The Telangana High Court on Tuesday sought to know from the State government the procedure it had adopted in appointing senior IPS officer M. Mahender Reddy as Director General of Police of the State.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition challenging Mr. Reddy’s appointment as DGP through a special Act, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice A. Rajashekar Reddy directed the government to file an affidavit on the matter within four weeks. The petitioner Vijay Gopal, a private employee from Tarnaka, requested the court to declare the Telangana Police (Selection and Appointment of DGP (HoPF) Act-2018 illegal and strike it down. He claimed the legislation was in violation of the Supreme Court directions in Prakash Singh and others case with regard to appointment of DGP of a State. Mr. Gopal requested the bench to call for records relating to the appointment of the State police chief for its perusal. Seeking to quash Mr. Reddy’s appointment as DGP, the petitioner also appealed to the court to enforce all the mandatory directions issued by the apex court in Prakash Singh case like setting up police establishment board and police complaint authority.
The petitioner’s counsel Yakarapu Sheelu presented to the court that Telangana government appointed Mr. Reddy as the acting DGP on November 12, 2017. Subsequently, he was made the DGP (head of police force) on March 30, 2018 through the special Act. This was contrary to section three and sub-sections 1 and 2 of the Principal Act, he argued.
The lawyer told the court that the apex court orders in Prakash Singh case make it clear that government should appoint the DGP from amongst three senior most police officers of the department empanelled by the Union Public Service Commission. Telangana government had given a go by of this procedure, the lawyer contended.
Recently on July 3, 2018 also the Supreme Court had reiterated its observations with regard to appointment of the DGP by instructing all the States to strictly adhere to its directions on the matter, the lawyer submitted to the court. People would lose trust in the highest post of the police department if the government appoints officer of its choice as DGP without any transparency, the counsel said. On hearing the counsel’s submissions, the CJ sought to know from Additional Advocate General J. Ramchandra Rao what mechanism was followed in appointing Mr. Reddy as DGP.