Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 20
With the change of guard in Punjab, the state may have a new Director-General of Police.
The names of 1986-batch IPS officer Sidharth Chattopadhyaya, 1987-batch VK Bhawra and 1988-batch Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota are doing the rounds.
All these officers have more than six months of residual service making them eligible for the post of DGP, Punjab.
Chattopadhyaya met CM Charanjit Channi today, informed sources.
The government may take a decision today late at night or tomorrow. Sources said that Chattopadhyaya has close proximity with the new political group of Congress in power but Sahota is a strong candidate due to less opposition against him within the new Congress group in power.
He has 11 months of service left. He has largely remained non-controversial. Bhawra and Rohit Chaudhary, who have nine and seven months of service too can emerge as the final choice.
Sources said discussions were on regarding the issue till the filing of this report.
The chief minister’s office is also looking at procedural and legal clarity on the appointment of the DGP.
On whether it can change the DGP on its own immediately or has to go through the Union Public Service Commission.
The Punjab government is trying to take a leaf from the West Bengal government, which has appointed an acting DGP, Madan Malviya, till the UPSC clears the panel of officers. It has also moved the Supreme Court seeking revision of its order of involving the UPSC in the process of appointing of the DGP.
The Supreme Court had in 2018 laid down the procedure of the appointment of the DGP of the state. It said a state government has to send a panel of five or more officers to the UPSC three months before the retirement of the incumbent DGP.
The UPSC was authorised to form a panel of three officers based on the candidate’s length of service, record and range of service. The SC had in March 2019 revised the orders saying officers with six months of service can be empanelled. Earlier, it was two years of residual service.
It also ordered the DGP will have a minimum of two years of tenure. Gupta has completed two years and seven months as DGP. His retirement is due in 2024.
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