumer as DGP, advocate Kavita Wadia said keeping the DGP on extension in violation of the SC’s Prakash Singh judgment was not in the interest of a sensitive north-eastern state.