HYDERABAD: Senior IPS officer Tejdeep Kaur Menon, presently heading the Special Protection Force (SPF) as director-general, is in the dock yet again.
The Telangana State Intelligence Department has conducted discreet enquiries into unprecedented allegations against the officer and prepared a detailed report indicting her on several charges. Among the six allegations against Tejdeep Kaur Menon are misappropriation of funds meant for the Swachh Hyderabad programme, harassment of hundreds of Telangana SPF employees, misuse and abuse of power, showing favouritism to Andhra personnel.
The inquiry against the 1983 batch IPS officer was initiated on the basis of a petition that landed on the table of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao late last year. It is believed to have been sent by SPF employees of Telangana who made a series of allegations against the officer.
The detailed report prepared by the Intelligence Department, under the direct supervision of its chief Naveen Chand, has been submitted to the government. A copy of the report is with The New Indian Express.
32 personnel posted at Tejdeep’s house
Among the findings contained in the intelligence report is one that there are no less than 32 police personnel posted to the IPS officer’s house. These work as drivers, carpenters, cooks, attenders, gardeners and others. At any time there are three or four SPF personnel detailed to Tejdeep’s residence on a rotation basis to be drivers for her and her husband.
These include seven drivers, four cooks, 10 men for other duties, one tailor, one carpenter, one gardener, one painter and one attender, making a total of 26. In addition, there are two head constables from ISW working as PSOs, two more head constables from CPL as office attenders and two contract women employees, the report says.
Further, the report adds, “As Tejdeep is holding additional charge of Commissioner, Printing and Stationery and Stores Purchase, it is learnt that her husband has been using a hired car pertaining to the government central press for his personal work.”
The report also found that, “The marriage of Tejdeep’s son was performed at a gurudwara and Alankrita Resorts, Hakimpet and the reception at Grand Fort, Shamshabad from December 23 to 26, 2014. During these four days, more than 50 SPF personnel, including officers, besides police and private vehicles were engaged for the functions.”
Misuse of Swachh Hyderabad funds
Referring to allegations of misappropriation of funds during the one-week Swachh Hyderabad programme launched by the Telangana government, the report says that instead of motivating local residents, Tejdeep made a huge number of SPF personnel clean roads, drains and garbage piles, much to the irritation of SPF officers and men.
“Besides that programme, the IPS officer went on performing other activities of her own interest at Anantagiri hills, Vikarabad, Ameenpur lakes, etc, where she has stakes, without any permission from the government, and used the SPF force in large numbers.”
The report says that there is a SPF employees welfare society functioning in SPF of which the director-general (DG) of SPF is the president while the secretary, treasurer, etc are nominated by the DG. The society’s funds are to be spent on the welfare of SPF personnel, providing scholarships to their meritorious children, relief payments to widows of deceased personnel and for conducting sports tournaments, etc. A monthly amount of Rs 2 lakh is collected from personnel of all ranks in the SPF by way of contributions to the society.
“These funds are grossly misused and have been utilised for activities like Swachh Hyderabad, cleaning Anantagiri hills, Ameenpur lakes, where Tejdeep has stakes. Bills showing high cost expenses incurred for providing breakfast, food and snacks for personnel have been prepared. There is a talk that more than `20 lakh were misappropriated from NGF (SPF employees welfare society) funds,” the report says.
Interestingly, the whistleblower personnel stated in their petition that they brought breakfast, lunch and snacks from home.
One GVLN Prasad, an auditor, who is also the personal auditor of Tejdeep, reportedly conducted the audit of society funds in his private capacity. “He was paid thousands of rupees as fee from the society funds,” the report says.
Seva Patakams for AP natives
Another allegation made by the petitioners relates to the selection of 20 SPF personnel for awarding Seva Patakams (medals) on Telangana Formation Day. The intelligence report found that actually 16 of the awardees belonged to Andhra Pradesh and only four from Telangana. The report states: “It is a fact that Seva Patakams were recommended for more personnel of AP rather than TS. One Pedda Babu, Assistant Commandant, and some more head constables and constables – all natives of AP – having (a record of) punishments, were recommended and awarded with Seva Patakams against the guidelines.”
Harassment of SPF personnel
Another serious allegation made against the senior IPS officer pertains to harassment of SPF employees. It was alleged that approximately 1,000 SPF personnel have been attached to various units of Telangana, contrary to a GO that mandates that not more than 20 per cent of the employees should be transferred. Hundreds of families were put to difficulty to the non-adherence to this mandate.
In their findings, the Intelligence Department officials said: “It is a fact that issuing orders of attachment or transfer is an endless activity by Tejdeep. For a small force of 2,100 persons, more than 1,000 officers and men have been subjected to harassment either by way of attachment or transfer in two-and-a-half years, causing financial loss to the government.”
For example, if a person working in Hyderabad is attached to a unit outside Hyderabad, he continues to draw pay and allowances applicable to Hyderabad (HRA, etc) while also claiming TA/DA due to his attachment duties. “Such attachments are causing much hardship to employees as attachments are only a temporary order and they have to leave their families at one place and work at another place,” the intel report says.
Citing one example, the report says that in November 2016, one PS Rao, additional commandant of SPF, was placed under suspension on the basis of allegations that during the period 2011-2013, he collected huge donations for construction of a temple at the SPF academy in Ameenpur.
“But when differences cropped up between the IPS officer and PS Rao over administrative matters, Tejdeep got him suspended after a gap of three years, by directly addressing the ACB to conduct an enquiry against Rao. During the enquiry, when two constables and a few more SPF personnel did not give statements supporting the allegation of Tejdeep, they were attached to Srisailam from Hyderabad and a few others to remote places in April 2016,” the report states.
In contrast, one SPF staffer, Ramesh has been working in the SPF head office since 1999.
“He is now working as a personal assistant to Tejdeep. He completed 17 years in the SPF head office without any transfer,” it says.
Release of AP personnel delayed
The report states that Tejdeep deliberately delayed the process of distribution of SPF personnel between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh by refusing to relieve AP-native personnel. The Intelligence Department found that as on the date of formation of Telangana (June 2, 2014), there were 120 Telangana-native employees working in AP. After the final allotment, they returned to Telangana.
“It is learnt that because of the callous attitude of Tejdeep in finalising the distribution of employees, an abnormal delay was caused in the final distribution. Though now the distribution of posts and employees is completed, nearly 700 employees allotted to Andhra are still working in the Telangana SPF.”
Interestingly, there is a mention in the report about an earlier Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) case involving Tejdeep Kaur Menon. A writ petition (WP NO. 3232/2016) was filed before the High court by one B Ram Kumar of the Legal Metrology Department to sanction prosecution of Tejdeep Kaur. (During Tejdeep’s earlier stint as director, Legal Metrology, Ram Kumar was caught by ACB while accepting bribes.
He later gave a statement alleging that he was collecting the bribes at the behest of Tejdeep). “It is learnt that one Jameel Basha, assistant commandant in SPF, who was in charge of High Court security did not actively follow up the case and was therefore sent on attachment to Ramagundam. One Samuel John was brought in his place as in-charge of High Court (the security of High Court and residences of judges is handled by SPF).
Later on promotion and allotment of Samuel John to AP, Jameel Basha was once again brought back as in-charge of the High Court security in October 2016. The WP is still pending in High Court and is not coming up for hearing,” says the intelligence report.
Tejdeep as DG of SPF
Interestingly, Tejdeep took charge as DG, SPF on May 23, 2013. In February 2014, she was transferred to the Government Central Press, Chanchalguda.
“But without getting relieved, Tejdeep made a futile effort for 15 days to get the transfer order cancelled by submitting a representation to the government and also met PK Mohanty, then Chief Secretary, and also the Governor. When the file was circulated to the Governor, it was rejected.
It is learnt that the IPS officer was transferred by the governor during President’s rule (in erstwhile AP) on certain allegations reported to him (Governor). Finally, she got relieved on March 2014 and another IPS officer AB Venkateswara Rao took charge as DG, SPF (on March 11, 2014).
However, within three months after the formation of Telangana state on June 2, 2014, she was once again posted back as DG, SPF and since then has been working there.”
Earlier too, in the rank of IGP, she worked in SPF during her tenure, that is 2002-2003, when she was involved in a case of threatening and assault. The case is pending trial, the report says.
Water tanker at her house
To the last allegation that a water tanker from the SPF academy, Ameenpur makes 150 trips to Tejdeep’s residence every month and that she was faking all bills, the Intelligence Department stated that about five years ago, one water tanker was drawn from the Police Transport Organisation (PTO) to the SPF Academy to meet the needs of 300 constables at the academy.
However, after bifurcation of AP, training activity in the academy has been stopped and about 20 personnel are present at the academy to guard the premises. “But the water tanker is operating regularly to meet the water requirement at Tejdeep’s house at Bowenpally.”
The report adds, “It is also rumoured that more than Rs 30 lakh was spent for purchase of furniture, computers etc in the name of training in the academy though there was a ban on purchase of furniture sometime ago. The furniture is said to be of inferior quality with a high price and was dumped in the SPF academy without any use till date.”
No truth in this, says Tejdeep
Contacted for her response to the findings of the Intelligence Department inquiry into allegations against her, senior IPS officer Tejdeep Kaur Menon, presently the director-general of the Special Protection Force (SPF), denied knowledge of any petition referred to the Telangana chief minister’s office or any inquiry initiated against her by the Intelligence Department.
“I haven’t heard of any inquiry against me. Had there been an inquiry, I would have known,” she said.
Asked about misappropriation of funds from the NGF (SPF welfare society), she dismissed the charge. “There are no funds earmarked for Swachh Hyderabad programme in the SPF funds. Therefore, there is no question of misuse.”
To another question about 32 personnel working at her residence, Tejdeep said it was a baseless allegation: “There is no truth in this.”
On the allegations that she has been accused of harassing Telangana SPF personnel in transfers and attachments, Tejdeep said: “Everyone is extremely happy in SPF and there are no complaints or anger among anyone in the force. There are no issues of attachment or transfers.” Tejdeep also dismissed allegations that a water tanker from the SPF academy is being misused. “I have absolutely no knowledge of what you are talking about. There is no inquiry against me and everything in the SPF is going on smoothly. In fact, for the good work my force has done, I have also received an award by the conservation portal, Sanctuary Asia, which was given for doing distinguished work in spearheading exceptional initiatives to clean, rejuvenate and protect urban water bodies like the Ameenpur lake,” she said.
When Express contacted Telangana state Intelligence chief Naveen Chand, he refused comment and hung up.