The Himachal Pradesh government has sought a no objection certificate from the Punjab government for interstate-cadre deputation of 1983-batch Punjab-cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer SK Sharma, who is being seen as the front-runner for the post of director general of police.
However, it remains to be seen whether the neighbouring state reciprocates positively to the request or not.
“We have sought a no objection certificate for the interstate-cadre deputation from the Punjab government,” chief secretary Sudripta Roy said.
“Since the state-cadre IPS officers do not fulfill the eligibility criteria, we simultaneously forwarded the name of a Punjab-cadre IPS officer to the union home ministry. Besides, the state government has also sought a vigilance clearance on Sharma's name from the Punjab government. We have written to Punjab to provide Sharma's annual confidential report,” he added.
At present, Sharma is additional director general of police (ADGP), human resource development and training, Punjab.
Sharma (57) has held several significant posts, including the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Patiala, and the inspector general (IG, zonal), Patiala. He is perceived to be close to former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. Sharma will retire in September 2015.
If both the union home ministry and the Punjab government clear his name, Sharma will become the third cop from outside the state cadre to head the state police department.
DC Sharma was the first non-Himachal-cadre officer to head the police department in 1974. He was from the Union Territory cadre.
IB Negi, a UP-cadre officer, came on deputation to Himachal on April 25, 1986. He was elevated as director general of police in 1987. He held the top post till 1990.
With the government having limited options there were speculations that incumbent B Kamal Kumar could get three months' extension.
“I have conveyed to the chief minister that I want to discontinue after my retirement,” said director general of police B Kamal Kumar said.
Kumar took over the baton from ID Bhandari, who was removed following the telephone tapping controversy.
Earlier, the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government contemplated on 1985-batch IPS officer Sanjay Kumar, who is currently chief security commissioner in the northern railways in Patna. Kumar went on central deputation seven years ago.
Having completed his tenure, Kumar is expected to join back on July 21.
Bhandari, a 1982-batch police officer, is the senior most, but the government did not reconsider him as an FIR had already been registered in the telephone tapping case.
Bhandari headed the crime investigation department for longest tenure. After Bhandari, Somesh Goyal, 1984-batch, is the senior-most officer.
Goyal is currently on deputation to the Seema Shastra Bal (SSB). SR Mardi (1986) heads the Crime Investigation Department of the police. All three - Goyal, Kumar and Mardi - dot not fulfill the criteria of completion of 30 years of service to become the DGP. Goyal will complete 30 years in 2014, while Sanjay Kumar will be eligible in 2015.