September 22, 2021 6:30:21 am
Hectic efforts to push through the appointment of an IPS officer as the chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) during the last days of the chief ministership of Capt Amarinder Singh appear to have fallen through with the Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema, insisting that no meeting had been held for selecting the candidate.
Sources say that out of the three names under consideration for the post, the name of B K Uppal, the Chief Director of State Vigilance Bureau, was at the top. The other two candidates were Lt Gen I S Ghuman (retd), a former Army Commander Central Command, and J S Powar, a former director general of National Academy of Audits and Accounts.
It is learnt that frantic efforts were made in order to push through the file clearing the name of Uppal as PPSC chairman but this could not fructify and the Leader of Opposition had not recorded his assent or dissent on the file. Uppal is an officer of the 1991 batch and is supposed to retire on May 31, 2022. He is considered close to former CM Capt Amarinder’s advisor B I S Chahal.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Cheema said that he had not signed on any file pertaining to the selection of the PPSC chairman because no meeting had been held. “I have been getting calls from students and youth in the state who want to know why there is a delay in appointment of the chairman because many vacancies have to be filled. However, no meeting has been held for selecting the chairman to date and neither have I been informed,” Cheema said.
When contacted, Uppal said he had no information about the selection process. “I have no comments to offer,” he said.
The previous PPSC chairman, Lt Gen Surinder Singh (retd), demitted office in July this year after completing his tenure. While the term of appointment is six years, the person holding the office has to step down upon completing the age of 62 years.
The Vigilance Bureau had shot into limelight earlier this year when a dossier was prepared on the wife of Navjot Singh Sidhu and many of his aides by SSP (Vigilance) Parampal Singh over alleged irregularities. This had happened after Sidhu started confronting Amarinder Singh over the unfulfilled promises made in the run-up to the 2017 Assembly elections.
More recently, in August, the State Vigilance Bureau arrested former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in a land fraud case and kept him in custody overnight before the Punjab and Haryana High Court released him on bail.
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