The Gujarat high court has ordered the state government to appoint a Director General of Police (DGP) by following the regular procedure within eight weeks of time. The order comes after a public interest litigation sought directions to the state government to appoint a regular DGP instead of running the police department with an in-charge DGP. The state had cited assembly elections as a reason for the step. Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma had moved the petition challenging the state government’s decision to continue to appoint in-charge DGP. While passing the order, first division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and Vipul Pancholi on Monday has concluded, “As per the Supreme Court order in Prakash Singh Vs Union of India, and even the Bombay Police Act and the Gujarat Act, the state government is bound to appoint DGP on regular basis. So, there is no reason for the state government for not filling the post with regular DGP. Though the state government has claimed that as the elections are going on it can take any steps, but it is the state government’s obligation to appoint regular appointment. The state government should initiate the process of the selection of the regular DGP and appoint within eight weeks of this order.”The petitioner’s advocate IH Syed had submitted that since 2016 there has been no regular DGP and the state police department is run by the in-charge officer, which is affecting its operations. And though there are rules for appointing regular DGPs, the state is not discharging its duty by doing so.Petitioner’s contention was that in-charge DGP can be influenced by the ruling party, as his/her tenure in office is at the mercy of the ruling party.GOVT’S EXCUSEThe state showed its helplessness in the name of the election notification It claimed that the entire force was busy with the elections It said it couldn’t take any decision of transfer or appointment without the EC’s permission

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Full-time DG in eight weeks: Gujarat high court tells state