It is time for Uttar Pradesh (UP) to get the next police chief – will it be a regular or an acting Director General of Police (DGP) for the fourth consecutive time?
As the current acting DGP Vijaya Kumar is set to retire on January 31, 2024, speculations over the possible names for the post are doing the rounds in UP’s political and police circles. Sources from the UP Police say there is a high possibility that UP may get an acting DGP for the fourth consecutive time, but they also didn’t deny the appointment of a regular DGP.
On the basis of seniority and other criteria, the UP government has sent the names of five officers. A name has to be finalised within 72 hours of the DGP’s retirement.
The 1987 batch IPS officer of UP cadre, Mukul Goel, tops the list of those who fit the criteria. However, after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath removed Goel from the post on May 11, 2022 for inefficiency and neglecting his work, his name is being considered out of race, said sources. Going by the present situation, a 1988 batch IPS officer, Anand Kumar, who is currently serving as the Director General of Crime Branch (CB), CID, is being seen as the topmost contender.
ALL ABOUT ANAND KUMAR
Anand Kumar is scheduled to retire on April 30, 2024. Sources said he had served as Additional Director General of Police (ADG) Law and Order for long under the present UP Government. Born on April 4, 1980 in Bihar’s capital Patna, Kumar did his schooling from Modern School, Delhi, after which he did his masters in history from Delhi University’s Hansraj College.
ALL ABOUT PV RAMASASTRY
On the basis of seniority, another name on the list is that of 1989 batch IPS officer PV Ramasastry, who is currently posted as the DG Border Security Force (BSF). Prior to the posting, he served as the ADG Law and Order. The date of his superannuation is May 31, 2025.
Ramasastry is originally from Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. He handled the responsibility of inter-agency training for the CBI director’s position for years. In 2006, he was also given the Police Department’s highest honor — Police Service Medal. He has served as an IG in the Indian Government’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and was earlier appointed as joint secretary, consumer affairs in the Indian government.
Then comes the name of a 1990 batch IPS officer, SN Sabat, who is currently posted as DG Jails, followed by the name of Prashant Kumar, a 1990 batch IPS officer.
ALL ABOUT PRASHANT KUMAR?
Prashant Kumar, an IPS officer from the 1990 batch, was born in Siwan, Bihar. Prashant Kumar completed his MBA, MSc and MPhil before qualifying for the IPS. Prashant Kumar received the Tamil Nadu cadre after he was chosen for the IPS. But he was moved to the UP cadre in 1994 after marrying IAS Dimple Verma, who was from the UP cadre. Prashant Kumar has received the Police Medal thrice for his bravery. In 2020 and 2021, he was given the Gallantry Award. The President also awarded him the Police Medal for Valor. The UP government had selected Prashant Kumar as ADG to suppress the criminals in western Uttar Pradesh. Prashant Kumar is presently serving as Special DG law and order.
ACTING DGP AGAIN?
“If the selection is on the basis of seniority, Anand Kumar is the seniormost IPS officer in the race. However, the possibility is high that the UP government may make Anand Kumar the new acting DGP, and after his retirement, Prashant Kumar would be made the regular UP Police chief until his date of superannuation,” said sources with the UP Police.
If this happens, it would be the fourth consecutive time that UP will get an acting DGP.
Vijaya Kumar succeeded Dr Raj Kumar Vishwakarma, who was the acting DGP since March 31, 2023. Vishwakarma also held the post of Chairman, UP Police Recruitment and Promotion Board. Vishwakarma had taken charge from then acting DGP Devendra Singh Chauhan, who served for almost 11 months before his retirement. The Yogi government had appointed Chauhan after removing Goel, following charges of “inaction” and “lack of interest towards work”.
Goel, the last regular DGP in the state, is presently posted as DG, Civil Defence, and his retirement is due in February 2024.
However, speculations are rife that Prashant Kumar may be given the charge of DGP as he is the seniormost DG posted at DGP headquarters.
SELECTION CRITERIA FOR DGP
Senior officials in the UP Government said that, as per the norms, the DGP shall be selected by the state government from among the three seniormost officers of the department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of their length of service, record and range of experience.
The selected officer should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of the date of superannuation. The DGP may, however, be relieved of responsibilities by the state government in consultation with the State Security Commission, consequent upon any action taken against the DGP under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules or following conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption, or if the officer is otherwise incapacitated from discharging the duties.
CONTROVERSY OVER DGP’S APPOINTMENT
In 2022, a Delhi-based lawyer named Brajesh Singh challenged the system of appointing acting DGPs, calling it a violation of Supreme Court’s order.
In the contempt petition filed before the apex court, Singh challenged the appointment of acting DGPs in two states — UP and Punjab. It alleges that the back-to-back appointment of acting DGPs in UP is in complete violation of the apex court’s orders.
“In 2006, the Supreme Court had said, in one of its judgments, that there was no such “concept” of an “acting DGP”. Moreover, the apex court had stated that DGPs should have a minimum tenure of two years in office as it is necessary to protect the DGP office from political influences,” the petition stated.