The Supreme Court 13 March 2019 directed state governments to consider those IPS officers for the post of Director General of Police (DGP) who have at least six months residual period of service. Modifying the eligibility criteria of the appointment of DGPs, the top court said the recommendation for the post of DGP by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and preparation of the panel for the same should be purely on the basis of merit. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi passed the verdict on a modification plea filed by former Uttar Pradesh DGP Prakash Singh.
- In its 2006 judgment in Prakash Singh vs Union of India (filed in 1996), the SC had laid down guidelines for appointment and removal of the DGP.
- In July 2018, the Supreme Court passed another order laying down further guidelines for the appointment of a DGP by the states, stressing that there is no concept of an acting DGP.
- Singh has alleged that the July 2018 directive was being misused by state governments who were ignoring competent senior officers for appointment as DGPs.
- In January this year, the Supreme Court dismissed petitions by five states that had sought a modification of the Court’s July 2018 order, that the states must select their police chiefs from a list of officers empanelled by the UPSC.
- The states were seeking to implement their local laws regarding the selection and appointment of DGP.
- The direction came after lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the lists of senior IPS officers are not prepared by UPSC but by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
- In India, the Director General of Police (DGP) is a three-star rank and the highest ranking police officer in Indian States and Union Territories.
- All DGPs are Indian Police Service (IPS) officers. The DGP is usually the head of the state police force in every Indian state in which case the officer is called State Police Chief, which is a cabinet selection post.