SC rejects PIL against Odisha DGP’s appointment

Bhubaneswar/ New Delhi: In a major relief to Odisha’s Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging his appointment filed by Utkal Bharat president and former MP Kharavela Swain.

A three-member bench of the apex court rejected the PIL, which sought to declare the appointment of the top cop null and void.

In his PIL, the former parliamentarian cited the case of CRPF DG and former Odisha DGP Prakash Mishra against whom a graft case was filed by the State government and questioned the appointment of Singh, who was then reprimanded by the Orissa High Court in the case.

“I have nothing to say in the case as the apex court has rejected the appeal. But still I wonder how the State government appointed Singh as the DGP despite the court’s strictures,” said Swain in his reaction to the apex court vedict.

“I can only say Singh had registered the case against Mishra to appease the political machine so that he can grab the top cop post,” Swain noted.

In June last year, the Orissa High Court had quashed the state vigilance case against Mishra over allegations that he favoured some suppliers in 2009 during his tenure as the CMD of Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation.

The HC had quashed the vigilance case lodged against the 1977-batch Odisha cadre IPS forthwith and secerely reprimanded the current DGP, who headed the Vigilance then. “It’s not uncommon that honest and upright officers are victimised by political establishments,” justice SC Parija said in his order. Holding that there was no prima facie case against Mishra, the HC said the director of vigilance did not “ensure free and fair investigation before registering a case against the officer.”

The vigilance case lodged in September 2014, weeks ahead of the selection of CBI chief, had spoiled all chances of Mishra getting the top post in the country’s premire investigating agency.