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Explained: What to expect next over Haryana DGP’s plea seeking repatriation to IB

Haryana's police chief Manoj Yadava is the officer over whom CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Home Minister Anil Vij had virtually locked horns with the former bent upon retaining him as the police chief and latter pushing for replacing the 1988-batch IPS officer from the top cop’s post.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
June 26, 2021 9:38:55 am
Manoj Yadava is a 1988 batch IPS officer and has four years of service left. (File Photo)

On June 22, Haryana police chief Manoj Yadava wrote to the state government seeking his repatriation to the Intelligence Bureau. It was an unprecedented development, especially as the top cop even posted his letter to government on social media and tweeted it from the official Twitter handle of the state’s DGP. He subsequently deleted his tweet. Yadava is the officer over whom CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Home Minister Anil Vij had virtually locked horns with the former bent upon retaining him as the police chief and latter pushing for replacing the 1988-batch IPS officer from the top cop’s post.

What did the DGP Manoj Yadava say in his letter to the state government?

Manoj Yadava has approximately four years of service left. In his letter addressed to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora, Yadava wrote that the government of Haryana had extended his tenure as DGP, Haryana “beyond 20.01.2021 till further orders”.

He added: “The Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, vide its order dated March 2, 2021 had also conveyed the approval for extension of my deputation tenure for a period of one year beyond 20.02.2021 or till further orders whichever is earlier. In this connection, it is informed that the undersigned would now like to return to Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, to resume duties as Additional Director in the Intelligence Bureau due to career consideration and family requirements. It is, therefore, requested that the undersigned may kindly be relieved for re-joining the Intelligence Bureau.”

What can the state government do on Yadava’s plea?

As per the rules of business governing the establishment of IAS/IPS officers, the final word lies with the CM of the state. Since Yadava has put in a request seeking repatriation, it shall be forwarded to Home Minister Anil Vij and CM Manohar Lal Khattar. Even if Vij accepts Yadava’s request, Khattar can always accept or overrule home minister’s viewpoint and reject it.

In another possibility, if both the ministers accept his request, Yadava can still be retained as DGP till the process of selection of his successor is completed. The government may also relieve him immediately and appoint another officer as a stop-gap arrangement. Even if Yadava is retained, government is yet to initiate the process of selecting his successor, as on date. The process to send the panel of officers, who can succeed Yadava, as state police chief, is yet to be initiated and will only be done after Khattar gives his nod to do so.

How did Khattar and Vij face-off in Yadava’s case?

It was in January this year when Anil Vij had objected to Yadava’s extension as state’s DGP and pushed a panel to the state Home Department for selecting Yadava’s successor.

Vij, in March, had also written to the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora to send the panel of suitable officers to Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to be considered for selection of the next DGP. However, CM Manohar Lal Khattar had come out in Yadava’s support and disagreed with Vij’s contentions. “We are not removing Yadava from the post of DGP after his completion of two year tenure. The DGP has already been given extension to continue till further orders. There is no decision to replace him,” Khattar had then told the media persons. Sources, however, told The Indian Express that Vij was not happy with Yadava continuing as the state police chief. In March, hours after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) granted one year extension to Yadava, clearing his way to continue as state police chief, Vij had shot off a letter to Khattar calling Yadava an “ineligible officer”.

Why did Anil Vij go against the DGP?

Vij, in his letter written to Khattar, had made scathing observations regarding Yadava’s tenure as state DGP. According to sources, Vij, had mentioned that Yadava did not have adequate command on the officers and he had also cited “mismanagement” of the farmers’ agitation. Citing these reasons, Vij had mentioned that it was not in the interest of the state to continue Yadava as state police chief. Vij had also urged Khattar that Yadava should be continued as DGP “only till the procedure of his replacement is completed”.

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What were the controversies involving Yadava?

Besides Yadava’s completion of two-year tenure, another primary reason for Vij seeking Yadava’s replacement was the DGP’s allegedly unresponsive attitude towards setting up the state-wide Narcotics Control Bureau where ADGP-rank officer Shrikant Jadhav was posted in July, 2020 as Haryana NCB chief.

Jadhav, too, had written to the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora citing non-cooperative attitude of DGP Yadava and highlighting multiple aspects regarding Haryana Narcotics Control Bureau that was struggling to take off. Even till date, and despite several reminders and requests raised by ADGP Jadhav, NCB has not got equipments for electronic surveillance, have got no vehicles, nor the required manpower. The lone Superintendent of Police rank officer that was earlier given to NCB was also replaced by a junior officer of ASP rank.

Another IPS officer Y Puran Kumar too had dragged Yadava to court. In May, this year, Punjab and Haryana High Court had disposed off Kumar’s petition in which he had sought a restraining order against DGP Yadava to write his Annual Performance Appraisal (APR) Report till the complaints filed by him against the DGP are decided. High Court had directed ACS (Home) Rajeev Arora to decide Kumar’s complaints expeditiously within three months. Kumar had accused Yadava of “discriminatory attitude”.

Kumar in his petition claimed that he was being targeted by the DGP since July 2020 in a vindictive manner. According to Kumar, he joined as IGP, Ambala range, on July 1, 2020, but Yadava was not happy with his posting order as he wanted his close aide to be posted in Ambala. Kumar added that on August17, 2020, the DGP wrote a DO letter regarding the setting up of the temple in the premises of Shahjadpur police station and whether any permission was taken to set up the temple. The temple, Kumar said, however, had been in existence since 2011. He added that he informed the DGP that a similar temple was existing in Sirsa district’s police station, but no action was taken by the DGP against Sirsa’s district police chief. However, later Yadava issued directions to all the district police chiefs to stop this exercise of having religious places set up on the premises of the police stations.

Who all are in the race for Haryana’s next police chief?

As per the norms, officers who have completed 30 years in service and have a pending service of more than six months before retirement can be appointed as state police chief. There are at least eight IPS officers who are in the race to replace Manoj Yadava. Home Minister Anil Vij, has already sent a panel of officers to CM for final nod so that the panel of officers can be sent to UPSC for final selection of three suitable officers out of which the state shall pick one who will be appointed as the DGP.
The panel includes names of officers in the rank of DGP and Additional DGP.

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The panel included names of 1984-batch IPS officer SS Deswal, 1986-batch K K Sindhu. However, both have less than six months of service left as they are due to retire on August 31, this year. Their chances of being appointed as the next DGP are bleak. Besides these two, 1988-batch PK Aggarwal, 1989-batch Mohd Akil and RC Mishra, 1990-batch Shatrujit Kapoor and Deshraj Singh are also in the race.

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