Punjab cabinet okays proposed amendments to police act

Punjab

The state cabinet today approved proposed amendments to the Punjab Police Act 2007, which would enable the setting up of a commission for selection of Director General of Police.

The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh , said an official spokesman.

The Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill 2018 will be tabled in the ongoing session of the Vidhan Sabha.

The Punjab Police Act 2007, enacted on February 5, 2008, did not provide for selection of DGP from the panel as prepared by UPSC.

The state government, led by the chief minister, had recently sought the opinion of Advocate General Atul Nanda on the appointment of DGP.

Based on the counsel of Nanda, the cabinet decided to amend sections 6, 15, 27, 28 and 32 of the 2007 act to bring it in line with the Supreme Court recommendations delivered in Prakash Singh & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., (2006) 8 SCC 1 (Prakash Singh’s case).

The present Director General of Police Suresh Arora is set to retire by end of next month.

Earlier this month, the state government had decided to amend Punjab Police Act 2007 to enable the constitution of a state police commission for appointment of DGP, while deciding to seek a review of the Supreme Court order of July 3, 2018, directing states to choose and appoint their DGP from a panel which will be constituted by the UPSC based on the concerned state government’s proposals.

The chief minister had accepted the opinion of Nanda that the directions amounted to infringement of the state’s powers by the Centre, since law and order is a state subject as per the provisions of the Indian Constitution, the spokesman said.

In Prakash Singh’s case, the court had issued directions concerning police reforms in the various states, which included a direction to select the DGP of the state “from amongst the three senior-most officers of the department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on the basis of their length of service, very good record and range of experience for heading the police force.”

PTI