Senior Punjab cabinet ministers object to scrapping of field DIG posts
The government had used the ordinance route for the decision with the Governor promulgating it on January 2. The ordinance had been sent to him in December.punjab Updated: Mar 09, 2018 10:02 IST
Senior Punjab cabinet ministers expressed reservation over the state government’s decision to scrap posts of deputy inspector general (DIG) of police in the field (at the range level) — and have IGs head the ranges instead, at the cabinet meeting on Thursday. The government had used the ordinance route for the decision with the Governor promulgating it on January 2. The ordinance had been sent to him in December.
Rural development and panchayati raj minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa questioned the urgency of issuing the ordinance. Health minister Brahm Mohindra and later, finance minister Manpreet Badal supported Bajwa, according to another minister present at the meeting.
The ministers claimed that the move to issue an ordinance was taken ‘without consulting the cabinet’, adding that they were under the impression that the issue had been put on hold, after it was discussed at the November cabinet meeting. Even then, Bajwa had objected strongly to the proposal, saying that it would adversely impact the career prospects of officers coming through Punjab Police Service (PPS) cadre. He had said that the move would curtail chances of these officers of serving in the field.
The proposal, however, had drawn flak from Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers who saw in it a ploy to give more power to senior cops drawn from the Indian Police Service (IPS).
“There was no point in bypassing the cabinet, when the minutes of the November meeting recorded that the issue would be again be put up for discussion,” a minister pointed out.
While the officials of home department, as per information, maintained that the ordinance was sent after taking due permission from the cabinet, the ministers were miffed that they were not aware about the ordinance.
After the meeting, Bajwa admitted to have raised the ordinance issue. “We should not make it a big issue as everything is settled now,” he said. An official, who was part of the meeting, said, “The ordinance will be brought before the cabinet in the next meeting. After that, it will be presented as bill in the next assembly session.”
CM had mooted proposal in June
It was in June that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had announced the plan. It was projected as an attempt to “rationalise” the police structure and give the charge of ranges (there are seven in the state) to more experienced officers. Ministers had objected to the move, claiming that it would scuttle the chances of promotee officers getting postings of DIGs in the field. Normally, only a few officers reach the level of DIG and that too at the fag end of their careers. Then, the home department had proposed that the amended rule would state an IG/DIG could be appointed as the head of ranges. An officer had said, “This means that a DIG can also be posted as the head of a range.”
The proposal, however, had drawn flak from Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers who saw in it a ploy to give more power to senior cops drawn from the Indian Police Service (IPS). Officers claim that in the case of direct recruits into the PPS, it takes 18 years to be promoted to an IPS, and then around 14 years of service to become a DIG.