The appointment of Dinkar Gupta as Director General of Police (DGP) of Punjab was upheld by a Bench of Justice L Nageshwara Rao, Justice BR Gavai and Justice BV Nagarathna by dismissing appeals filed by two senior IPS officers from Punjab challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Gupta was appointed as the police chief in the year 2019, and later it was challenged by two IPS officers. At present Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota holds the post as the additional charge.

The appeals were filed by IPS officers Siddharth Chattopadhyay and Mohammad Mustafa claiming they were superseded in the appointment.

"The appeals are dismissed," the Bench said today. The Supreme Court had reserved its order on the appeals after hearing all the parties on September 15.

Senior IPS officer Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, Special DGP of Armed Batallion, has been given the additional charge of the Punjab DGP after Gupta, a 1987 batch IPS officer, proceeded on leave.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 21, 2020, had stayed the Central Administrative Tribunal's (CAT) order that had set aside the appointment of senior IPS officer Gupta as the Punjab Police Chief.

A Two-Member Bench of CAT had pronounced the order on the plea by Mustafa and Chattopadhyaya, who had challenged Gupta's appointment on the grounds that they were "ignored" despite being senior to Gupta. The police officers also opposed the contention of the empanelment committee, which had sent a report to the UPSC, saying that the officers lacked experience in core policing areas.

While Mustafa is a 1985 batch officer, Chattopadhyaya is a 1986 batch officer. Gupta is a 1987 batch officer. Gupta was appointed the DGP in 2019. He superseded five senior officers, including Mustafa and Chattopadhyaya. In his previous stint, Gupta was posted as the Director-General of Police, (Intelligence) Punjab.

The issue of appointment of DGP created political turmoil, following which Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota was given an additional charge as DGP by newly appointed Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi as the same was objected to by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. The cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu later resigned as PPCC chief as the new CM reportedly ignored his concerns over the appointment of DGP and AP Deol as the Advocate General of Punjab.

With PTI inputs