Punjab DGP appointment row- hot contender Chattopadhyaya may miss the bus
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, a 1986-batch IPS officer of Punjab cadre and one of the hot contenders for the DGP Punjab , may miss the bus “to be appointed as the DGP Punjab” as time is running out and only five months are left in his retirement and elections are round the corner .
Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, though a DGP holds the charge of DGP/Punjab state power corporation limited (PSPCL), PB.Chg.(addl. Ch Chief Director state VB/Pb) is going to retire on March 31,2022.
As per sources, “Punjab government may not consider him for this coveted post and he might be out of the DGP Punjab race, as less than five months are left in his retirement and moreover till date UPSC has not finalized the names. Three officers who are in the list- Siddharth Chattopadhyaya (31-3-2022), MK Tiwari (28-2-2022) and Rohit Chaudhary (31-3-2022) are going to retire by march 31,2022. Present DGP IPS Sahota is going to retire on August 31,2022, Dinkar Gupta on march 31,2024, VK Bhawra on May 31,2024, Parbodh Kumar January 31,2025, Sanjeev Kalra on Feburary 28,2026”
As per sources, in March 2019, “the Supreme Court had said that only officers who have at least six months of service left before retirement should be considered for the post of Director General of Police (DGP). The bench had said at the time that the “recommendation for appointment to the post of DGP by the Union Public Service Commission and preparation of panel should be purely on the basis of merit from officers who have a minimum residual tenure of six months i.e. officers who have at least six months of service prior to retirement.”
After the turnaround of government in Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi took over the reins of state government, the incumbent DGP Dinkar Gupta took one month leave and Channi led state govt gave additional charge to another senior IPS office Iqbal Singh Sahota (IPS).
As per sources, “Sidhu was backing Siddharth Chattopadhyaya and chief minister Channi was interested in making IPS Sahota as DGP Punjab. One of the reasons of Sidhu’s backing Chattopadhyaya is that his chief principal advisor Mohammad Mustafa, a 1985-batch officer, and Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, a 1986-batch officer, had challenged the appointment of Dinkar Gupta, junior to them as DGP Punjab, against the rules. Mohammad Mustafa has already retired and they want Chattopadhyaya to be the next DGP.”
Navjot Singh Sidhu raised questions on the appointment of IPS Sahota as DGP.
Later Punjab govt forwarded the names of all eligible nine officers name to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) . After receiving the nine member panel, UPSC sought clarification from the state home department, ”on the date that should be considered as ‘cut-off’ for considering claims of officers whose names had been sent to it. As Punjab had sent the names on September 30, the state had conveyed the same date to be considered as the cut-off. This makes Siddarth Chattopadhyay along with others to remain in the race for this coveted post.”
last month, in the latest clarification they sought information on the joining date of certain officers, whose names are on the panel, being considered for appointment to the post of the state director general of police (DGP). UPSC will finalise names of three officers to be sent back to the state, which will then pick one from the panel of three.
Punjab DGP appointment row- hot contender Chattopadhyaya may miss the bus. On the other hand, in the Mohammad Mustafa and Siddarth Chattopadhyaya case the Supreme Court in its latest hearing has reserved the judgment in the batch of special leave petitions moved against them against the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order upholding the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as the Punjab DGP. They filed the case as they were not considered for appointment as the top police officer of the State of Punjab.