NEW DELHI: The Central government is planning to withdraw medals from decorated police officials who have been found to be ‘unworthy’.
“All states/UTs/ CAPFs/CPOs/security organisations are advised to strictly adhere to the guidelines and the cases covered under the circumstances mentioned in para 2, and must forward with specific recommendations to this ministry immediately for appropriate action,” a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs to all states, UTs and police organisations written last month said.
Now, states, UTs and forces have to prepare their list of ‘unworthy’ officers who have been convicted by any court of law for such an act or conduct involving moral turpitude, which brings the police force into disrepute, or is dismissed from the service for any other act on the ground of disloyalty, cowardice in action, etc as mentioned in para 2 of the letter.
The notification detailing the guidelines for the awardees was first issued in March 1951.
Recently, it came to the MHA’s notice that it was not informed by the state concerned and the organisation about a gallantry medal awardee, who was convicted and subsequently dismissed from the service in 2006.
“This has been considered to be a serious lapse and needs to be avoided at all costs otherwise ineligible or unworthy officers will continue to be decorated with the prestigious gallantry medals,” MHA has said in its letter.
According to the prescribed format, all forces every year send recommendation with names of the officer, his/her bravery act and other details to the MHA for medals. After strict background check, the ministry prepares a list of the awardees.
The government can take back the medal even after the retirement of an erring official. This had happened in the case of former Haryana Police chief SPS Rathore who was convicted for molesting a teenager. After his retirement in 2010, the government had stripped him off his medal.
The President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service is awarded for distinguished service to individuals who have served at least 21 years in the service. Individuals must be prior recipients of the Police Medal for Meritorious Service and must have held that medal for at least six years.