121 convicts serving in Punjab police; policy on anvil to send many of them packing

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Manish Tiwari | Chandigarh After the Punjab and Haryana High Court coming down heavily on the Punjab government for allowing convicted police officers to continue in service, some at sensitive positions, the State police have prepared a list of 121 convicted officers, including two AIG/SSP-rank officers and two DSPs, and initiated the process to weed several of them out from their jobs. Besides the four gazetted police officers who have been serving in the police department despite being convicted in different cases, there are about 88 constables, 15 head constables, 11 ASIs and four SIs and inspectors. Sources told Daily World on Sunday that the policy will soon be finalised with regard to action to be taken in those cases where the police officers have been convicted. A committee comprising ACS, Home, Anurag Aggarwal, former CRPF Director General AS Gill, DGP (Provisioning & Modernisation) Prabodh Kumar held a meeting last week and is likely to meet again to formulate the policy in view of the directions issued by the HC. At present, the discussions are at a preliminary stage. However, the Committee will be finalising the policy so that the competent authority can look at each case on merit by taking into account gravity of the charge against each convicted police officer and take a final call. The State police could show many officials the door where they have been convicted on charges of corruption, murder, involvement in drug cases and escape of accused from police custody, the sources added. Police records show that as many as 33 police officials stand convicted by various courts in connection with escape from custody cases, 7 NDPS cases, 4 under Prevention of Corruption Act, one murder and one case of firing on a senior officer. However, there are a large number of police officers who have been convicted in connection with quarrel cases (27), fraud (10), accident case (8), in line of duty (8), illegal detention (6), dowry (3), lost cartridges and incidents happening with service revolver (3), non appearance in court (2), inept investigation case (1), cheating (2), extortion by threat (1), Excise Act (1), case of making obscene gesture (1), abetment to suicide (1) and public servant framing incorrect record (1). A committee member informed Daily World that once the policy is finalized it would help the competent authority to arrive at suitable conclusions in dealing with each case of convicted officials. It may be mentioned that while hearing a petition filed by a dismissed Punjab police official, Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal in his order dated March 15, had taken a serious view of the convicted officers serving in the department and observed that “the government cannot act like an absolute despot at its whims and fancies by patronising certain officers while imparting a step-motherly treatment to others”. The HC’s observations came after the dismissed cop, in his petition, alleged that there were several police officers facing serious charges and some of them had been convicted but they were continuing in service. The HC further ordered that till a final report is submitted by the Committee, such officers shall not be assigned investigation, either as investigating officer or in a supervisory capacity, and will not be posted in the vigilance bureau pending a final decision is taken by the committee. They shall also not be posted in the district where their criminal case is being tried, the order added. Following the HC directions, the State Government recently shifted a convicted police officer, Rajinder Singh Sohal from the post of SSP of Gurdaspur. 7 SSP posts as non-cadre posts in Punjab Chandigarh: While the posting of PPS officers as SSPs of various districts in Punjab has remained a contentious issue for a long time, it is learnt that the State Government has notified as many as seven districts as non-cadre posts where PPS officers can be posted as district police chiefs. Sources said it was not clear yet as to which were the districts where the SSP posts have been notified as non-cadre posts. It may be mentioned that the Punjab Government will file an affidavit on this issue in view of the directions from the High Court to explain why PPS officers have been posted as SSPs of several districts on IPS cadre posts. The court has impleaded the Union Government as a party in the case, observing that there were several other PPS officers who have been posted as SSPs of various districts in violation of the IPS cadre rules, 1954. / DW Bureau / email: manish@dailyworld.in




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