The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Transfer of officials right of state: Koda

Ranchi, Dec. 29: Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda is not willing to lose his “discretionary powers” in the transfer-posting of officials.

Nor would he like “anyone” to encroach upon “areas” under his jurisdiction, in the name of compliance of a Supreme Court order.

The apex court recently took strong exception to frequent and arbitrary transfers of IPS officers and ordered revision of the police maual. It also emphasised the need for constitution of an inter-state security council. Accordingly, Union home minister Shivraj Patil will hold a meeting of chief ministers tomorrow in New Delhi on the issue.

Koda is ready to modify the police manual, but he firmly holds that “law and order” is strictly a state subject. The power of transfer-posting of competent officials at suitable places rests with the state government, he declared, as did the decision on how long an officer will continue in a post.

“All such powers are vested with the state government in the second schedule. Our federal structure should not be fiddled with. For example, if I can’t transfer an erring police superintendent posted in a particular district or office for three years or so, the lives of common people will become miserable. In fact, running the government will become impossible for me. These officials are already enjoying enough ‘liberties’ granted by the Constitution. Dismissing them from service is an uphill task. What else do they need,” Koda said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph.

The chief minister said he has spoken to some of his counterparts on the issue and most had supported his idea. “I don’t know what they will say at tomorrow’s meeting, but I will stick to my stand. Otherwise, the situation will become worse than President’s rule. What is the point in having an elected government in the states in that case' Let the Centre decide everything on it own and get the decisions executed through trustworthy officials,” he said.

Koda denied “malice” in the recent mass transfer of officials, particularly those belonging to the IAS and IPS. “I have become the chief minister for the welfare of the poor and not to oblige bureaucrats. At times I do receive requests from different corners, still political considerations did not figure in a majority of transfers. Now if I even lose the power to transfer the erring officials, then what will be my role as chief minister' And, if I have vendetta against particular officers, why did I approve their promotions and other benefits,” he said.

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