Weeks after he had to freeze plans to set up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), another initiative of home minister P Chidambaram is heading into big trouble.
The home ministry initiative proposed to open a third channel of appointment of IPS officers, to bridge shortage apart from direct recruitment through the civil services examination and induction of state police officers on promotion.
According to this plan, the Union Public Service Commission will hold a special examination on May 20 for deputy superintendent of police-rank officers in state and central police forces as well as defence officers of the rank of captain and majors. Officers who have served for 5 years and are below 35 years can apply for the test.
But serving and retired IPS and state police officers say the proposal is “severely flawed” and “unnecessary” and have decided to move mountains, and courts, to block the recruitment.
Two cases have already been filed in the central administrative tribunals in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner Manoj Abraham is among those who moved the Ernakulam bench of the tribunal. A third plea was filed in the Delhi HC by an NGO saying it will reduce the percentage of officers from minority communities.
Several police officers who spoke to HT said at least half-a-dozen more pleas were expected to be filed in high courts over the next fortnight.
“It seems police officers in many states are planning to mount a legal challenge,” Abhinav Kumar, deputy inspector general (CID) in Uttarakhand said.
Koshy Koshy, former chief of the Bureau of Police Research and Development, explained why.
At a time when every force is facing a severe shortage of officers, he said the plan to induct serving officers sought to rob Peter to pay Paul. Besides, he worried about brutalisation of the police forces by inducting officers who are trained to kill and win, and not police by consent.