Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 102

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Law and Order Administration)

(Current Based) Question: UPSC say in the selection of DGPs in states hurting the principles of federalism. Comment (15 Marks/200 Words)

Model Answer:

By giving the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) a say in the appointment of Director General of Police (DGP) in states, the Supreme Court has taken a simplistic approach to the vexed issue of police reforms. However, by vesting in the UPSC the power of empaneling DGPs, the apex court transgressed into the rights of states.

The SC judgment (Prakash Singh vs Union of India) enjoined every state to constitute a State Security Commission (SSC) “to ensure that the state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the state police”. But 12 years after the landmark verdict, less than 20 states have incorporated this directive in full conformity with the apex court’s scheme.

The verdict had also asked for the constitution of state-level Police Establishment Boards (PEB) to decide all transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters for officers of and below the rank of superintendent of police.

Indeed, there can be no argument against the first part of its directive, which asks states to ensure that a DGP is appointed “through a merit-based transparent process”. But by reiterating that the UPSC is the custodian of this process, the SC has not only lost an opportunity to improve a landmark verdict, it has not furthered the cause of autonomy for the police forces. (Total Words- 215)

Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Editorial: ‘Lost Opportunity'

(Linkages: Police Administration and Selection of DGP, Selection of DGP and UPSC, Selection of DGP and Principles of Federalism)

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