Hyderabad: As Mudireddy Mahendar Reddy- the current Director General of police (DGP) of Telangana- a 1986 batch officer- is all set to retire from service on 31st December 2022, the IPS circle in Telangana are abuzz about who will take over the coveted job.
Needless to say, the season of lobbying has begun. Speculations are rife that the TRS government led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, which is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, would rather prefer an interim police chief till he sends names of IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as per the norm.
TRS government may go Jagan's way in appointing the new police boss. It is pertinent to note that the current Andhra Pradesh DGP K.V Rajendranath Reddy superseded 12 top IPS officers. The norm is that the state government selects five DGP rank officers with 30 years of service and sends the names to the committee constituted by the UPSC. The UPSC then hand-picks three officials and reverts. The state government has the prerogative to appoint one of the three IPS officials who it finds most suitable.
Who is in the race?
Those in the race include 1989 batch IPS officer Umesh Sharraf. He is currently serving as Director General of the Special Protection Force. However, the officer retires in the mid-next year. So the chances of him being appointed as DGP are bleak.
Next in the line is Director General of Vigilance, Enforcement, and Anti Corruption Bureau Anjani Kumar. A buzz is that the Bihar-born former Hyderabad Commissioner of Police, who enjoys the confidence of those in power corridors, has robust chances of clinching the top job.
It is to be recalled that when Mahender Reddy suffered a fracture in his shoulder not too long ago, Anjani Kumar was made 'in-charge' DGP. Needless to say, it was the first sign of grooming him for the top job. The IPS officer has been lying low after he took over as chief of ACB and Vigilance. Anjani Kumar and his wife Vasundhara Sinha, Principal Commissioner of Income Taxes, Mumbai, are said to be a powerful couple. "Around 70 percent in the IPS circle think Anjani Kumar might become the next DGP. He may be named as interim head of police following the superannuation of Mahendra Reddy" a senior officer told NewsMeter.
Principal Secretary Home Ravi Gupta, who is a 1990 batch IPS officer, too is in the line. However, he does not have a robust chance like Anjani Kumar. Govind Singh, who served as chief of the Crime Investigation Department, is out of the race following his superannuation in December.
Commissioner of Hyderabad CV Anand, who is a 1991 batch IPS officer, is another strong contender with a comfortable tenure to serve. He, however, awaits promotion to the rank of DG. The officer who served a handsome period in central deputation leading many elite security agencies before he was appointed as CP Hyderabad, is seen as a competitor to Anjani Kumar.
Interestingly, Anand is currently heading the Special Investigation Team probing the alleged TRS MLAs poaching case. The SIT so far has issued notices to prominent BJP functionaries including National General Secretary BL Santhosh.
Picking an officer for the post of Director General of Police, is the state's prerogative. The government can make interim arrangement and appoint an `in-charge' DGP till a full-time appointment is made. The government can simply inform the Home Ministry.
"IPS officer Prakash Singh of the 1959 batch once headed the Uttar Pradesh police as its DGP. He later became DGP of Border Security Forces. Vexed by the frequent transfers of IPS officials which lasted not more than 3 months, especially of the Superintendent of police rank. I am talking about the year 2006 when an officer knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court. Hearing this particular petition, the SC gave certain directions," former Hyderabad Commissioner MV Krishna Rao told NewsMeter.
"These directions are 'Judge made laws'. As per the appointment of the police chief is concerned, the state government should consider all DGP ranks officials, even those on central deputation, to prepare a list with confidential records of their service and send it to UPSC. The committee will go through the list and shortlist any three names, based on their perception of merit of the candidate, out of the last 3 state governments have the prerogative to choose any name".
After appointing him or her, the names of all DGPs with residual tenure should be sent to the UPSC. Usually, the UPSC picks the one who has been working as interim Head of police of the state, and then the state government goes ahead and appoints the person by passing administrative order.