The Congress government in Karnataka,in its first legislation,amended the Karnataka Police Act,1963,to restore final powers over police transfers with the government. Under the previous BJP regime,it was vested with the Police Establishment Board (PEB).
The move to get back political authority over the police comes after complaints against the PEB comprising the DGP and three senior-most police officers. The board was set up following an SC order to reduce political interference.
Though the government had held discussions with police on transfer policies,it has not so far affected any transfers. In the last six months,the police department has been mired in controversies with officers vying for top posts in Bangalore city. Many moved courts against transfers by the PEB pointing out ineligibility of officers on the panel. The situation was so bad that senior officers started demanding state oversight over transfers.
Under the latest amendment,the government will nominate members to the PEB unlike the existing norm under which three officers not below ADGP rank would automatically qualify to be on the PEB alongside the state police chief.
It also does away with the PEBs powers to recommend transfers above Additional SP and empowers government to modify the PEB decision. It envisages a minimum tenure of a year only for officers in operational duties,not officers heading police stations or divisions.