BENGALURU: Om Prakash, a 1981 batch IPS officer serving as head of fire services, is tipped to take over as the state’s next top cop.
Incumbent Director-General and Inspector General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachuau retires on Saturday. Sources in the government said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, earlier said to have been in favour of R K Dutta, now prefers Om Prakash. Dutta is on deputation as Additional Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Om Prakash, who retires in January 2017, is all set to bag the coveted job, thanks to a senior Congress leader in Delhi backing his case, sources said. Both Dutta and Om Prakash are 1981 batch officers, and equal in merit.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge denied reports suggesting he had prevailed on Siddaramaiah to choose Om Prakash as the next DG and IGP. “I haven’t spoken to him (Siddaramaiah) in weeks. I don’t even know who are in the panel. Why should I intervene in a state matter?” he said. Sources in the chief minister’s office also suggested Dutta, currently investigating the 2G scam, was not too keen to return to the state.
Efforts to contact Dutta failed as his phone was switched off. He didn’t respond to a text message either.
Earlier, the state government was in favour of Dutta, and had closed a criminal case pending against him before the CID, according to insiders. The case had been filed by IPS officer Hemant Nimbalkar, accusing Dutta of framing him by preparing false income tax documents after a Lokayukta raid on his house. Dutta was then ADGP, Lokayukta.
Meanwhile, a panel headed by Home Minister K J George has shortlisted four DGPs, including the senior most, Susanth Mahapatra, a 1979 batch officer now posted as DGP (Training). The other names are Dutta, Om Prakash and Bipin Gopalakrishna.
Mahapatra is said to have lost the race as he has not been conferred any medals. Though he faces no cases, the state had served a notice on him for allegedly issuing letters to various people to help them get tatkal passports.
Gopalakrishna is not only the junior-most (1982 batch) on the list, but has very little service left: he retires in July this year.
Soon after the meeting, George said he had forwarded a list to Siddaramaiah, who would take the final call. Meanwhile, sources in the government said Siddaramaiah would hold another meeting on Saturday morning and formally announce the name.
Following a Supreme Court direction, the state government amended the Karnataka Police Act 2012, making the DG and IGP a ‘selection’ post.
A committee headed by the home minister chooses a panel of DGPs, and the chief minister chooses the state’s top policeman from among them. Earlier, the procedure was to send a list to the UPSC and wait for its approval.