The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Talks fail to put rules in place

Ranchi, Feb. 15: The government today tripped again in notifying the Supreme Court’s norms to give tenure stability to police officers. The deadline to comply with the order had expired on February 11.

Several governments, including the one in Bihar, complied with the ruling after the apex court rejected the pleas of some states to allow modification in its order. “Discussions on the issue remained inconclusive today. We expect it to be cleared tomorrow,” said an official in the chief minister’s secretariat.

The government has shifted 34 police officials in the past three days, apparently to pre-empt the restrictions that will be clamped in view of the Supreme Court ruling.

Thanks to the transfers, officers on the wrong side of 50 and with years of service will have to take on Maoists and criminals in the districts, even as their younger counterparts perform their duties from the relative comfort of the headquarters.

“As the mid-term elections could be held in the near future, the chief minister is understood to have succumbed to the pressure of cabinet colleagues to post tired and pliable police officers in the districts to suit their design,” said a senior police officer.

As many as 13 districts, he points out, are in the charge of additional superintendents of police who have put in 22 to 26 years of service. So, “one should not expect them to have the fire to contain Naxalites or take on anti-socials effectively”, the officer said.

Residents of Simdega called a “bandh” today to oppose the transfer of Saket Kumar Singh, the superintendent of police, to Ranchi.

Chief minister Madhu Koda, however, justified the transfers saying he “wanted everyone to work with full dedication irrespective of the place of posting”. “What we need is the willpower to perform,” he said.

An official said the transfers were triggered by the promotion of several SPs to the rank of DIG. The list of ASPs has been pending with the UPSC for the past two years. Once it is cleared, they will join the IPS ranks, he said.

Under the norms, senior police officers have a minimum tenure of two years. They can be removed only if they face disciplinary proceedings, are convicted in a criminal/corruption case or are otherwise incapacitated to discharge their duties.

Home secretary Sudhir Tripathy told The Telegraph that the government was in the process of notifying the tenure stability of police officers. “We are also sending a panel of three senior officers to the UPSC to select the DGP from among them,” he added.

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