Debating India


Poll panel orders transfer of Haryana DGP

Tuesday 11 January 2005, by GUPTA*Yoginder

Chandigarh, January 10

The Election Commission of India today ordered the Haryana Government to immediately transfer the Director-General of Police (DGP), Mr M.S. Malik, and the Director, Public Relations, Mr R.K. Khullar, for alleged violations of the model code of conduct.

The commission cracked its whip on the Haryana Government following the report of a two-member enquiry team, which inquired into the allegations of recruitments made in various departments, particularly the police, and the publication of a supplement in a Delhi-based newspaper, allegedly at the cost of the state exchequer.

The commission has also ordered the transfer of a Deputy Director, Public Relations, Mr Om Prakash, who looks after the advertisement section of the department.

Informed sources say Mr Afjal Amanullah, Special Election Observer appointed by the commission for Haryana; and Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, Principal Secretary in the commission, who constituted the two-member team, gave a three-hour-long presentation to the commission in Delhi on recruitments in the Haryana Police after the code of conduct came into force on December 17 last.

Mr Malik had proceeded on leave during the Lok Sabha elections after the commission had sought his transfer on the ground that his wife, Krishna, was the ruling party candidate from the Sonepat Lok Sabha constituency.

This time the ruling INLD had not fielded Mrs Malik as one of its candidates, presumably thinking that this would again give a handle to the Opposition to demand the DGP’s transfer. However, what the INLD wanted to prevent by not fielding Mrs Malik, recruitment of Sub-Inspectors and constables after December 17 made sure that Mr Malik had to leave his office.

The commission has also asked the Haryana Government to send a panel of DGP-rank officers so that it could pick one of them to be appointed as the new DGP of the state police.

The senior-most IPS officer in Haryana is Mr Nirmal Singh, who has been posted on a sideline post ever since the INLD came to power. The next senior officer is Mr A.S. Bhatotia, Director-General of Prisons.

It is learnt that following the directions given by the commission, the Haryana Government is seeking legal opinion to know whether the commission’s directions were binding on it.

It may be recalled that during the Lok Sabha elections when the commission had issued similar directions, the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had initially refused to transfer Mr Malik and was in a mood for a confrontation with the commission on the issue. However, the situation was saved when Mr Malik suo motu proceeded on leave to "avoid any controversy".

See online : The Tribune

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