Punjab, Haryana DGPs to continue in office till Jan 31: SC

New Delhi, Dec 12 (PTI) The Supreme Court Wednesday allowed the Director Generals of Police (DGPs) of Punjab and Haryana to continue in office till January 31.The police chiefs -- Suresh Arora (Punjab) and B S Sandhu (Haryana) -- were due to retire on December 31.The Punjab and Haryana governments moved the apex court recently, seeking modification of its earlier order directing the states to mandatorily take the assistance of the UPSC in shortlisting the names for appointing DGP. The states had said they have enacted separate laws for the selection and appointment of police chiefs. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will hear their pleas seeking modification of the January 8 order and allowed the current DGPs to continue in office till January 31. The top court had on July 3 this year passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country and chronicled the steps for appointment of regular DGPs. It had said the states will have to send a list of senior police officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at least three months prior to the retirement of the incumbent. The commission will then prepare a panel and inform the states, which in turn will immediately appoint one of the persons from that list, the apex court had said. The top court's direction had come on an application filed by the Centre in which it claimed that certain states have been appointing acting DGPs and then making them permanent just before the date of their superannuation to enable them get the benefit of an additional two-year tenure till the age of 62 years.In the previous hearing, the top court was told by the governments of Bihar and Punjab that the July 3 order needed to be modified as they have already come out with laws to deal with the issue of appointment of DGP.The counsel appearing for Bihar had said the state has already enacted a comprehensive law, dealing with various aspects including the procedures to appoint the DGP, in pursuance of the 2006 apex court verdict on police reforms.The West Bengal government has also filed a similar plea. PTI SJK RKS LLP GVS