M A I N   N E W S

Cops to be shifted under EC directions
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Imposition of the model code of conduct has brought smiles to some and woes to others. The Punjab Government today issued separate instructions to stop cheques for grants from being encashed, limited the use of official cars of ministers and immediately stopped recently transferred teachers from joining at their new places of posting.

Separately, a reshuffle in the Punjab Police is on the cards as the Election Commission has issued detailed guidelines for the transfer of officials of the rank of Sub-Inspector and above.

The Chief Minister will be given four cars for security cover and the Leader of the Opposition two. Both leaders otherwise travel in bullet-proof cars.

Well-placed sources said the Finance Department today issued instructions asking all banks in the state to immediately stop enchasing cheques that were issued from funds for grants or under the Punjab Nirman Scheme.

This will mean cheques for an estimated Rs 450 crore meant for development will not be encashed.

These cheques had been issued during the third week of December and were yet to be presented in banks.

On the use of cars by ministers, the instructions say they will not be able to travel in Punjab in these. The cars will be parked in Chandigarh and the ministers, if they come for some official work to the state headquarters, will get to use these here.

In the case of commissioners appointed in the State Information Commission, the Punjab Government has sought special permission from the Election Commission to administer the oath to at least five of them as their appointments had been cleared before the code was imposed.

In the case of a large number of personnel in the Punjab Police, who may have never got the chance to serve on prized postings, the Election Commission has provided an opportunity to them to head police stations during the Assembly elections.

Exhaustive lists are being drawn up at the district level to shift all personnel who are serving in the rank of Sub-Inspector or above and do not fall within the framework laid down by the Election Commission.

The guidelines sent to the police say that a person who has served three years out of the last four at one place has to be shifted. All those serving in the home district need to be shifted. Another category is of personnel who are facing a criminal case. They also cannot be posted on frontline election duty.

Sources in the police said in some districts the SSPs were finding it tough to find officials who met all criteria laid down by the Election Commission. IGs of zones, DIG of ranges , all field SSPs and SPs along with DSPs, Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors are to be screened for these three parameters.

In the case of IGs, DIGs and SSPs, care was taken during the recently ordered postings that nobody got a home district. Actually, the orders were amended to shift a few officials who may have been shifted to home districts or may have completed their tenure of three years .

In case of SPs, DSPs , Inspectors and SIs, the exercise is to screen all of them to meet the guidelines. Sources said the orders of transfer might come any time.

Meanwhile, Mr S.M. Sharma, Additional Director-General of Police, posted here is the person through whom poll-related work is routed by the Election Commission.



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