Alok Kumar Verma, the new chief of Delhi police, on Tuesday created a post of chief spokesperson for the force. Special commissioner of police (crime) Taj Hassan was appointed the chief spokesperson (CP).
He said the move was to handle the media in a more “disciplined, systematic and professional manner.”
The chief spokesperson will address all media queries related to the Delhi police. Following the order, police sources said other senior officers will now be expected not to speak to the media even if the issue concerns them directly.
A senior officer, however, clarified that other CPs, joint CPs, additional CPs and DCPs will not be completely barred from interacting with the media.
“Under this new arrangement, officers (DCPs and above) will first have to discuss the issue with the chief spokesperson and seek his approval on the statement before releasing it to the media. They will also have to apprise the chief spokesperson of their comments for media and seek his consent before speaking anything,” the officer said.
The officer said the move is to avoid potential embarrassments to the force, caused by an officer’s unrelated comments to the media without realising the magnitude of the issue.
Some officials said the order was passed in the wake of casual statements made by the former police commissioner on the JNU sedition case. The statements drew sharp criticism from all corners.