Open House: Do you think transfers/postings of officers after change at the helm of affairs are justified? : The Tribune India


Break nexus between criminals, politicians

Transfer of the police commissioner/IAS officers with the change of the state government affect the functioning of the respective departments. Politicians and criminals are hand in glove with each other. Hence, they need police officers of their choice at the appropriate level. This is in the notice of governments, which is why in the past numerous committees and commissions were constituted for police reforms but without and favourable response. Their suggestion/recommendation was never implemented. On the subject of politician and drug smugglers connivance even Punjab and Haryana High Court observed “Politicians require easy money and muscle power for their political aim, which the drug smugglers are more than willing to provide. In return, they seek political patronage so that their nefarious activities go unchecked and without hindrance.” The bench of Justice HS Marwan observed. So to have such a nexus between politicians and criminals such uncalled transfers are necessary.

Harsh Johar


cops should be allowed to work independently

Rabindranath Tagore visualised the free India as “Where the mind is without fear and head is held high….” Neither we have achieved that freedom nor are we on that path to achieve such freedom. Do you think any of the state head of police can ever ask even a local level politician to keep the mouth shut? This is the real freedom when on May 25, 2020, when riots broke out in the US and then President Donald Trump sent a provocative tweet, to which police chief Art Aquedo said “Please, if you don’t have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut”. In our country no police officer could use such words against their political boss because with change of guards politicians bring in police officer devoted to them not to their duty. Moreover, they are to act as “collecting agents” for their political bosses as alleged by ex-commissioner of the Mumbai police that Maharashtra home minister gave a target of collecting Rs 100 crore per month to inspector Sachin Vaze and suggested ways how to collect it. So this is a continuous process and shall remain so.

Naresh Johar


Frequent transfers disrupt functioning

With the change of guard in the state governments, the first casualty is state police head followed by district police chiefs. This is a routine affair since long. But one fails to understand why they make changes in police department only why not in education and health developments? The only answer coming to mind is that politician with criminal background or shielding his/her criminal supporters or planning political vendetta for his/her political opponents make such changes in police department. But such police transfers are against law. Section 15 of the Punjab Police Act says an officer of the rank of SHO (station house officer) and above shall have an assured tenure of one year. How they, custodian of the law, can move against law? But they are doing so since long. Our city recently witnessed change of police commissioner within days of his posting. Such frequent and uncalled for transfers disrupt the smooth, efficient and sincere working of the department.

Nityanshi Chopra


Transfers a game of musical chairs

Though it is the ‘prerogative’ of the CM to appoint/shift administrative and police heads of a state with his chosen team, but it is a bad practice. With CM Charanjit Singh Channi at the helm of affairs, the top posts of Chief Secretary (CS) & Director General of Police (DGP) has been reduced to set of musical chairs up for grab. It’s also against the rules and regulations pertaining to the services of top officials. Recent reshuffling of three police commissioners within a month of their joining is a blatant violation of Punjab police rules and cannot be justified on any ground. How all three commit the same act of error within days of their joining as Commissioners of Police? Such transfers influenced by political considerations are total wastage of state’s financial and time resources. Frequent changes at senior levels disrupt the functioning of police force besides lowering the morale of rank and file. Such transfers and posting without any cogent reason at the fag end of officers’ tenure are not only humiliating but lower the dignity of office. Frequent transfers of IAS/IPS officers derail the delivery system of governance and affect the implementation of government welfare schemes. Administrative Tribunals & Judiciary should take cognisance of favourable transfers undertaken by ruling political dispensation of the day just ahead of election & mulls way & means to stop this gamut of plum postings smack of vested interest in upholding the sanctity of offices of public services in larger interest.

Anil Vinayak


Governance takes a back seat

When the change at the helm of affairs in a state takes place, the new political masters reshuffle police commissioners and IAS officers’ as recently done in Punjab. Officers perceived to be loyalists of the previous CM/regime are moved to less prestigious posts to bring in their favoured bureaucrats to the key posts to get their diktats followed in letter and spirit. This practice in the country is nothing new. State level politicians can’t hire, dismiss, demote or change the wages of bureaucrats except that they can transfer them to suit their particular agenda. Whether it is justified or not, but it does affect the functioning of the officers in question. The new officers take some time to become conversant with their work and to settle down to carry out the responsibility given to them to perform as per the wishes of the dispensation. The sufferer is the state’s development and progress as the continuity is snapped paralysing the entire state machinery for some time. The succeeding governments tend to wield the matter of transfers cynically as a tool for punishment and for injecting an element of unpredictability into an officer’s career to make him compliant to the politicians’ wishes. Because of this core values of civil servants such as neutrality, impartiality, honesty and integrity cannot be guaranteed and maintained. It creates divisions among civil servants who find it difficult to bring development, welfare, well-being and peace to the state and the society. Efficiency and effectiveness takes a back seat owing to the growing distrust, disconnect and alienation between the officers and the political representatives. Good governance becomes a casualty when there is no healthy relationship among the ministers, MLAs and civil servants. After the change at the helm of affairs in a state the new comers have every right to make transfers and postings but they should not be made merely for the sake of it.

Tarsem S Bumrah


Arbitrary transfers should be avoided

Change is the law of nature. When it occurs at the top, it usually shakes up and shuffles everything right down to the bottom. It’s almost like a domino effect, which can clearly be seen in the case of police commissioners and IAS officers, who are always likely to be shifted to another place post the changing of the guard, even when these postings are not required. Yet these occur whenever new leadership takes charge of the affairs of the state as every leader wants officials of his own choice to man key posts, their qualifications, experience and abilities notwithstanding. More often than not hard-working people with intellect, integrity and vision are replaced with officials of questionable abilities, which have an adverse impact on the work and law and order situation of the region. It takes time for a new officer to adjust to the environs of his new post, besides getting acquainted with the pending cases. Arbitrary transfers of police and IAS officers should be avoided. New postings should be done only when it is absolutely necessary.

Shaheen P Parshad


No justification for such transfers

All IAS / IPS and PCS officers are the end product of a rigorous selection procedure dependent on test and interview followed by an even more rigorous training. The personality traits and aptitude for administration are also tested for any psychological aberration. The point is that they constitute the human machinery called government. Unfortunately for us, those who are to run this very efficient machine, are not themselves equipped with any knowledge about the complexity of the system nor are they properly skilled or trained. And, as they say, a bad workman quarrels with his tools. This analogy, though farfetched, will serve the purpose. You need a skilled and honest workman, and not a new machine. However, corruption and stark incompetence prevailing in Punjab for about four decades now have made the state almost ungovernable. Transferring administrative officers is not illegal but we hardly see any justification when there is a change in government. The present situation where the bureaucrats have become a hand maid of the elected members, suits both. They rule the roost, never mind if the exchequer is looted or if the taxpayer is denied a life worth living vis-a-vis education, health care, justice, sanitation, transport etc. At root is a total absence of character and social responsibility. At the officer level, it is an open secret that border districts and other lucrative postings are usually given only for a consideration. Right now, Punjab is on an anaesthesia waiting for a skilled surgeon.

Mohan Singh


these act as a system of checks, balances

IAS officers/Police Commissioners are an integral part of the legislative and the executive force of the country, states and districts. They not only prevent discord but also act as positive forces bringing in beneficial changes for the people under their administration. Talking about the justification for their transfers based on change at the helm of affairs in the state, I stand somewhere in between. IAS officers/Police Commissioners go through a very vigorous procedure in order to the get the position they attain later, any mettlesome person who goes through this process must have a very clear aim and a great sense of service to the society. Ideally, wherever positioned these officers are supposed to do good for the people and in many instances that is the case; however there are a few bad apples in every tree. We cannot ignore the various times we have read about cruel and shrewd officers harassing the public or perhaps a certain individual, or maybe one of the officers being corrupt. In these cases, these transfers act as a system of checks and balances, making sure power in an area are not in the hands of one person. But we also cannot ignore how IAS officers/Police commissioners bring a certain balance to a district and often this balance is disrupted upon their transfer. So I think it goes both ways, there is always a dark side of the moon which cannot be disregarded.

Gurjas Singh


Transfers benefits society, officials

After change at the helm of affairs in the state, there have been a lot of transfers/postings of police commissioners/ IAS officers. Changes are important element of the life and hence changes are also required in the Public sector. Government officials are appointed to serve society and to maintain peace in the country, so they are required to move from one place to another to maintain the harmony. Transfers/ postings in the jobs of government officials may have positive and negative effects and it varies from one person to another. If we look at the motive behind the transfers/postings of jobs then it benefits both society and officials. Transfer of jobs in different localities reduces monotony and boredom. It also helps in improving their skill and knowledge and motivates them to work harder for the welfare of the society. It helps them to develop both personally and professionally. Somehow, it may have some consequences such as it reduces morale and lead breakdowns in working relationships. It also creates difficulty in living far from family and maintaining personal relations. It may take some time for officers to study about the problems of particular areas and to work on those problems to reduce the tension in the areas. In conclusion, transfers are a requirement to maintain tranquility and to reduce the conflicts.

SAM


Transfers of officials fully justified

Yes, the transfers/postings of police commissioners/IAS officers after the change at the helm of affairs in a state is fully justified. This is because of the fact that old officials are loyal to particular regime and change in political leadership in a state affects their working too as they face resistance in jobs/plans they want to do. Their ideas get rejected after the change at the helm of affairs in a state. Although it’s unfortunate and bad luck for them to get transfer orders, but it is good for their future in the long run as they have got no authority to rule the rulers of state but new rulers have got full powers to dictate their decisions upon them.

Sanjay Chawla


Set up administration commission of India

  • The way our police and IAS officers are being transferred and shunted out frequently, at the whims of their political bosses, there is going to be gross mismanagement in the state’s governance. There have been many instances of police & politics spat which results in summarily transfer of IAS/ Police officers, thus undermining the powers invested in administrative wing of the government
  • It is high time to find a solution whether the police and IAS bureaucrats are put under the State or Centre government. As has come to fore, both the options have serious drawbacks. The police and IAS officers can do their duties effectively only if they are allowed to follow their independent judgement and set rules without being under any political pressure
  • An independent authority like Administration Commission of India (ACI), a constitutional body having parliamentary sanctions like that of Election Commission of India, can should be established. Any discord or dispute between this Administration Commission and governments can be arbitrated by a Special Bench of the Supreme Court of India. LJS panesar

QUESTION

Punjab has been plagued by drug menace for years. Accountability on the widespread prevalence of drug trade in the state has never been fixed. Should the drug problem be a key issue ahead of elections in the light of recent seizures in the state?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to amritsardesk@tribunemail.com by Thursday (October 7)





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