*Some posts of DIGs may be reserved for non-IPS
JAMMU, Dec 21: The Cabinet Sub Committee (CSC) on re-structuring of Jammu and Kashmir Police cadre (Kashmir Police Services) met today and was unanimous that a directive should go to the Home Department immediately to get petitions pending in the courts settled, fix seniority of KPS officers and SPs and take up with the Union Home Ministry the filling up of 50 vacant posts of Indian Police Services (IPS) from the quota of KPS.
The CSC comprising six senior Cabinet Ministers-three each from PDP and BJP, the two ruling coalition partners, who were at the loggerheads over posting of KPS officers as DIGs and higher posts without their induction into IPS, were moving close to the consensus and four posts could be identified as ex-cadre posts for posting of non-IPS officers as DIGs.
Official sources told the Excelsior that today’s CSC meeting evolved consensus on most of the issues pertaining to cadre review of KPS officers and it would meet again tomorrow or a day after to finalize recommendations and place them before the Cabinet for taking a final call.
The CSC members headed by Industries and Commerce Minister Chander Prakash Ganga comprised Forests Minister Lal Singh and Health and Medical Education Minister Bali Bhagat (all from BJP), Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu, Education Minister Naeem Akhter and FCS & CA Minister Zulfkar Choudhary (all from PDP).
Sources said the CSC members were reportedly of the unanimous view that a direction should go to the Home Department to take all possible steps forthwith for filling up of all 50 posts of IPS, which were lying vacant for the past over eight years, and have to be filled from the quota of KPS officers.
The last time KPS officers were inducted into the IPS was in 2011 and they were allotted the batch of 2008. Thereafter, the meeting for induction of KPS officers into IPS, which has to be conducted every year by the Home Department of the State Government with Union Ministry of Home Affairs, was not held.
Sources, however, attributed delay in conduct of meeting for induction of KPS officers into IPS to certain legal disputes due to which seniority of KPS officers and SPs couldn’t be fixed. Until the seniority of the officers (who have to be inducted into the KPS) is fixed, the IPS induction meeting can’t be convened.
“The CSC today reportedly decided to ask the Home Department to vigorously pursue the cases in the court and get them settled so that seniority list of the KPS officers is finalized and thereafter a meeting is convened for induction of KPS officers into the IPS,” sources said.
They added that the CSC could agree on posting ex-cadre officers (non-IPS) at three to four places including Human Rights, Telecommunication, Home Guards etc. The discussion took place on re-naming such posts as DDIGs. However, a final decision would be taken in the next meeting.
The CSC members regretted that during past 16 to 17 years, there had been no cadre management of KPS officers and if that had been done, the problems that have cropped up now wouldn’t have come up at all.
Pointing out that there were no major differences now between the two coalition partners-PDP and BJP-over the issues of re-structuring of police services, sources hinted at the CSC submitting unanimous report in the next meeting, which was likely to be convened in the next couple of days.
“The report will be finalized unanimously and placed before the Cabinet for consideration and approval,” sources said.
On postings of KPS officers on higher posts like DIGs and above even without their induction into IPS, sources said the CSC was of the view that if 50 KPS officers were inducted into IPS, this would settle the issue to quite an extent. Further, it said, the Home Department should take all measures to ensure that IPS induction is held every year so that the KPS officers don’t feel stagnated.
“If every year eight to 10 KPS officers are inducted into IPS, it would largely settle the issue and there would be enough number of local KPS officers inducted into the IPS for posting on important posts,” sources said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who holds the charge of Home Department, had left the Cabinet meeting in a huff on December 10 after the BJP Ministers had opposed her proposal of posting KPS officers as DIGs and above. They were of the view that only IPS officers should be posted on posts above the rank of SSPs.
A day after the differences in the Cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister had set up six members CSC to settle the issue of cadre review of police officers.
The CSC had been mandated to go into all issues of restructuring of Kashmir Police Services (KPS) and take a decision on promotional avenues of KPS officers at par with KAS. It may be mentioned here that for cadre restructuring of KAS also, the Government had at that time constituted the CSC.
Nearly 75 KPS officers were last promoted in 2005 from DySPs to SPs. And, for the last 11 years, all of them are still working as the SPs with no further promotions.
Sources said the KPS officers hadn’t asked for anything extraordinary. They just wanted to be at par with KAS officers as both had qualified same exam. “We just want parity with the KAS officers. Nothing more, nothing less,” they observed.
Pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir is the only State where State Police Service doesn’t exist, sources said the demand for creation of J&K Police Service cadre is justified and constitution of KPS cadre has nothing to do with IPS.
“The KPS officers are demanding very little than what’s already exist in KAS and Accounts Service. The posts in Grade Pay 8900 and 10,000 are not DIG or IGP posts. These are just non-uniform, non-police posts in the Home Guards, Human Rights, Vigilance, Telecommunication and Forensic Sciences,” sources said, adding that nomenclature of DIG/IGP can be dispensed off with to remove the confusion if any.
They said there was nothing in the proposal that a State Police Service officer will rise to the rank of DIG or IGP. But in Central Armed Police Forces, the cadre officer from the force rises to the rank of ADGP in his own cadre. However, rank beyond the post of SSP will be undesirable and, as such, only grade enhancement for non-uniform, non-descript posts can be done, which won’t create any confusion.