In the wake of the appointment of Rajnish Seth as Maharashtra's Director General of Police, the Bombay High Court on Monday disposed of a PIL challenging the appointment of IPS officer Sanjay Pandey as the acting DGP.

Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni produced before the HC a copy of the government resolution (GR) issued on February 18 this year, notifying Seth's appointment, and his joining letter.

He told the Bench that Seth had taken charge of the post on February 18.

Kumbhakoni informed the court that the state had appointed Seth, one of the three IPS officers empaneled for the post by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in November last year, following which a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik disposed of the PIL.

"All that the GR says is that you (Seth) have received an empanelment from the UPSC. You are one of the three officers referred by the UPSC and are being selected for the post. We have not given any reasons, observations, findings. It is plain and simple," the Advocate General said.

The top police post in Maharashtra fell vacant in January last year after the then DGP Subodh Jaiswal left mid-term to take over as head of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). He was subsequently posted as the CBI director.

The Maharashtra government had then appointed Pandey, the senior most officer in the state, as the acting DGP.

In November last year, the UPSC selected the names of three officers, including Seth, from a list of 18 IPS officers considered for the post. Pandey's name was in the list of 18 officers, but he was not among the three officers finally empaneled by the UPSC.

The Maharashtra government, however, wrote to the UPSC asking it to reconsider Pandey's candidature for the DGP's post.

Advocate Datta Mane had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) through his counsel Abhinav Chandrachud, claiming that Pandey continuing as the acting DGP was in breach of the 2006 Supreme Court judgement on police reforms and that there was no legal provision for an acting or adhoc post of the DGP.

The arguments in the case had prompted the HC to observe that Pandey seemed to be the "blue-eyed officer" of the Maharashtra government.

The Court had asked the state government at that time if the latter was "showing favour" to Pandey.

The state government had on February 10 urged the HC to refrain from passing an order and to give it some time to re-think its representation sent to the UPSC on Pandey's candidature.

On Monday, Kumbhakoni told the HC that Seth's appointment was in accordance with the police reform guidelines.

The HC accepted the statement and disposed of the PIL, saying "nothing survived" anymore for the court's consideration of the issue.

With PTI inputs