The Maharashtra government on Monday urged the Bombay High Court to dismiss a petition challenging the extension in service granted to Director General of Police DD Padsalgikar.
Appearing for the government, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the court the state had been well within its powers to seek such extension and that the same had been duly approved by the Union government.
Mr Kumbhakoni told a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice M S Karnik that Section 16 (1) of the All India Service Rules provided that a senior officer holding a crucial post can be granted extension of three months in service.
The Centre also has the power to relax the rules in public interest and grant a longer extension in cases where the officer is indispensable, or is in the middle of some crucial work, he said.
Mr Kumbhakoni also cited a previous judgment of the Supreme Court that had permitted such extension up to two years in cases of DGPs and other senior officers in order to maintain stability, and in public interest.
"In light of the above provisions, we applied for extension of the DGP's service months before he was to retire. The Centre accordingly granted two extensions of three months each," the state's top law office told the bench.
"We are not in conflict with any statutory or central rules. Therefore, the objections raised in the petition should be dismissed," he said.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by a Thane-based lawyer, R R Tripathi, who has opposed the extension granted to the DGP on the ground it was "illegal".
Mr Padsalgikar was due to retire on August 31, but was granted an extension of service for three months at the time.
On November 30, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis granted another extension of three months to the senior IPS officer.
The bench later directed the state government to file an affidavit detailing the arguments it made in court Monday.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.