The slugfest over the transfer of five officers from Bihar to Delhi’s anti-corruption branch (ACB) will only escalate with the government having to include more officers from other states due to reluctance of Delhi Police to release officers for ACB duty.
Lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung has taken exception to the appointment of five officers from Bihar to the anti-corruption branch, who reportedly joined the unit last week. The officers include three inspectors and two sub-inspectors. In a release, the Raj Niwas made it clear that since ACB was “just a police station” and law and order under the jurisdiction of the L-G, the government cannot unilaterally take up officers in the anti-graft unit.
But Delhi government officials said that they had little choice in the matter since the Delhi Police was not “cooperating”.
Government sources said the government had sought the transfer of police officers from the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand police also.
“Getting officers from outside is not new. Currently, we have two inspectors from Andaman Police and the CISF. One of them is posted since 2008 while the other had joined the ACB in 2011. They have been investigating cases. They are from outside Delhi Police but there was no controversy,” said a government official.
Facing a massive shortage of manpower to fill up vacancies in all ranks, the ACB had written to the Delhi Police in April seeking the transfer of seven inspectors. The Delhi Police are yet to relieve any officer. A similar request had been made earlier. At present, the anti-corruption branch is functioning with 14 inspectors but the sanctioned strength is 30.
For a sanctioned strength of 9 ACPs the anti-graft unit is working with a lone assistant commissioner.
Over 25 FIRs have been registered by the ACB since the Kejriwal gover nment came to power in February. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has approved a proposal to increase the sanctioned strength of the inspectors in the ACB to 40 and ACPs to 12.
“Cases are being registered every day. Previously there was hardly any work for the officers at the ACB because no cases were registered. The ACB is getting hundreds of complaints over the anti-corruption helpline but because of manpower shortage, we are unable to act on all the complaints,” said an official.
With the government approving a special incentive of 35% on the grade pay for all those willing to join the ACB, sources said, many officers from Delhi Police wanted to join the unit but were yet to be relieved.
Read: Jung fumes after Kejriwal govt gets Bihar cops in Delhi anti-graft branch
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