Senior police officers, who have at least six months of service left, can be appointed as the police chiefs of states and union territories, the Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday.
On the petition by former senior officer Prakash Singh, the court directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to consider officers with minimum six months of service left, adding that selection should be purely based on merit.
Mr Singh said that the court order was being misused by state governments who were ignoring competent senior officers for appointment as DGPs.
The centre supported the petitioners saying the implementation of the previous order would lead to stagnation and demoralisation among senior officers.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, took note of the centre's argument that some states have adopted a practice to appoint DGPs on the last date of retirement as a consequence of which the person continues for two years after his date of superannuation.
"Due to this, brilliant police officers have been overlooked just because they do not have two years of services left. The UPSC says that it will not consider these officers," lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the former officer, was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, acting as amicus curiae, submitted that according to him, those having even six months of service remaining should be considered for the posts.
With inputs from PTI