Lucknow: Tension is brewing between IAS and IPS officers over a recent Home Department order of the Uttar Pradesh government making it mandatory for all district police chiefs to take the approval of district magistrates before the posting of station house officers.
Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar had issued the order on May 9, leading to a sharp reaction from IPS officers who alleged that it was an attempt to undermine their authority.
Even before the IPS officers could take up the matter with senior authorities, Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) District Magistrate Brajesh Narayan Singh cancelled the recent posting of seven SHOs by SSP Ajay Pal Singh.
Narayan Singh wrote a letter to SSP Ajay Pal Singh on May 11 and objected to the new posting of the SHOs without his consent as per the new rules laid by the state government.
"The state government issued an order on May 9 stating that the superintendents of police will have to take the approval of district magistrates for posting and transfer of SHOs," the DM's letter said.
"But without taking approval of the DM, seven inspectors were posted at police stations in the district. This was clear violation of the state government order," it said. The IPS Association had expressed its reservations to the order in a tweet on Thursday.
"Request @CMOfficeUP to withdraw the order requiring approval of DMs before posting SHOs. Order is in conflict with law laid down by Hon'ble Supreme Court and High Court. It displays distrust in the police leadership and will demoralise SPs. @PMOIndia @HMOIndia," it said.
The association also raised the matter with UP DGP OP Singh and urged him to take it up with the state government.
A senior IPS officer on condition of anonymity told PTI that it was a clear instance of oneupmanship.
'There appears to be no other reason for the move but for the IAS cadres' all too obvious desire to establish their supremacy...It has happened in the past as well and has come to the fore once again with this order...The association has taken up the matter with the authorities," he said.
IG Amitabh Thakur said the station officers were in direct contact with district superintendents of police.
"Hence, any third party intervention in their posting will have clear possibility of negative impact on policing and law and order," Thakur said.
According to another IPS officer, the order which vested more powers in the district magistrates, serves to undermine the authority of the SP and SSPs.
"There is no logic in the order. Why will a junior officer follow his superiors' order if his transfer and posting is subject to the approval of the district magistrates?
"The SPs and the SSPs will no longer be able to command the police force in their districts if the district magistrate is given these powers," the officer said.
"Under such circumstances, how can the SPs and SSPs be held responsible for maintaining law and order when they will not be in a position of authority over their subordinates," he said.
On the other hand, an IAS officer said there appeared to be no intention of undermining the authority of the police force. "It could be aimed at making the working of the police force more objective and smooth with the heads of districts keeping an overall eye on the situation," the senior IAS officer said.
A similar situation has taken place last year when Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar had issued a letter, directing district magistrates to chair all law and order meetings in their respective districts.
After meetings between the top officials, a decision was taken to stick to the earlier format of law and order meetings at the district level.