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Punjab DGP Saini proceeds on leave
Election Commission tells state govt to give three names for the post * Appointment likely today
Sarbjit Dhaliwal and Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini has proceeded on leave.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the Punjab Government to immediately recommend names of three officers for the selection of the new DGP till Saini remained on leave.

Sources said DGP Saini, whose transfer was sought by the Punjab Congress on the plea that he had been chargesheeted in a criminal case, today sent a leave application, which was accepted by the Election Commission. The new DGP was likely to be appointed within a day, said a senior official in the ECI.

The state government has been asked to suggest a panel of three senior-most IPS officers serving in the state. The new DGP will be appointed from amongst them by the ECI.

The state government is reportedly forwarding the names of 1981-batch IPS officer GD Pandey (serving as the DGP-cum-Commandant General of Punjab Home Guards), 1982-batch IPS officer Suresh Arora (serving as the DGP-cum-Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau) and 1982-batch officer Sanjiv Gupta (serving as the DGP Security and Vigilance, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited).

The controversy about Saini arose after Congress spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira repeatedly complained to the ECI, seeking Sainiís removal on the ground that he was chargesheeted by a special CBI court in November 2006 for kidnapping and disappearance of three persons.

Senior Congress leaders, including sitting MPs, had also approached the ECI seeking his transfer, alleging that he enjoyed close proximity to the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister and would not allow free and fair elections.

The Punjab Government had been constantly declining to remove Saini claiming that he had already overseen two elections since his appointment as the DGP. However, with the ECI getting active by gathering its own feedback and then transferring officers, the state government had got enough indication that DGP Saini would also be removed. To avoid that situation, Saini proceeded on leave today.

In race for the top job

GD Pandey DGP-cum-Commandant Gen of Punjab Home Guards

Suresh Arora DGP-cum-Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau

Sanjiv Gupta DGP Security and Vigilance, State Power Corpn Ltd

In race for the top job

GD Pandey DGP-cum-Commandant Gen of Punjab Home Guards

Suresh Arora DGP-cum-Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau

Sanjiv Gupta DGP Security and Vigilance, State Power Corpn Ltd

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