High Court raps State government for disregarding Supreme Court’s directions

Hauling up the State government for consistently disregarding the Supreme Court’s directions, the A.P. High Court set aside the appointment of Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy as head of the police force (HoPF) on Thursday.

A division bench comprising Justice G. Raghuram and Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao, while upholding the judgment of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), imposed costs on the government and on Mr. Reddy for filing the present writ petitions on ‘extravagant’ grounds. It allowed Mr. Reddy to continue as in-charge but without the salary attached to the HoPF post. P. Gautam Kumar, a senior IPS officer, had filed the case in CAT contending that the State government had not followed the Supreme Court’s judgment in Prakash Singh’s case while appointing the HoPF.

The CAT upheld his contentions and directed the government to follow the procedure indicated by the Supreme Court within a specified timeframe. Instead, the government and Mr. Reddy challenged the Tribunal’s judgment in the High Court.

Under the judgment, the government was required to send names of six senior most IPS officers to the UPSC which would shortlist three among them. The government could then appoint one of them.

It directed the government to forward to the UPSC within seven days of receiving the judgment the names of senior officers in higher administrative grade (HAG).

The UPSC would prepare the panel within two weeks and send it to the government.

Within a week from that time, a new HoPF would be appointed.

The court found fault with the way the present writ petitions are filed on “specious, artificial and extravagant grounds” and imposed costs of Rs.5,000 to be paid to Legal Services Authority.