The state of Jharkhand and DGP Neeraj Sinha are on the radar of the top court. The subject is Sinha who continued to be DGP after his retirement in the first month of 2022.
Both are respondents in this petition facing contempt of court.
And the Supreme Court has agreed to consider listing for urgent hearing the pending contempt petition against the Jharkhand government and Sinha that alleges he has been occupying the post even after superannuation on January 31.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana was told by senior advocate Siddharth Luthra that the matter, which was ordered to be listed in September last year, has not come up for hearing yet.
"Get me the bundle (of case files). We will see," said the bench, which also comprised justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli.
The contempt plea, which was earlier mentioned for urgent hearing on February 3 and February 9, alleges that the present Jharkhand DGP, Sinha, has been holding the post even after his superannuation on January 31.
The top court on July 14 last year had issued notices on the contempt plea against the state government, its top officials, and the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for alleged violation of its verdict.
It later also made DGP Sinha a party to the plea.
Alleging continuing violation of the top court's verdict, contempt petitioner Rajesh Kumar has sought an urgent hearing of the case saying it has not been listed since September 3 last year.
"The Respondents (state government, DGP, and others) are in continuous violation of the orders passed by this court. It has come to the knowledge of the petitioner that the tenure of respondent 3 (DGP) who has been appointed by the state government to the post of DG and IGP (Inspector-General of Police), Jharkhand has expired on January 31".
"The respondent 3 has crossed the age of retirement but still continues to be on the current post which is also in the teeth of the orders passed by this court," said the interim application which sought urgent hearing of the pending contempt plea".
The alleged contemnors are in continuous contempt of the orders passed by this court and this is continuing, the plea, filed by lawyer Vikas Mehta said.
The top court on September 3 last year, had pulled up the state government and the UPSC for their roles in the appointment of an interim DGP in alleged violation of the top court's judgment that had fixed two-year tenure for a state police chief who has to be selected from a list of senior police officers to be prepared by the UPSC.
The 2006 top court verdict in the Prakash Singh case had said that the DGP of a state shall be "selected by the state government from amongst the three senior-most officers of the department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the UPSC on the basis of their length of service, very good record and range of experience for heading the police force." And, once he has been selected for the job, he should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his date of superannuation, it had said.
The DGP may, however, be relieved of his responsibilities by the state government acting in consultation with the State Security Commission, consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules or following his conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption, or if he is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his duties, the court had said.
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