RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya has approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Ministry complaining the promotion of three IPS officers to the rank of DGP in Himachal Pradesh illegal.

Bhattacharya has termed the promotions illegal in his complaint and has demanded to quash them and withdraw all financial benefits of the invalid promotions from the three officers, and also demanded stern action members of the Screening Committee for overlooking and ignoring the lawful advice given to them through file notings by their juniors.

Bhattacharya complaint the state government, on the recommendation of the screening committee, had promoted ADGP Prithvi Raj Singh, a 1987 batch IPS officer, joint director of Intelligence Bureau Headquarter New Delhi T K Deka, a 1988 batch IPS officer and ADGP B N S Negi, a 1988 batch IPS officer, to the post of DGP on regular basis in November 2016. All officers hadn’t completed 30 years mandatory service – essential requirements for promotion as DGP as mentioned in the guidelines of ministry of home affairs as well as IPS Pay Rules of 2016, RTI revealed.

File notings received under RTI have revealed that Himachal is having only one sanctioned post of DGP and one ex-cadre post of DGP totalling only two posts of DGP. When the process to promote above three IPS officers was being initiated, the state already had three DGPs then.

RTI information received from the Home Department of Himachal Pradesh reveals damning information indicating that the Screening Committee was informed about that none of these three officers were eligible to be promoted as per the MHA guidelines of 1999 and IPS Pay Rules 2016.

Bhattacharya claimed that “At the time of initiating the file on 03/11/2016, 3 IPS officers were already having the rank of DGP and there was no vacancy available. File notings clearly suggested this to the Screening Committee. The same file notings further suggested that none of the said three IPS officers were having the qualifying service of 30 years. It is also revealed from the file notings that no prior approval was taken from the Central Government for the relaxations of the rules as is mandatory. After all these suggestions, through the file notings, the Spl. Secretary and the Principal Secretary Home asked the Chief Secretary whether the matter of the promotion of the above said three IPS officers be processed or not.”

The Chief Secretary VC Pharka, by ignoring all these advice and throwing all the norms and rules in air ruled on 28/11/2016 that the DPC may be hold on 29/11/2016 at 4.15pm, he further added.

Through Memorandum of Consideration and Proceedings of the Meeting of Screening Committee again the irregularities in the said promotions were brought into the notice of the Screening Committee. But the committee headed by the Chief Secretary ignored all the advice of the Junior Officers and approved the totally illegal and irregular promotions of three IPS officers to the DGP rank when there was no vacancy existed at that time and none of these three officers were eligible to be promoted for want of mandatory 30 years’ service.

The file notings further revealed that BNS Negi only had overall Very Good assessment and not the outstanding one as compared to other two officers. But just because BNS Negi was to be favored with financial and status benefits on the date of his retirement, this illegal decision was taken with lightning speed in one day.

As on 30/11/2016 this action of the Govt. created 6 posts of the DGPs in Himachal Pradesh against the 2 sanctioned posts thus creating further financial burden on the already near empty govt. coffers.

Such kind of promotions are nothing but are illegal favors to the chosen ones. This leads to malgovernance and a tendency of bootlicking in the officers to please their political masters. Such thankful officers can never serve the people with unbiased, judicious and open mind.

Dev Ashish Bhattacharya has also accused Leader of Oppositon Prem Kumar Dhumal for not raising the issue of illegal and arbitrary promotion of IPS Officers. He accused Dhumal for failing to perform his constitutional duties towards the people of state.