The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cloud on Marandi civilian scheme

Ranchi, March 30: A row has broken out between the Cabinet secretariat and the home and police departments on whether orders issued during the tenure of former chief minister Babulal Marandi would continue to remain effective under the Arjun Munda regime.

The issue at stake is bringing on a par a state scheme granting cash compensation and providing government jobs to civilians killed by militants with the scheme for policemen killed during anti-extremist operations.

Sources said that earlier this year, the government had mooted a proposal to award a cash compensation of Rs 10 lakh along with state jobs to the next of kin of civilians killed by extremists “for cooperating with the police”.

It was brought on a par with a scheme already applicable to policemen killed in action to lend more teeth to the ongoing anti-extremist operations across the state.

Sources said seeking “active help” from civilians was nothing new as police and paramilitary forces engaged in anti-insurgency operations in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir have been known to bank on local support.

“In a bid to win the confidence of the people in its anti-extremist operations and to prove that the state was actually concerned for the welfare of its people, the ‘civilian scheme’ drawn up by the government was duly approved by former chief minister Marandi,” sources said.

But soon after Marandi was replaced, Cabinet secretary Aditya Swarup moved a note, stating that the earlier approved “civilian order” would need the new chief minister’s concurrence to remain effective, sources said.

The Cabinet secretary’s note has been hotly contested by the police and home departments, which pointed out that governments continue in perpetuity and that orders passed by a serving chief minister would continue to remain effective till reversed by another administrative order.

Sources said that in its reply, the home department has said that since the “civilian scheme” was duly approved by Marandi in his capacity as the serving chief minister and not in his personal capacity, no fresh approval was required under the rules.

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