CBI cadre irked as of­fi­cers on dep­u­ta­tion get se­nior­ity

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - NATION HINDUSTANTIMES - Ra­jesh Ahuja

NEWDELHI: A long-stand­ing griev­ance of of­fi­cers di­rectly re­cruited by the Cen­tral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion over be­ing un­fairly su­per­seded by those de­puted to it from other po­lice de­part­ments and or­gan­i­sa­tions has caused a con­tro­versy at In­dia’s fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion agency.

Both sets of of­fi­cers are now await­ing a report by the agency’s joint di­rec­tor (pol­icy) AK Sharma on the mat­ter.

The lat­est chap­ter of this long­stand­ing griev­ance has, in re­cent weeks, seen the trans­fer of two of­fi­cers from the New Delhi HQ of the agency, and sub­se­quent can­cel­la­tion of one of the trans­fers.

The two of­fi­cers, ad­di­tional Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice (SP) Suren­der Kumar Ma­lik and Deputy SP Su­nil Dutt, were the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of a group of around 20 of­fi­cers who met the agency’s di­rec­tor Alok Verma in De­cem­ber to raise the is­sue. The group com­prised of­fi­cers di­rectly re­cruited by CBI who are be­low the rank of Ad­di­tional SP.

Th­ese of­fi­cers have claimed that of­fi­cers who join the CBI on dep­u­ta­tion from other po­lice or­gan­i­sa­tions are of­ten placed ahead of them in terms of se­nior­ity, largely be­cause of what they see as an in­cor­rect in­ter­pre­ta­tion of of­fice mem­o­ran­dums and court or­ders in this re­gard.

Peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the pro­ceed­ings of the meet­ing with Verma say the di­rec­tor agreed to look into their con­cerns and asked Sharma for a report.

“But few days later Ma­lik and Dutt found their names on a list of of­fi­cials who were to be trans­ferred out of Delhi for the os­ten­si­ble rea­son of hav­ing spent longer than re­quired in the na­tional cap­i­tal,” said one of the peo­ple who asked not to be iden­ti­fied.

This per­son added that the of­fi­cers saw the trans­fer of Ma­lik and Dutt as di­rect fall­out of their meet­ing with di­rec­tor Verma.

In­trigu­ingly, the agency is­sued an order a few days later can­celling the trans­fer of Dutt, pre­sum­ably af­ter it re­alised that he was han­dling the im­por­tant case of the San­desera Group of Gu­jarat in which a top Congress politi­cian as well se­nior In­come Tax of­fi­cers were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter who asked not to be iden­ti­fied.

This per­son added that be­cause the case was al­ready on the radar of both the ju­di­ciary and the me­dia — a pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tion rais­ing ques­tions on the pro­mo­tion of the agency’s then ad­di­tional di­rec­tor Rakesh Asthana to the post of spe­cial di­rec­tor al­leged that his name fig­ured in the probe; the Supreme Court found no merit in the claim and dis­missed the case— the CBI may have de­cided to re­scind its orig­i­nal trans­fer order.

“Ma­lik didn’t turn out so lucky,” this per­son said.

The CBI did not deny the is­suance of a trans­fer order but re­fused to for­mally of­fer any com­ment for the story.

When it comes, Sharma’s report will likely af­fect the se­nior­ity of around half the agency’s Deputy SPS and in­spec­tors, the of­fi­cers who han­dle in­ves­ti­ga­tions on ground.

“We be­lieve that dep­u­ta­tion rules are be­ing in­ter­preted in the CBI in such a man­ner that gives un­fair se­nior­ity ad­van­tage to of­fi­cials who join the agency on dep­u­ta­tion. There have been many in­stances when di­rectly re­cruited of­fi­cials have found them­selves be­low in se­nior­ity list in com­par­i­son to those who joined the agency on dep­u­ta­tion from other or­gan­i­sa­tions, de­spite be­ing join­ing ser­vice much ear­lier than them. We just want to be treated fairly,” said a di­rectly re­cruited of­fi­cer who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity.

For­mer CBI of­fi­cer NR Wasan, who re­tired as chief of Bu­reau of Po­lice Re­search and Devel­op­ment, says the need of the hour is to make se­nior­ity rules trans­par­ent. “A pro­posal was mooted in 1998 to hold a lim­ited depart­men­tal com­pet­i­tive exam to fast track pro­mo­tion of mer­i­to­ri­ous of­fi­cers. Be­sides, of­fi­cers from para­mil­i­tary forces should be taken on dep­u­ta­tion only in ex­cep­tional cases and those from state po­lice should be pre­ferred,” said Wasan.

The pro­posal to hold depart­men­tal exam was im­ple­mented last year, al­most 19 years af­ter it was mooted. Ac­cord­ing to CBI’S re­cruit­ment rules, the agency fills 20 % of the va­can­cies for ad­di­tional SP and 50% for deputy SP and In­spec­tor in its ranks by way of dep­u­ta­tion.

HT FILE

For­mer CBI of­fi­cials say that the need of the hour is to make se­nior­ity rules trans­par­ent.

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