Doubts have been cast over the Chandigarh police’s transfer policy with hundreds of cops, including those assigned duties deemed sensitive or involving public dealing, continuing in the same positions in violation of the Central Vigilance Commission guidelines. A list procured through the Right to Information Act revealed 981 cops including inspectors, ASIs and head constables had overstayed their postings.
Though the police recently undertook a major reshuffle, transferring 770 cops ranging from the rank of constable to sub-inspector, compliance with CVC norms appears to remain low on its scale of priorities.
Inspector general of police (IGP) RP Upadhyaya, said, “We are trying to transfer staff on the basis of the rotation policy but our priority is to ensure policing isn’t impacted in the process. Moreover the CVC guidelines don’t say much about the period of posting in the case of those assigned investigation or technical duties.”
According to RTI details up to February 23, 130 cops have continued in their postings for over three years including 120 overstayed in the communications department and the CID and ten in the key crime branch, while another 130 are in the Indian Reserve Battalion, the dog squad and complaint redress units.
The list further revealed 70 police personnel overstayed their postings at the offices of the DSP (operations), SSP and IGP and at the police headquarters. The list also included 82 cops in the operations cell, 80 at the Police Lines and 147 at the Police Control Rooms.
Some police officials, requesting anonymity, admitted the department was not fully complying with CVC guidelines. “In the lucrative traffic wing cops are retained because of their proximity to senior officers,” one of them remarked. “Similarly, at all police stations and wings like the crime branch the bosses always have their blue-eyed boys,” they added.
RK Garg, the RTI activist who obtained the details, said the police should frame a transparent transfer policy. “Cops should be rotated in keeping with CVC guidelines for improved policing without any vested interests being involved,” he added.
The CVC guidelines, in fact, call for rotational transfers in respect of police officials posted in sensitive positions at periodic intervals. “Officials in sensitive posts are rotated every two or three years to avoid vested interests being created,” the norms say.
SHO to SHO transfer justified?
Questions have also been raised over transfer of inspectors as station house officers (SHOs) from one police station to another. In December, a major reshuffle was conducted in which SHOs were moved from one area to another. However, only a few were shifted from police stations to non-public posts.