Fi­nally, zonal sys­tem scrapped in Pun­jab po­lice

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Punjab & Haryana - Ravin­der Va­sudeva ravin­­sudeva@hin­dus­tan­ ■

CHANDIGARH: The Pun­jab cab­i­net on Tues­day okayed the scrap­ping of zones in Pun­jab Po­lice, but only af­ter un­der­lin­ing that even deputy in­spec­tors gen­eral (DIGs) and not just IGs, who ear­lier headed zones, can head the smaller ju­ris­dic­tion units called ranges.

At present, ranges com­prise two to three dis­tricts each, and are headed by DIGs; while IGs head zones, which com­prise mul­ti­ple ranges. As part of scrap­ping the zones, a pro­posal mooted by the state po­lice chief said IGs would head the ranges. This was aimed at en­sur­ing se­nior of­fi­cers for smaller units, to in­crease ef­fi­ciency. But some cab­i­net min­is­ters, in­clud­ing Brahm Mo­hin­dra and Tript Ra­jin­der Ba­jwa, op­posed it, say­ing that such a sys­tem would mean loss of field-post­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for DIGs.

It came to the fore on Tues­day that, af­ter a cab­i­net meet in Novem­ber last year, the home de­part­ment had amended the orig­i­nal pro­posal to also in­clude DIGs. The is­sue, how­ever, had con­tin­ued to fes­ter even at the pre­vi­ous cab­i­net meet­ing, last week, when the or­di­nance al­ready passed by the gov­er­nor was brought up for dis­cus­sion to for­ward it to the Vid­han Sabha’s next ses­sion in or­der to make it a law.

“Pun­jab Po­lice has such a con­tentious sys­tem for pro­mo­tion that any of­fi­cer who starts his ser­vice from in­spec­tor level hardly reaches the rank of DIG. So putting IGs as head of ranges, re­plac­ing DIGs, will af­fect their chances to get posted in the field,” the min­is­ters had said.

These min­is­ters had said they were not aware of the or­di­nance for­warded to the gov­er­nor, and ques­tioned the ur­gency to bring in an or­di­nance which is an emer­gency mea­sure for six months at a time. Of­fi­cers of the home de­part­ment, how­ever, claimed that the or­di­nance passed by the gov­er­nor on Jan­uary 2 had the cab­i­net’s nod.

On Tues­day, the min­is­ters were told that the pro­vi­sion of post­ing DIGs as head of ranges will give those from the Pun­jab Po­lice Ser­vice (PPS) a “fair chance” against higher-ranked of­fi­cers from the In­dian Po­lice Ser­vice (IPS), they passed the pro­posal to for­ward the amend­ment to the up­com­ing bud­get ses­sion.

The po­lice zones were Pa­tiala, Bathinda, Jalandhar and Bor­der (Am­rit­sar). Now re­main the ranges, which are seven — Pa­tiala, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Lud­hi­ana, Jalandhar, Bor­der (Am­rit­sar) and Rup­na­gar.

Ban on in­ter-cadre trans­fers The or­di­nance has also amended sec­tion (4b) of the Pun­jab Po­lice Act and banned the in­ter-cadre post­ings to the level of in­spec­tor. Ear­lier, al­legedly due to po­lit­i­cal pres­sure, of­fi­cers posted in other wings used to man­age plum post­ings in the dis­trict po­lice units, thus ig­nor­ing chances of of­fi­cers from the same cadre.

Armed po­lice, in­tel­li­gence, in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and tech­ni­cal and sup­port ser­vices, shall form sep­a­rate cadres. Of­fi­cers who opt for trans­fer to dis­trict po­lice, if trans­ferred, shall be placed be­low of­fi­cers hold­ing the same rank in the dis­trict po­lice in terms of se­nior­ity, the or­di­nance says.


Fur­ther, the cab­i­net ap­proved the draft Pun­jab Trans­parency and Ac­count­abil­ity in De­liv­ery of Pub­lic Ser­vices Bill, 2018, while also de­cid­ing to set up a sub-com­mit­tee on gov­er­nance re­forms. The new leg­is­la­tion will re­peal the ear­lier Pun­jab Right to Ser­vice Act, 2011. The cab­i­net also gave ex post facto ap­proval to con­sti­tu­tion of the PGREC.

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