SHILLONG, July 8 - A recent Supreme Court order disallowing State Governments to whimsically appoint Director Generals of Police couldn�t have come at a better time for Meghalaya as there were several questionable appointments of DGPs over the years.
The Apex Court in its order ruled that the State Governments will send a list of names for appointment of DGP to Union Public Service Commission three months before the incumbent DGP retires.
A panel from UPSC would then shortlist three names from the list and return to the State Government. The State Government would have the liberty to choose one of the candidates �immediately� from the shortlisted candidates.
The Court further barred the appointment of �acting DGPs� which Meghalaya has been doing over the years. The Court stated that there is no concept of acting DGPs and said that such �subterfuge� isn�t acceptable.
The order further stated that DGPs must be appointed for a full term of two years and they �should not� be appointed just before superannuation � which again the Meghalaya Government has been doing.
The order would affect the State because right now there is uncertainty over appointment of a new DGP.
The present incumbent SB Singh is due to retire.
There were conflicting reports that an unhappy Singh has put down his papers because the Government has appointed former IPS officer, Kulbir Kishan as the security adviser.
Kishan is believed to be close to the present National People�s Party-led Government. He was appointed DGP in 2009, by the then UDP-NPP Government, but Kishan was unceremoniously kicked out within three months after Congress came back to power. Anil Pradhan a �junior officer� was appointed in his place.
After Pradhan, B Kezo was appointed for a period of two months before SB Kakati took charge in October 2009. Kishan, who was still the senior-most IPS officer, was overlooked and several others became DGP for short stints. Kishan took charge again in November 2012, but was removed in February, 2013.
Kishan was removed controversially based on a complaint filed before Election Commission questioning his political integrity during the 2013 Assembly elections.
During these years there were several acting DGPs, including Rajiv Mehta, SK Jain and also official in the rank of Inspector General taking charge as �acting DGPs.�
In 2017, just before the Assembly elections, the Congress-led government appointed former DGP, Rajiv Mehta as the �security advisor� of the State.
Mehta retired from service in 2016, however, his exit was controversial as the State wanted to extend his service by petitioning the Central Government.
Till the last day of his service it wasn�t known if Mehta would stay or go. In the end, the Centre rejected the State�s petition and Mehta had to step down.