In an apparent attempt to control transfers and postings of police officers, the state government has proposed an amendment to the Karnataka Police (Amendments) Act 2012.
To reduce political interference in transfers and postings of police officers, the Police Establishment Board (PEB) was constituted after a Supreme Court direction in this regard. The board, headed by the DG&IGP, consists of three senior-most DGPs as members, while ADGP (Administration) is the member secretary. Since the senior-most DGPs get picked automatically, the government has little choice in the PEB composition.
But now, according to sources in the government, section 20 B of the Act will be amended to do away with “senior-most” tag so that the government can nominate any officer not below the rank of ADGP as member of the PEB. This will leave the field open and allow the government to pick officers of its choice. “The proposed change in nominating members to the PEB is part of the amendment bill that is likely to be placed in the session,’’ a source in the Home Department told Express.
Sources said one of the reasons behind proposing such an amendment was to overcome legal hurdles like the ones the government faced in the case of DGP B E Umapathi, who had challenged the government’s decision to remove him from the board. The High Court had set aside the government order and upheld the argument that section 20 B of the act states that the state government shall nominate “three senior-most police officers not below the rank of ADGP working within the police department”.
“At present, the state government has no choice but to nominate senior-most DGPs as the members. The proposed move seems to be a result of the recent cases involving a senior-most DGPs and the government. If this amendment is passed, then there could be lobbying for the board members’ post. Then, the very purpose of preventing political interference is lost as the government will decide who should be the member,” a retired DGP said.