In line with the Supreme Court’s 2014 orders to have separate investigative and law and order wings in all states, Punjab may finally have a fully operational Bureau of Investigation across all districts within the next few months with a separate cadre of officials from constable to inspector-rank.
For the SPs and DSPs recruited for the BOI, the government has kept open the option of engaging them for the law and order wing as well, if need arises.
The previous SAD-BJP government had set the process in motion to have investigation wings across the districts more than four years ago, but it lingered on.
In a meeting chaired by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Satish Chandra and attended by Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta, Special DGP-cum-Director Bureau of Investigation Prabodh Kumar, ADGP (Crime) Gurpreet Kaur Deo on Tuesday, it was decided to expedite all the formal procedures and paper work by the end of September to start recruitment to make Punjab Bureau of Investigation (BOI) operational across the districts in the state.
Satish Chandra told that while constables to inspector-rank officials would be part of separate Investigation Cadre, the SPs and DSPs posted in the BOI could be transferred to Punjab Police for law and order duties as well and vice versa.
“All the paperwork would be complete by September-end and thereafter recruitment will start,” added Chandra.
The notification to set up Bureau of Investigation was issued in 2015 by then SAD-BJP government.
Currently, Special DGP Prabodh Kumar heads the BOI as its Director. Initially, the BOI was established under the supervision of Director-cum-ADGP at headquarters with DIG-level officer to be incharge at range level.
In a Cabinet meeting on July 2015, then Council of Ministers approved creation of 5249 posts for the Bureau.
In February this year, Punjab Cabinet revived the move and council of ministers led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh gave its nod to the creation of 4521 dedicated new posts for the Bureau of Investigation.
The Cabinet gave its nod for 28 posts of superintendents of police, 108 posts of deputy superintendents of police, 3428 other police personnel posts, including 164 inspectors, 593 sub-inspectors, 1140 ASIs, 1158 head constables and 373 constables.
It also approved 159 posts for the ministerial cadre and 798 for civilian support staff, by abolishing an equivalent number of posts of police personnel in districts as well as at the headquarters.
The formal notification regarding creation of SPs and DSPs has already been issued. The notification regarding creation of constable to inspector level ranks of the investigation cadre is yet to be issued.
The BOI set up in field is to be assisted by legal and forensic support staff.
The Bureau is tasked with focusing on heinous and serious criminal cases in a professional, scientific and time-bound manner, so as to ensure effective investigations and better conviction.