No interim order on IGP appointment

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The Supreme Court (SC) hearing the writ petition filed by DIG Nava Raj Silwal against appointment of Prakash Aryal as the IGP of Nepal Police has refused to issue an Interim Order as demanded by the petitioner. The single bench of Justice Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada on Wednesday, however, has asked the government to give reasons about why Aryal was appointed.

Silwal had moved the Apex Court on Tuesday, a day after Aryal's appointment, claiming that he is above three others, who were in contention for the top post, in terms of seniority and performance evaluation. He had also submitted comparison of performance evaluation of him and Aryal for the past four years in the petition.

Silwal had 148 points and Aryal 147 out of 150 in the fiscal year 2069/70, according to the details Silwal submitted. The duo secured equal points—36, 39 and 40 each out of 40—in the subsequent three years. Silwal secured a total of 263 points and Aryal 262, according to the submitted details.

Quoting the SC verdict that had directed the government to pick the one who is senior and has secured the highest points in performance evaluation over four years, Silwal has argued in his petition that the government does not have authority to again pick and choose, and called the appointment arbitrary.

The government on Monday had appointed DIG Aryal as IGP. The cabinet meeting filled the post that had remained vacant after the SC canceled promotion of Jai Bahadur Chand on March 21.

A full bench including Chief Justice Sushila Karki and justices Hari Krishna Karki, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Kumar Bhattarai had ordered the government to appoint another IGP from among qualified contenders.

It had directed the government to consider performance evaluation of the contenders for the past four fiscal years and appoint the one who has performed the best on an average during the period.

The Home Ministry had sent the files of performance of the four contenders to the cabinet for making the appointment. The cabinet then formed a four-member committee including secretaries at the Prime Minister's Office, Home Ministry and Law Ministry, and acting IGP of Nepal Police to evaluate performance of the contenders before making the appointment. The committee deemed Aryal to have topped the contenders in terms of performance.

Aryal secured 154.2 points, Silwal, one of the petitioners against appointment of Chand, 152.4, Bam Bahadur Bhandari 150.2 and Chand 147.6.

The government on February 12 had promoted the fourth-ranked contender among the quartet of DIGs—Silwal, Aryal, Chand, and Bhandari--all of whom were in contention for the top job due to the unflinching backing of Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba.

The single bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki hearing a pre-emptive writ petition filed by advocate Kapil Dev Dhakal had ordered the government not to implement the cabinet’s decision just a few hours after Chand's appointment. She again issued the same instruction the following day hearing a petition filed by Silwal.

The government had made AIG Dr Dinesh Chandra Pokharel from technical service the acting chief of Nepal Police amending the Nepal Police Regulations while the case was sub judice. The amendment was made for one time appointment of AIG from technical service acting IGP.

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