Punjab govt seeks one-year extension for DGP Arora
Case file prepared by state home secy’s office sent to Centre; 1982-batch officer retires on Sept 30.
The Punjab government has written to the Centre seeking one-year extension to director general of police (DGP) Suresh Kumar Arora, who is retiring from service on September 30.
The file, sent to the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the department of personnel and training, seeking extension to the 1982-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was made last month with the case file prepared by the state home secretary’s office, it is learnt.
The move has come amid confusion over the appointment of the next DGP, especially in the wake of a recent Supreme Court judgment directing the states to send a panel of senior officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) which will shortlist three officers of whom the state will select the top cop.
On August 10, the state government had said it would file a review petition against the SC order that also binds the states to send names of senior police officials to UPSC three months before the post of DGP gets vacant.
A senior state government official said chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had also taken up the issue of Arora’s extension during his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Rajnath Singh earlier this week.
Arora assumed charge as DGP on October 25, 2015, during the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) government.
Amarinder, who took over as CM in March 2017, has also showed trust in Arora.
Though it is exactly not clear as on what grounds the Punjab government has sought extension in Arora’s tenure but officials say the state has sought his “urgent requirement” in view of recent pro-Khalistan activities.
Officials said they are sure of getting Arora’s extension, at least for three months, keeping in view the recent decision wherein the Maharashtra DGP was granted the same on August 28 by the Centre’s appointments committee citing “public interest”.
The Centre’s death-cum-retirement benefit rules for civil servants only prescribe a three-month extension for officials other than chief, home and defence secretaries.
Last week, the state government had also amended the Punjab Police Act, authorising a committee led by the chief secretary to form a panel of three officials eligible for the post of DGP. The amendments authorise the state to select one officer from the panel.
The Amarinder Singh government had claimed that the SC order on DGPs’ appointment amounted to the central government’s infringement upon the states’ powers with law and order being a state subject.
When contacted, DGP Arora said he had “absolutely no idea” about the letter the state has written to the Centre.
Home secretary NS Kalsi did not respond to text messages.
First Published: Sep 06, 2018 23:06:07