IG appointment gets bogged down in disputeHours after the government appointed Deputy Inspector General Jaya Bahadur Chand as the new inspector general of Nepal Police on Sunday morning, his appointment was stayed by the Supreme Court.
Hours after the government appointed Deputy Inspector General Jaya Bahadur Chand as the new inspector general of Nepal Police on Sunday morning, his appointment was stayed by the Supreme Court.
Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation Prem Bahadur Singh confirmed Chand’s appointment as the new police chief.
Following the Cabinet decision and the apex court interim order, DIG Nawaraj Silwal moved the court staking his claim to the top NP post. Chand ranked behind DIG Silwal and DIG Prakash Aryal in seniority.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and DPM and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi were said to be in favour of elevating DIG Silwal but they failed to follow seniority and meritocracy in the process as provisioned in the Nepal Police Act.
According to a Cabinet minister, both Dahal and Nidhi looked pressed while deciding to pick Chand as the IG. In his meetings with Dahal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, president of the largest and ruling party Nepali Congress, is learnt to have pressed the PM, who is the chairman of the third largest CPN (Maoist Centre), to appoint Chand as the police chief.
Deuba, however, denied his role in the decision. He said in a statement on Sunday that IG appointment is a prerogative of the Cabinet.
According to the law, appointment of the IG should be based on the candidate’s seniority, competency and leadership skill.
The Cabinet meeting also appointed Singha Bahadur Shrestha as the new chief of the Armed Police Force effective from Tuesday. Inspector General Upendra Kanta Aryal of Nepal Police and IG Durja Kumar Rai of the APF retire on Monday.
The appointments were delayed due to the differences between the PM, DPM Nidhi and the NC chief.
Deuba had been pressing Nidhi, an NC leader who was in favour of appointing DIG Silwal as the new IG, to pick Chand, who hails from the Far West. NC lawmakers and party presidents from the far-western districts had also pressed for Chand’s promotion.
Since the new police chief’s appointment has been stayed, IG Aryal said they have not decided on the acting IG yet. “I’ll be in office for another day. So we will pick the acting IG on Monday,” said IG Aryal.
Public opinion is divided over the whole appointment process. Some point to the government’s inept handling of the matter that drew widespread criticism and a case in the court.
Before Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi had duly presented the government with the criteria outlined for the IG appointment. Officials said the guidelines were not followed.
A senior Congress leader said the party would have to handle the situation that Sunday’s incidents lead to.
In a span of hours
- Government breaches seniority while appointing the police chief
- Supreme Court stays appointment
- Deuba denies having pressed PM, home minister to promote Chand
- DIG Silwal moves the court staking his claim to the top NP post