'The directions issued in the case of Prakash Singh & Ors vs Union of India are applicable only to states and not UT’s', the Delhi HC held in the judgment given by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.
This development came in lieu of a petition to dismiss Rakesh Asthana who was given the charge as Delhi DGP four days before his retirement by the Central Govt. The Petitioner/ Intervenor in the matter had claimed that Asthana's appointment was made in sheer violation of the Prakash Singh & Others v. Union of India.
The petitioner argued that the post of Delhi Police Commissioner is akin to the post of DGP of the State and therefore directions in Prakash Singh's Case are required to be followed by the Central Government while making an appointment to the said post. Rakesh Asthana was being appointed just 4 days before his superannuation, which was in contravention to the judgment of the SC in the case of Prakash Singh vs UoI.
The centre on the other hand argued that the final operative directions issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Prakash Singh for empanelling by UPSC, selection of minimum tenure, etc. are applicable to State for appointment of DGPs, and have no application for appointment to the post of Commissioner/Police Head of a Union Territory.
The court stated that, “On account of the unavailability of sufficient number of officers in the pool in respect of various segments of AGMUT Cadre, we cannot but agree with Respondent No. 1 that the State Cadres have to be treated differently from the AGMUT Cadre, for the purpose of empanelment of the respective Heads of the police force.”
Following the Prakash Singh case, the UPSC framed Guidelines for appointment of DGPs of States. The same do not concern with appointment of Police Commissioner/Head of the Police Force in the Union Territories, having a common AGMUT Cadre.
The said Guidelines were placed before the Supreme Court and till date, there has been no objection/challenge to them. In fact, as many as 8 erstwhile Police Commissioners in Delhi have been appointed following the said Guidelines and none of them have been challenged.