Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) OP Singh is not the only IPS officer holding a non-policing post in Haryana. There are at least four more IPS officers who are handling the responsibilities of non-policing posts in the state government.
The issue came to fore after senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka Friday questioned the appointment of OP Singh as Principal Secretary (Sports & Youth Affairs). Khemka, who had earlier held this post, has termed the appointment as “defective and illegal” as rank of Principal Secretary is a cadre post of IAS officers.
Home Minister Anil Vij, citing shortage of staff, has been demanding that the IPS officers holding such responsibilities be sent back to the police department. His suggestion, however, has not yet been accepted.
OP Singh was already looking after the responsibility of Special Officer (Community Policing and Outreach) in the Chief Minister’s Office when he was given the additional charge of Principal Secretary on January 22. On the same day, Rajneesh Garg, ADC (tours) to the Chief Minister, was given the additional charge of Project Director, Haryana School Shiksha Pariyojna Parishad.
Five months back, the Haryana government had given the additional charge of Director General of mines and geology to a 1997-batch IPS officer Amitabh Dhillon apart from the assignment of Inspector General of Police (IGP), Special Task Force (STF). Few months back, another IPS officer Hanif Qureshi was posted as the Director General and secretary of the new and renewable energy. In 2016, the Manaohar Lal Khattar government had appointed IPS officer Shatrujeet Kapoor as head of the Haryana Power utilities.
Vij had earlier told the media that the government has informed him that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has posted these officers at their current assignments, which are meant for non-policing works. However, Vij told The Indian Express that he still stands by his proposal for returning of the IPS officers to the police department from non-policing assignments. The Home Minister has been arguing that the experienced and talented police officers should be deployed for policing works.
While highlighting the case of OP Singh, Khemka, in a recent letter to the CM, said, “IAS is the top choice of civil service aspirants and those who could not enter the IAS through the UPSC cannot hold a cadre post of the IAS through the back door.The order appointing an IPS officer to Principal Secretary, a cadre post of the IAS, will not stand legal scrutiny in the courts. This order will set a bad precedent in the future. Nothing will stop future Chief Ministers to destroy the institution of the All India Services by citing this illegal and bad precedent.”
Most IAS officers in Haryana agree with Khemka. “If a person has been trained for teaching in schools, then he should not be posted to defend the government in the courts. Similarly, the IPS officers gets training for maintaining law and order and to probe and supervise criminal cases, which are specialized jobs while the IAS officers are mainly selected for civil administration. By posting IPS officers on non-policing posts, how can the objective of decriminalisation be achieved,” asked a senior IAS officer requesting anonymity.
However, a senior IPS officer said that it was government’s prerogative to post an officer keeping in view the requirement of the administration. “I did not seek this particular assignment. I am just performing my duty following the orders of the government,” said another IPS officer currently posted on a non-policing assignment.
Earlier, in 2015 the Haryana government had posted IPS officer Bharti Arora as Principal-cum-director of Motilal Nehru Sports School (MNSS) situated at Rai in Sonipat as an additional charge. IPS officer OP Singh held the post of director of sports department during the Hooda regime.
Centre’s green signal to IRS officer for Haryana CMO
The Centre has granted vigilance and administrative clearance for placement of IRS officer Yogender Chaudhry in Haryana Chief Minister’s Office from Mumbai. The Department of Revenue/Central Board of Direct Taxes has informed the state government on January 24 that the competent authority has granted cadre clearance to the officer for deputation to the state government till his date of superannuation, that is November 30, 2022.India
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