Code of conduct may stall promotion of four ADGPs | india | Hindustan Times
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Code of conduct may stall promotion of four ADGPs

With the announcement of the Punjab assembly polls and the model code of conduct coming into force, the promotion of four additional director generals of police (ADGPs) to the rank of director general may run into rough weather.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2011 23:11 IST
Manpreet Randhawa

With the announcement of the Punjab assembly polls and the model code of conduct coming into force, the promotion of four additional director generals of police (ADGPs) to the rank of director general may run into rough weather. The enforcement of the election code has made it mandatory for the government to take prior approval of the Election Commission before elevating an officer to a higher rank.

The screening committee under chief secretary SC Agrawal, which also included principal secretary (home affairs and justice) DS Bains and financial commissioner (revenue) AR Talwar as members, had cleared the promotion of four ADGPs, including Sanjiv Gupta, Suresh Arora, Rajinder Singh and Sumedh Singh Saini, all belonging to the 1982 batch, to the rank of DGP on December 23. The ADGPs were expecting Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to issue the orders soon after deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also holds the home portfolio, cleared the file pertaining to the promotions.

However, before the orders could be issued, the Election Commission announced the schedule for the assembly polls on December 24, bringing the model code of conduct into force with immediate effect.

A senior Punjab official who was part of the screening committee admitted that since the code was in place, it would be difficult for the government to issue the promotion orders. “Why is the Akali leadership so desperate to have four more DGPs when the state already has four. It shows that the government has some vested interest. On the other hand, IAS officers of the 1982 batch are still awaiting their elevation to the chief secretary’s scale,” the officer said.

Punjab chief electoral officer Kusumjit Kaur Sidhu said that if the orders had not been issued before the announcement of the polls, the state government would now have to seek prior approval of the EC before elevating an officer to a higher rank. “The EC is not against promotions. But it will ensure that all rules and regulations are followed,” said the CEO.

Sources, however, said the SAD-BJP government had acted with urgency to elevate these officials to higher rank even though they did not fulfil the norms laid down by the union ministry of home affairs and justice. As per the guidelines, an IPS officer must have put in 14 years of service before being elevated to the rank of DIG, 18 years of service before becoming IG, 25 years of service before being promoted as ADGP and 30 years of service before being elevated to the post of DGP.

Since the officers all belong to the 1982 batch, they will be completing 30 years of service on January 1, 2012. This is the reason why the SAD-BJP government showed so much urgency.

Sources said Saini had played an instrumental role in getting the state government to elevate him and his batchmates to higher rank. When the SAD-BJP government came to power in 2007, it handpicked Saini to head the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in the capacity of IG.

The Badal government had to face a lot of flak from various quarters for choosing Saini to head the bureau. Former Punjab chief minister and PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh had also opposed Saini’s appointment as VB chief and said that the Akalis had done so only to target Congressmen.