After face-off, UP DM revokes cop’s suspension order
The decision of the Hardoi district magistrate Pulkit Khare to suspend a police officer in the district snowballed into a controversy with former IPS officers, including some retired director general of police, slamming the bureaucrat for attempting to undermine the authority of the IPS.
As the controversy grew, the IAS officer withdrew his suspension order, though the revocation was worded to give the impression that the decision had the backing of the Hardoi’s district police chief as well.
Former UP DGP AL Banerjee slammed the IAS officer for the suspension order which he said was “illegal.”
Technically, police officers said, a suspension order of a police man has to be passed by the district police chief and not the district magistrate. The IAS officers, however, while conceding that suspension of a cop was SP’s domain, said both the officers work in tadem.
“Both the DM and the SP work in tandem. For instance, in the appointment of state house officers (SHOs), the SP sends the list and the DM approves it,” some bureaucrats said.
Within hours of the suspension order, both Khare and Hardoi superintendent of police Alok Priyadarshi issued a joint statement saying the suspension order was revoked after the two considered a representation made by the suspended police man Sanjay Sharma and let him off with a stern warning.
The latest controversy is a sequel to two others in as many years when IPS officers had objected to moves of the government they felt would trespass their authority.
In 2018 a home department order for all district police chiefs to take approval of district magistrates before posting of station house officers had drawn a sharp reaction from IPS officers.
A similar situation has taken place in 2017 over a government missive directing district magistrates to chair all law and order meetings in their respective districts.
In Hardoi case, Khare had on Sunday suspended Sharma during a Sunday evening inspection for not being able to ensure implementation of the government order. The government order had directed that stray cattle should not be found on the roads blocking or disrupting traffic and should be sent to various shelter homes that have been set up.
The district magistrate later told HT that he had reacted more on impulse since there was a traffic jam caused by stray cattle near a police outpost with the police outpost in-charge inside.
“The intent was to ensure that people aren’t put to inconvenience due to stray cattle, something which the government also wanted. May be the suspension order issued by me should have come through the district police chief. There was no attempt to overshoot the authority of the district police chief and that is why we both later issued a joint statement,” Khare said.
He also explained that he had spoken to the SP who was busy at that point making security arrangements.
Priyadarshi also tried to make it appear as if all was well.
“I don’t know what the controversy is all about. All is well between us. The order was revoked after the officer concerned gave a representation and we decided to let him off with a warning,” Priyadarshi told HT.
“Both the SP and me wanted implementation of the government order. Now, both have served a warning to all officers to ensure that similar situation arising out of stray cattle didn’t arise,” Khare added.