The Supreme Court on Thursday said Jammu and Kashmir’s acting Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh would continue in office, reported PTI. The court said the interim arrangement would continue for four weeks till the Union Public Service Commission decides on the state’s proposal.
The state government has to give a list of senior police officers to the Commission which will then check their suitability and shortlist three names.
On September 6, the state government transferred Director General of Police SP Vaid and posted him as the state transport commissioner. The state is currently under governor’s rule.
The government said Singh would take over from Vaid until a regular appointment is made.
On September 11, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the appointment and sought the attorney general’s assistance in addressing the petition.
At the last hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan argued that the state was in contempt of the Supreme Court’s guidelines on appointing director generals of police as Singh had been named in a recruitment scam chargesheet. He pointed out that Vaid had faced no charge or disciplinary action.
Vaid, a 1986 batch Indian Police Service officer, was appointed Jammu and Kashmir Police chief in December 2016. He was due to retire in October 2019. His transfer came days after the relatives of at least 10 police personnel were abducted by militants. They were later released, the police said on September 1. The abductions were allegedly in retaliation to the police detaining family members of three Hizbul Mujahideen militants.
Soon after the announcement of Vaid’s transfer, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had asked why the authorities were in a hurry to replace him . “He should have been changed only when a permanent arrangement had been worked out,” Abdullah had said on Twitter. “Jammu and Kashmir Police has enough problems without having to deal with confusion of leadership.”
Singh, a 1987 batch officer, was made head of the prisons department in February after Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Naveed Jatt escaped from police custody while being taken for a routine medical checkup at a hospital in Srinagar.