HC sets aside appointment of Reddy as Andhra police chief

HYDERABAD - In what is being seen as a major embarrassment to the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, the high court on Thursday quashed the appointment of V Dinesh Reddy as the Director-General of Police (DGP) and directed that a fresh process be initiated to choose the police chief in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines.



By P S Jayaram

Published: Sat 18 Aug 2012, 12:25 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:52 AM

The division bench of the high court upheld the earlier verdict of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), setting aside Reddy’s appointment on grounds that it had violated the prescribed guidelines pertaining to seniority and merit.

The bench, comprising Justice G Raghuram and Justice M S Ramachandra Rao, dismissed the writ petition filed by the government and the DGP, challenging the CAT order. Terming the petition as “specious, artificial and extravagant,” the court dismissed it and imposed a cost of Rs5,000 on the petitioners. Agreeing with the CAT’s order, the court asked the government to send a new list of senior-most IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) within two weeks after which the state government can appoint a new DGP.

Former home secretary and senior IPS officer P Gautam Kumar had approached the CAT on the appointment of Reddy as the DGP, contending that it was illegal and in contravention of the guidelines prescribed for the appointment of a head of police force.

The criterion of merit and seniority, prescribed by the central government in such an appointment, was violated, he alleged. In June this year, the Hyderabad Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal set aside the appointment of Reddy as DGP, saying it was not legally sustainable and in violation of the apex court’s directions.

The state government challenged the CAT order in the high court and justified the appointment, saying that it wanted a DGP with a longer tenure and at the time of his appointment Reddy had over two years left in service.

The high court directed the government to treat Reddy as an in-charge DGP for the next two weeks and complete the process of selecting a new DGP in his place.

Of late, the appointment of DGPs has been mired in controversies as the incumbents were largely seen as political appointees. Last year, the CAT had set aside the appointment of Aravind Rao to the top post on similar grounds. Rao had superceded Gautam Kumar and another officer K R Nandan to occupy the coveted post.

But the state government had approached the high court and obtained a stay on the CAT verdict, facilitating the continuance of Rao as the DGP till his retirement in June last year, after which Dinesh Reddy took over as the new police chief.

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