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Who Would Be The Next Odisha DGP?

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Bhubaneswar: As incumbent Director General of Police (DGP) Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma, a 1986 batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, has reportedly opted for VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) in the wake of his wife’s sad demise recently (during general elections) and no more keen on continuing due to unavoidable circumstances at his personal life, speculations are rife over his successor now.

Reliable sources informed that Dr Sharma’s name has been selected by the State Selection Committee as a Member of the Lokayukta and sent to the Governor for seal of approval. After the Governor’s nod, Sharma will superannuate from government service and assume his post-retirement responsibility as a Member of Odisha Lokayukta.

Under such circumstances, the State Government has swung into the exercise of choosing and appointing the next DGP, sources said, adding that the probable senior IPS officer would be either from the 1986 or 1987 batch. However, the State Government has to abide by the guidelines set by the Supreme Court for the appointment of new DGP.

As per the apex court’s directives, the State Government has to recommend a list of names of eligible IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Selection Committee constituted by the UPSC will choose three names and send back to the State Government out which one eligible candidate will be appointed as the new DGP.  

As per reports, State Government is mulling to recommend 13 names of Odisha cadre senior IPS officers belonging to the 1986, 1987 and 1988 batches.

Barring the incumbent DGP, there are four 1986 batch IPS officers. One among them is Bijay Kumar Sharma, incumbent DG Fire Services and Commandant General Home Guards while 1985 batch IPS officer Shri Abhaya, Sharma’s 1986 batch mates Pradeep Kapur and M. Nageswar Rao are all on central deputation currently.  

1987 batch Odisha cadre IPS officers Sunil Kumar Bansal and Surendra Panwar are also on central deputation while their batch mate Sunil Roy is the incumbent Director-cum-Additional DG Of Police, Intelligence, Odisha.

So far the 1988 batch IPS officers are concerned, the names are incumbent Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty, Manoj Kumar Chhabra, Santosh Kumar Upadhaya, Binyananda Jha and Arun Kumar Ray who are posted in the State at present while their batch mate M. Akhaya is on central deputation.

As per the norms, the State Government has to place the names of the eligible IPS officers in the panel list to be sent to UPSC despite being on central deputation. If the officers in writing apprise their respective unwillingness to return to the State job, the State Government may omit their names.

Sources also said that the UPSC-constituted Selection Committee is also represented by the State Chief Secretary. Notwithstanding that, seniority, varied experience and the ability exhibited during central deputation tenure are all taken into consideration for selection of the three names to be recommended by the UPSC Selection Committee to the State Government for appointed of a new DGP.

Talking to media, former Odisha DGP Sanjeev Marik said, “Previously the criteria used to be the panel of three senior most officers. The State Panel used to be chaired by Chief Secretary and that panel used to recommend it to the Chief Minister and the new DGP was selected. Not only senior most, but also CCR, Vigilance record and all records are taken into consideration.”

He explained, “Now the new situation arose following the judgement passed by former Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra. He has ordered in his verdict that the names will be sent to the UPSC. UPSC panel will recommend three names to the State and one among them will be appointed as the new DGP. There is also a clause in the Supreme Court judgement that if the State has enacted a special Police Act, it could be followed. Till no such Act is passed, the Supreme court directive is to be obeyed. There is also another verdict that the tenure of the new DGP should be of minimum two years. This is being followed by many states like Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, etc.”   

Now all are agog to know who would be the next DGP of Odisha succeeding Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma.

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Sanjeev Marik, Former DGP, Odisha