Andhra Pradesh High Court upheld the verdict of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and quashed the appointment of Director-General of Police V Dinesh Reddy.
Senior IPS officer P Gautam Kumar, who approached the CAT on the appointment of Reddy as the DGP, contended that it was illegal and in contravention of the guidelines prescribed for the appointment of a head of police force.
The State Government challenged the CAT order in the High Court. Ironically for the State, the High Court imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the government, while declaring the appointment of Dinesh Reddy in the post of DGP as invalid.
The High Court said that the Government would have to treat Dinesh Reddy as an in-charge DGP for the next two weeks and complete the process of selecting a new DGP in his place, fully conforming to the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in choosing the DGP. The committee to select the DGP would have to be constituted within a week.
In fact, the appointment of DGPs has always remained controversial as Chief Ministers would cherry-pick the police boss to suit their political needs.
Incidentally, analysts recall the relationship between Dinesh Reddy and Minister Erasu Prathap Reddy, whose name is doing the rounds in the cash for bail scam.
Dinesh Reddy can continue as the DGP, as the State Government would have to choose one among three senior most officers and Reddy would figure in the list, for Gautam Kumar had already been permitted to take voluntary retirement, while K R Nandan is also on his way out, while A Shivashankar had already retired.
Appointment of DGPs has alwsy been controversial. For instance, the apoointment of SSP Yadav, R R Girish Kumar and Aravinda Rao were all challenged in the courts of law and CAT by the senior most officers.
Interestingly, Dinesh Reddy is facing a few other cases from his colleague Umesh Kumar who is also facing criminal charges in a case of forgery. The State Government would send a list of senior IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission which vets the list and approves three names of the senior most officers. The State would have the chance to pick up a choicest person from the three.
If the procedure is followed now as per the High COurt direction also, Dinesh Reddy would have the opportunity to continue as the DGP. However, the High Court ordered that the special pay given to the Head of Police Force be stopped. The copy of the verdict, once comes out, would provide some more details.