The Buck Stops There

India Today - - UPFRONT -

No po­lice of­fi­cer from Ker­ala was on the list for the Pres­i­dent’s Po­lice Medal awarded on Repub­lic Day. The em­bar­rass­ment has been com­pounded by a petty tit-for-tat be­tween the state and cen­tral gov­ern­ment, each blam­ing the other for the over­sight. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tre, the Ker­ala gov­ern­ment failed to sub­mit its list on time. Nalini Netto, the ad­di­tional chief sec­re­tary of the state’s home and vig­i­lance de­part­ments, in­sists that the list was sub­mit­ted on time. Chief Min­is­ter Pi­narayi

Vi­jayan has or­dered a probe. Netto and the po­lice have been at log­ger­heads over the Put­tin­gal Tem­ple fire in April last year. There has also been con­sid­er­able ten­sion be­tween the state bu­reau­cracy and the vig­i­lance di­rec­tor Ja­cob Thomas. Re­ports sug­gest the power strug­gle be­tween the IAS and IPS in Ker­ala re­sulted in the list not be­ing sub­mit­ted. Thomas, ap­par­ently, didn’t at­tend a screen­ing panel meet­ing on De­cem­ber 26 as he had taken leave to at­tend his daugh­ter’s mar­riage. The list had to be turned in by Jan­uary 4. A pe­ti­tion, mean­while, has been filed against Netto for help­ing Thomas es­cape dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dures on more than one oc­ca­sion. These ar­cane is­sues aside, it ap­pears the prob­lem was a mis­un­der­stand­ing over how best to file the ap­pli­ca­tions—on­line or in hard copy. The re­sult is dis­grun­tled of­fi­cers with a pres­ti­gious award and life­long stipend de­nied.

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