Bombay High Court disposes PIL seeking full-time DGP after Rajnish Seth appointment.

The Bombay High Court on Monday disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Maharashtra government to appoint a full-time director general of police (DGP) as per the recommendation made by the empanelment committee of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The court observed that nothing survives in the plea as the Maharashtra government on February 18 appointed Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) chief Rajnish Seth as the DGP in place of Sanjay Pandey, who was the acting DGP for over 10 months.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Datta Shrirang Mane, where the petitioners’ counsel, advocate Abhinav Chandrachud, alleged “inordinate delay” by the state government in appointing a full-time DGP based on a list of three officers recommended by the UPSC. The panel recommended three officers — Hemant Nagrale (present Mumbai commissioner of police), Rajnish Seth and K Venkatesham. Pandey’s name did not figure in the list.

The Maharashtra government appointed Seth as DGP after the high court criticised it for “favouring” Pandey, whose name did not make it to the list of three officers shortlisted by the UPSC as per the Prakash Singh judgment.

On Monday, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni for state government submitted a February 18 government resolution appointing Seth as the DGP and his joining report to a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik. Kumbhakoni said that the state in its decision simply said that it had received an empanelment from the UPSC and it had not given any reason, observation or finding.

“Since this court is informed that one of the candidates in the empanelment is appointed as DGP and such a person and on Feb 18 took charge. In view of such circumstances, nothing survives in this petitioner, therefore PIL is disposed of,” the bench noted.

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