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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Nagaland government to pass orders within one week on the appointment of senior IPS officer Rupin Sharma as the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state.

A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices V Ramasubramanian and J B Pardiwala refused to consider the plea of the Nagaland government that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) be asked to relax the 30 years service criteria rule to 25 years for IPS officers for being empanelled in the UPSC list of three for appointment as the state police chief.

Under the process, the UPSC, in consultation with a state government and other stakeholders, has to prepare a list of three senior police officers and the state can appoint any one of them as the DGP.

The bench said the issue of relaxation of 30 years service criteria into 25 years for IPS officers can be determined by the UPSC and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

It was argued by the state government that it was very difficult to find three senior IPS officers of 30 years of experience in small states like Nagaland who could be considered for empanelment by the UPSC.

“As already noted…Rupin Sharma has already been appointed and this being the position, we are not issuing directions mandating the UPSC to relax the eligibility criteria from 30 years to 25 years,” the bench said.

“The court cannot be unmindful of the fact that any mandate for relaxation of eligibility would result in a situation” where an officer, who is junior by five years, can become the DGP, it said.

It then directed the Nagaland government to pass consequential orders within one week to appoint Sharma, a 1992-batch officer, as the DGP.

The top court was hearing a plea seeking enforcement of its earlier directions on the appointment of the Nagaland DGP as T J Longkumer, a 1991-batch IPS officer, who resigned from the post earlier this month, allegedly did not fulfil the criteria laid down by the apex court in the Prakash Singh case.

The petition was filed by the Nagaland Law Students Federation seeking a direction to recall the order granting extension to Longkumer after his superannuation.

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