Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 20
Ahead of the crucial meeting of the UPSC tomorrow to shortlist three officers for the post of the Punjab DGP, the state government today again urged the UPSC to take September 30, 2021, as the cut-off date for eligibility of the officers against their date of superannuation.
Sahota likely to head Vigilance Bureau
While the UPSC will take a decision on Tuesday, the state is preparing to post IPS Sahota, who had the DGP charge, as Vigilance Bureau head. Sahota has the backing of CM Charanjit Channi and Home Minister Sukhjinder S Randhawa.
Punjab is insisting on the September 30 so that incumbent DGP Sidharth Chattopadhyaya becomes eligible. Under the rules, the officer should have at least six months of service left for consideration to the minimum two-year tenure as the DGP.
Chattopadhyaya superannuates on March 31, 2022. If the UPSC agrees to the September 30 cut-off date, then the short-listed panel of three officers as per the seniority may include Chattopadhyaya followed by Dinkar Gupta and VK Bhawra. If the UPSC takes October 5 as the cut-off date, then the likely panel may include Gupta, Bhawra and Prabodh Kumar.
Both Gupta and Kumar have sought postings with the central government. If they decline the post, then IPS Sahota, who was backed by CM Charanjit Singh Channi earlier but was replaced with Chattopadhyaya on the insistence of PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, may find his name on the panel. However, other junior officers may get a chance if the UPSC considers merit and range of experience of the candidate officer also.
In its letter, the government also cites the law and order situation, especially after the latest sacrilege incidents in Amritsar and Kapurthala, for continuing with Chattopadhyaya as the DGP.
It says the state may see the third DGP in two months if the UPSC takes October 5 as the cut-off date. The fresh communication follows the UPSC’s earlier decision taking October 5 as the cut-off date. Sources said the UPSC had reasoned that Gupta had not vacated DGP charge till October 4 thus the post fell vacant on October 5 only. However, the state argued that it sent a list of 10 officers to the UPSC on September 30 thus it should be the cut-off date.
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