Dark horse wins the race: Prakash Aryal appointed IGP

KATHMANDU: The government has elevated Deputy Inspector General Prakash Aryal to the post of Nepal Police's Inspector General.

A meeting of the Cabinet on Monday evening decided to appoint Aryal, who was currently the chief of Crime Investigation Department, the Nepal Police chief with a double promotion. He will serve as the IGP for a year before getting mandatory retirement due to 30-year of service.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had revoked the government's February 12 decision to appoint Jaya Bahadur Chand the Inspector General of Nepal Police after DIG Nawaraj Silwal moved the apex court, challenging the decision. Silwal had claimed that he was the most senior and competent among four contenders.

Considering the Supreme Court's order, the Cabinet reviewed the work performance of the four DIGs before making the decision on IGP appointment, the government spokesperon, Surendra Karki, later said.

According to him, Aryal had 154.2 points, Silwal 152.467, Bhandari 150.2 and Chand 147.633 in the four-year evaluation.

The government is preparing to confer the IGP's insignia on Aryal tonight itself, an official at the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

Since all Additional Inspectors General (AIGs) from non-technical stream retired on the same day, along with Inspector General Upendra Kant Aryal, due to their 30-year service on February 13, the government had to pick one among four DIGs -- Silwal , Chand, Aryal and Bam Bahadur Bhandari -- for the top post in police force.

After the Supreme Court stayed Chand's promotion, the government was forced to amend the Nepal Police Regulations to appoint Dinesh Chandra Pokharel, who is a medical doctor, the acting chief.

Aryal, who earlier maintained low profile, had also filed a petition at the Supreme Court, seeking evaluation of his performance  for the IGP appointment.

In its final verdict on March 21, the apex court observed that Chand's appointment was arbitrary, flawed, unjust and a bizarre example of pick and choose because the Home Ministry's proposal on the IGP appointment had failed to justify why Chand was being picked up though there were other contenders who had performed better than him.

“Law does not allow this sort of arbitrary selection,” the order said, “This non-transparent decision has affected the right and legitimate expectation of officials senior to Jaya Bahadur Chand.”

In the March 21 verdict, the Supreme Court observed that directed the government to appoint the most competent contender the Nepal Police chief as per the Rule 41 of the Nepal Police Regulations, other established norms, the chain of command of Nepal Police and petitioner

The Cabinet met after 24 days. Photo: PM's Secretariat
The Cabinet met after 24 days. Photo: PM's Secretariat

DPM Nidhi, who spearheads the Ministry of Home Affairs that line-manages the Nepal Police, stayed away from the Cabinet meeting. Though summoned to the second round of meeting, Nidhi did not show up, according to a senior minister.

The Cabinet decided on Aryal's favour after a report was submitted to it with the points that the four DIGs obtained in the four-year evaluation.

Other decisions

Also, the meeting decided to withdraw the Constituent Amendment Bill from the Parliament and move forward a new bill tomorrow.

The new bill proposes to resolve the issue of provincial boundaries through a federal commission,  and not to grant voting rights to the chiefs and deputy chiefs of local levels in presidential election.

The Cabinet formed a three-member team, led by DPM Kamal Thapa, to study the demands to increase the number of local levels in Province No. 2 and 5. Currently, there are 744 local levels.