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Former Maharashtra top cop’s plea dismissed

New Delhi, July 16 (Calcutta Tube) The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a petition by Maharashtra’s former director general of police S.S. Virk seeking enforcement of the court’s guidelines providing for a fixed tenure of two years for the head of the police force in the states.

There is ‘no substance’ (in the plea) that the directions of the apex court in the police reform case has been violated and the court itself was re-considering its own guidelines in the light of the clarifications sought by the central government, a bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M.Lodha said.

Virk’s petition was dismissed after Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam told the court that soon after the police reform guidelines were issued by the apex court, the central government came back to it by way of seeking clarifications and more directions.

Upon that, the court in 2008 appointed Justice (retd.) K.T. Thomas committee to look into the clarifications sought by the central government and the court guidelines and how they could be reconciled. The government had sought more directions from the court so that there were no obstacles in the implementation of the court’s guidelines.

Subramaniam told the Court that report of Justice Thomas committee would be ready soon.

At this, Justice Lodha noted that the committee was given six months time to complete the exercise and it is nearly two years but it is yet not complete. Subramaniam said that it was a massive exercise involving the states, the central government and the associations of the police personnel.

Appearing for Virk, counsel Rakesh Dwivedi said that his client was not look for any gains for himself but wanted the enforcement of the court’s guidelines in furtherance of police reforms. He told the court that the existing rules providing for tenure have not been changed.

He said given the short tenures of the heads of the police force, they were susceptible to political pressures. Dwivedi told the court that none of Virk’s predecessors or successors had tenure more than six to eight months.

When Justice Lodha asked if the central government has capped the DGP’s tenure for two years, Subramaniam said that Indian Police Service officers have an integral seniority list and if one person is given fixed two year tenure, then whole lot of other senior ranking officers would miss the opportunity of leading the police force in the States.

He told the court that Virk has moved the apex court after exhausting all the avenues to secure gains of the fixed tenure for himself. Subramaniam said that he lost his case before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) also.

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